Many people know that the Nazi party had several concentration camps during World War II. There were 24 main camps and nearly 900 total “sub”camps. Subcamps were smaller camps operated under the authority of a main camp. Dachau, for example had over 30 of these smaller subcamps. The Nazis were known for their inhumane treatment of prisoners in concentration camps. Germans would often perform medical experiments on the prisoners in the concentration camps. Some experiments involved hypothermia and tuberculosis. The Nazis would force some prisoners to take part in an experiment to staunch excess bleeding. Hundreds of people died or were left permanently disabled as a result of these inhumane experiments. It’s 1933, the Germans establish their first concentration camp; its name is Dachau. Dachau was officially called a camp for political prisoners. Compared to the other concentration camps that came later in the ’30s, Dachau held a relatively small population of 4,800 prisoners at first. More prisoners came later, and more subcamps sprung up under the control of Dachau where thousands of prisoners were worked to death. American troops freed the inmates of Dachau on April 29, 1945. It is unlikely that the total number of fatalities that occurred in Dachau and its subcamps will ever be known. Auschwitz had over 135,000 prisoners in an area of forty square kilometres. Around 3,375 people per square kilometre. This was almost 25% of the prisoners in all of the German concentration camps at the time. It is estimated that at least 1.3 million people were put into Auschwitz. 1.1 million of these people were killed or died. About 60,000 prisoners were forced to walk away from Auschwitz and its smaller subcamps. The camp prisoners were freed by Soviet troops on January 27, 1945. The Holocaust was a dark and depressing time in European history. More than 16.7 million people were killed, most of which were Jewish civilians. In sharp contrast to today, Nazis were viewed by many Germans as idols at the time. Today we look back on Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich as an evil group of people who committed horrible acts. The Holocaust and World War II ended in 1945 with the liberation of concentration camps across Europe, the suicide of Adolf Hitler, and the bombing of Japan.

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