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 Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State
medicmandan  [Moderator]
8/8/2010 11:43:56 AM EST
Netflix has this PBS six part series available streaming. I just watched the first episode. Pretty good so far. Interviews with prisoners and SS guards and some WWII footage I've never seen before.
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axl  [Member]
8/8/2010 2:26:23 PM EST
The camp system was in existence long before the NSDAP took over. They were an extension of the prison system for criminals - hence the "Arbeit Macht Frei" entry on their main gates. The theory was that work would make you a better person because you were devoting energy into positive action instead of succumbing to criminal traits. When the NSDAP took over (1933) they were used as a adjunct to the federal prison system for communists (Die Rote Front) and control was slowly extended to the economic section of the government to be used for productive measures. The original prison camp developed into work camps. The actual death camps did not get actually enacted until after the fall of Poland. Most were in the East. When Der Furher had solid control of all aspects of government the actual operation of the camps was taken over by the SS Todt sections but they were still under the economic umbrella of the government. The relationship of the SS Todt and the Waffen SS is a little mixed. Waffen SS combat units had nothing to do with either the camps or the Einsatz units that did the deportation/killing ect. Their involvement was that many of the camps had recuperating and hospitalized Waffen SS soldiers sent to them when they were unfit for further combat duty and they were all under the command of Himmler. Not all, in fact very limited numbers of Waffen SS were death camp participants. The majority of the nasty work was performed by Kapos (camp police) or Organization Todt/Einsatz Truppen.
ByNameRequest  [Team Member]
8/9/2010 10:49:44 AM EST
It's tough to understand how people could do that to other people for a living.....
dkstg44  [Member]
8/9/2010 10:51:11 AM EST
Originally Posted By axl:
The camp system was in existence long before the NSDAP took over. They were an extension of the prison system for criminals - hence the "Arbeit Macht Frei" entry on their main gates. The theory was that work would make you a better person because you were devoting energy into positive action instead of succumbing to criminal traits. When the NSDAP took over (1933) they were used as a adjunct to the federal prison system for communists (Die Rote Front) and control was slowly extended to the economic section of the government to be used for productive measures. The original prison camp developed into work camps. The actual death camps did not get actually enacted until after the fall of Poland. Most were in the East. When Der Furher had solid control of all aspects of government the actual operation of the camps was taken over by the SS Todt sections but they were still under the economic umbrella of the government. The relationship of the SS Todt and the Waffen SS is a little mixed. Waffen SS combat units had nothing to do with either the camps or the Einsatz units that did the deportation/killing ect. Their involvement was that many of the camps had recuperating and hospitalized Waffen SS soldiers sent to them when they were unfit for further combat duty and they were all under the command of Himmler. Not all, in fact very limited numbers of Waffen SS were death camp participants. The majority of the nasty work was performed by Kapos (camp police) or Organization Todt/Einsatz Truppen.


Kapos were trustees, not police.

Todt Organization built roads, railways and large scale construction projects. While the Einsatzgruppen was involved in the mass murder actions.

SS-TotenkopfverbÀnde (SS-TV) administered the concentration camps
Phocks  [Team Member]
8/9/2010 11:00:21 AM EST
Originally Posted By ByNameRequest:
It's tough to understand how people could do that to other people for a living.....



Sadly, it's actually pretty easy....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment
Warhawk  [Team Member]
8/9/2010 11:07:35 AM EST
I have been to Auschwitz, you can feel the evil in that place. My sons were both very young then, and were the typical rambunctious boys, full of energy. At Auschwitz they were both scard to death and clung to me like I was made of velcro. The evil there is so permeating that even babies can feel it. I've never been anyplace like it.

And Auschwitz was not a death camp. Plenty of folks died there, but mainly from disease, malnutrition and starvation. They were installing ovens, which were not quite complete when the Americans took the camp.

It is just north of Munich, a suburb almost. One of the things that really pissed me off was that the German civilians claimed to have no knowledge of what went on inside the "prison", but wagon loads of corpses were hauled out of there and buried in mass graves, while the locals never questioned it.

dkstg44  [Member]
8/9/2010 1:32:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By Warhawk:
I have been to Auschwitz, you can feel the evil in that place. My sons were both very young then, and were the typical rambunctious boys, full of energy. At Auschwitz they were both scard to death and clung to me like I was made of velcro. The evil there is so permeating that even babies can feel it. I've never been anyplace like it.

And Auschwitz was not a death camp. Plenty of folks died there, but mainly from disease, malnutrition and starvation. They were installing ovens, which were not quite complete when the Americans took the camp.

It is just north of Munich, a suburb almost. One of the things that really pissed me off was that the German civilians claimed to have no knowledge of what went on inside the "prison", but wagon loads of corpses were hauled out of there and buried in mass graves, while the locals never questioned it.



Are you sure you don't mean Dachau? Dachau is north of Munich and Auschwitz is in Poland.

Dachau was liberated by the US and Auschwitz was liberated by the Russians.
4v50  [Team Member]
8/9/2010 3:37:06 PM EST
Just finished reading Helmet Jung's But Not for the Fuehrer. Drafted at age 16 in 1943 and finishing his training at 17, Jung becomes a soldier on the Eastern Front. He survives the war because he escaped from a Russian Pow Camp (easy to do when all the guards are drunk). He learns of the concentration camps from his future brother-in-law who was in one for six years. The things he is told are shocking.

I didn't know lampshade material was predominantly from homosexuals. The woman who selected the men picked fair skinned men among the homosexuals. She had them tattooed and then shot them herself while they were exercising. Some women prisoners had their ankles and hands bound and told to hop down a flight of stairs. Of course, they'd break something when they'd tumble. Prisoners had their caps thrown into deep water and told to fetch them. If they didn't, they were beaten. If they did and couldn't swim, they'd drown.
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