The Nazis introduce concentration camps

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Why did the Nazis introduce concentration camps?

Use the following headings to produce either a table or mind map to explain why the Nazis introduced concentration camps: 

  • Protective detention - Schutzhaft
  • Terror
  • Preventative detention - Vorbeugungshaft
  • Re-education

Use your notes to explain how the use of concentration camps would have assisted the Nazis consolidate their power.

Click here for more information

After Hitler had consolidated power, the local police and the SA and SS rounded up many thousands of communistssocialists, church leaders and anyone else who might oppose the Nazis.

Initially, these prisoners were held in local prisons and police stations. There were so many prisoners that makeshift buildings were converted to house them. However, this system was inefficient and not centrally run. The Nazis found a solution by establishing large, purpose-built camps to hold these prisoners. These they called concentration camps. The first camp was established on 1 April 1933 at Dachau, a beautiful south Bavarian town very near Munich.

Over the next 12 years, as they invaded and occupied lands all over Europe, the Nazis would build over 20,000 camps. These included concentration camps, transit camps, forced labour or work camps and death camps. To learn more about the camps click here.