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Dayton Holocaust Resource Center

Find resource listings that can guide your classroom activities. This collection includes videos, articles, and teacher resources for K-16 classrooms.

What are Concentration Camps?

Concentration camps are often inaccurately compared to a prison in modern society. But concentration camps, unlike prisons, were independent of any judicial review. Nazi concentration camps served three main purposes:

  • To incarcerate people whom the Nazi regime perceived to be a security threat. These people were incarcerated for indefinite amounts of time.
  • To eliminate individuals and small, targeted groups of individuals by murder, away from the public and judicial review.
  • To exploit forced labor of the prisoner population. This purpose grew out of a labor shortage.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (2019, June 27). Concentration camps, 1933-3: Purposes of the camp system.

Discussion Question

How did the functions of the camp system expand once World War II started?

Further Research

Other resources may be found in the Wright State University Libraries' Catalog and databases.

Choose "View Entire Collection" or "Dunbar Library - Books" from the drop-down box near the Search button.