Concentration camps were just a part of the total system organized by the Nazis to deal with labor, internment and extermination. According to Lordahl, it is estimated that as many as 8,000 different camps which held millions of persons. Among the other types of camps, as set forth in the Catalogue of Canps and Prisons in Germany and German-Occupied Territories published by the International Tracing Service, were:
Sonderlagers ("Special Camps)-- This type of camp was for persons refusing to work for the Reich. Confinement in this type of camp was usually short term.
Arbeitserziehungslagers ("Workers Educational Camps")-- These camps were for persons needing worker "education". Terms were not to exceed eight weeks.
Prisons-- This category included a variety of penal institutions.
Sicherungslagers ("Security Camps")-- Persons were held in these camps pending trial or investigation.
Straflager and Strafgefangenlager (Penal or Punishment Camps")-- Life in these camps was much more severe than regular prisons. They were more like concentration camps.
Arbeitslager (Work Camps")-- These were forced labor camps which were guarded and movement of inmates was restricted. In these camps, the emphasis was on exploiting the prisoners to the maximum extent possible.
Geminschaftslager (Civilian Work Camps)-- These were unguarded communities, usually of foreign workers.
Wohnlager (Housing Units)-- These were buildings that housed foreign forced laborers in Germany. These buildings were not enclosed or guarded and living conditions were relatively good.
Internierungslager (Civilian Internment Camps)-- These camps were common when then the Germans first occupied a country. For example, many such camps were established in Poland after the German invasion. In Bydgoszxz, for example, an internment camp was established for Polish political activists, some of whom were executed, some released and some deported.
Durchgangslager (Transit Camps)-- These camps housed persons who were to be sent to forced labor camps or concentration camps. For example, during the period when Jews from western and southern Europe were deported, they were first housed in transit camps such as Drancy in France and Westerbork in Holland. There were also such camps in northern Italy, like Fossoli and Bolzano, where internees were sent to Auschwitz. Also, numerous transit camps were established in Vichy France.
I am adding to these categories the following: (1) Organization Todt; and (2) Specialized Jewish Camps; and (3) the Nisko and Lublin Plan.
Civilian Work Camps
Forced Labor Camps
Nisko and Lublin Plan
Specialized Jewish Camps
Erik Lordahl, German Concentration Camps 1933-1945, History and Inmate Mail (2000). Referred to as Lordahl.
Catalogue of Camps and Prisons in Germany and German-Occupied Territories, International Tracing Service, 1949
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