Camp Types

Question:

Can you please explain the difference between Concentration camps, death camps, and labor camps, I would really appreciate it!

Yale F. Edeiken answers:

Hello. I am one of the people who answers questions for The Holocaust History Project.

"Concentration camps" is the generic term for the prison camps maintained by the Third Reich. As you have noted there were several different kinds of camps which served different purposed.

"Labor camps" were those that were maintained for the purpose of exploiting slave labor.

"Extermination camps" were six camps located in Poland where the mass murder of Jews and others took place.

Many of the concentration camps were complexes of several camps and some had dual functions. At the Auschwitz complex, for example, most of the genocide took place in a subcamp called Birkenau. There was also a labor camp named Monowitz that was was part of the complex where an artificial rubber plant was built. Likewise, Treblinka, another extermination camp, was part of a complex of three camps, two of which were used for slave labor.

Yale F. Edeiken
The Holocaust History Project

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