WWII: Inside the Nazi Death Camps


    Hitler established the first concentration camp soon after he came to power in 1933. The system grew to include about 100 camps divided into two types: concentration camps for slave labor in nearby factories and death camps for the systematic extermination of "undesirables" including Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally retarded and others. As the allied armies raced towards final victory, advancing troops liberated the camps one-by-one, revealing the horrors of the Nazi concept of establishing a "pure" society. The first liberation came in July 1944 when Soviet troops entered Maidanek, a death camp located in Poland two miles from the city of Lublin. Alexander Werth, a correspondent for the London Sunday Times and the BBC, accompanied the Soviet troops and described the camp shortly after its capture. The BBC refused to air his report of the camp as his description was so unbelievable they considered it a Soviet propaganda ploy. It was not until the later capture of Buchenwald, Dachau and other camps on the western front that his description was accepted as true.

    World War II