The expression “ concentration camp ” was created at the end of the 19th century. Indeed, the technical innovation of the barbed wire made it possible to close vast spaces with few expenses. The first use of this term was done in connection with the Guerre of Boers, like British innovation. It was inspired by the Spanish term “Re-concentration”, used by the Spaniards during the war with Cuba (1895-1898).
A concentration camp is a detention center of big size created for political opponents, Résident S of an enemy country, ethnicities or monks specific, civilians of a critical zone of engagements, or other groups human, often during a war. The term refers to a situation where the prisoners are selected for their conformity with general criteria, without legal procedure, rather than because of an individual judgment. Although the Nazi regime voluntarily introduced confusion by using the term of concentration camp to indicate its Death camps , it is advisable to distinguish them, even if the detention conditions in the concentration camps can lead to levels of abnormally high morbidity and mortality.
Concentration camps for enemy civilians
The statute of a concentration camp, although he is admitted by the right of the war for the internment of the enemy civilians, is difficult to justify in the sense that then, the internment constitutes a collective and nonindividual measure, which does not sanction individual acts, but a situation independent of the will of the interned person.
Such camps are used as a military conservative measure: So of the national of the country B live in the country has at the time of the declaration of war between has and B, the country has can consider that the national of B on his territory are nationals of an enemy country, that it is important to intern, to prevent that they join the opposing army or launch out in operations of espionage. Thus, certain persons in charge of the camps of internment will speak about simple prisons widened to receive a greater number of captive internees, or even - in certain countries and except time of war - “educational structures”.
The first appearance of the denomination concentration camp is due to the Britanniques in South Africa during their war against Boers (War of the Transvaal, 1899 - 1902); they locked up there the women, the old men and the children of Boers and the member of allied indigenous tribes.
The idea itself had been applied a little earlier by the Spanish S to Cuba, during the war of independence. The general Valeriano Weyler Nicolau had the idea in there 1897 “to concentrate” the civil populations in places controlled by the army to remove any support for the rebellion, close to: 300000 people were thus moved in these camps. The civilians were invited to return in these camps, with their cattle, under the eight days deadline. At the end of this period, those which were outside were regarded as rebels thus killed. In spite of the Spanish defeat, the term, “Re-concentration”, and its principle were taken again by the English to fight against the Boers.
There were also the concentration camps contruits as of 1904 in Namibia (country of Africa) to eliminate the Herero people opposed to colonization and the armies from the chancellor Von Bülow. The humane disaster was alarming: more than 70.000 hereros died before or in the concentration camps (for causes of malnutrition, ill treatments, summary executions of the patients as well as weaker). One should not forget the anthropological, scientific and medical experiments transforming the prisoners hereros into human guinea-pigs.
The concentration camps appeared only after the invention of the barbed wire, which allows enceindre of large surfaces at a cost without common measurement with the traditional means of detention such as the Prison S.
It is necessary to underline the modern character of this practice, the historically ordinary treatment to solve the same type of conflict being rather the reduction in Esclavage or the simple setting with immediate death (see Génocide).
Historical examplesFrance used concentration camps as of the First World War, of which that of Pontmain, to lock up there the German nationals, Austro-Hungarians and Othomans present on his territory at the opening of the hostilities. Many French islands of the English Channel, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean were used to establish such camps. Marcel Proust evoked these camps in “ time found ”. France also had again recourse to concentration camps at the end of the war of Spain to gather the republican refugees fleeing the pro-Franco mode with Rivesaltes, Argelès-sur-Mer and Agde, although many of these refugees were not enemies. One cannot nevertheless accept the term of " concentration" within this framework (not of forced labor, free displacement outside these camps (moreover very little was closed). It should be recalled that approximately 450.000 Spanish refugees arrived to France in less than 1 month is the first greater displacement of population of the XXe century. So at the beginning the situation of these camps was deplorable very quickly the things improved. To add the qualifier of concentration to these camps is perfect not a historical direction. (Benassar: the war of Spain and its continuations, collection tempus). According to Genevieve Dreyfus-Armand, eminent specialist in the Spanish republican exile: “ the concentration camp term can shock; it is usually used in the administrative documents of the time, and the Minister of Interior Department, Albert Sarraut, employs it in a direction “assuaging” at the time of his press conference at the beginning of February 1939: The camp of Argelès-sur-mer will not be a penitentiary place, but a concentration camp. It is not the same thing. ”
At the time of the Second world war, again, the process was employed to intern the nationals of the enemy countries, but in this case the French police force did not make a difference between the Germans and Austrian refugees in France and the partisans of Hitler of which some had organized in France, as of the time of peace, famous “the Fifth Column”.
The British also organized concentration camps of civilians of the Axis. Thus German and British civilians of the male sex residing at the Indies found themselves in 1940, interned with the camp of Deraa Doun, on the buttresses of the the Himalayas.
Other concentration camps were opened in the United States, in particular those intended to the Japanese and for the citizens states-uniens of Japanese origin, after the attack of Pearl Harbor. Many years after the memory of these raids of Japanese civilians and Nippo-American S.A. remakes surface. President Bush excused himself in the name of the United States on this subject.
Of another concentration camps were founded elsewhere, between 1940 and 1945, like those of the Canada intended to the Nippo-Canadians and inter alia for the Témoins of pacifist Jéhovah and for Franco- Québécois refusing the conscription.
Punitive concentration camps were consisted the Vichy government in nonoccupied zone and North Africa between 1941 and 1944 to intern recalcitrant French patriots, antifascists of Central Europe. Those of the South-Algerian where German volunteers of the Foreign legion were gathered, under the direction of officers and Vichyist warrant officers, were subjected to a so atrocious mode, which several internees asked, to escape from it, with being repatriated in Nazi Germany.
It is necessary to announce here the case of the Concentration camp of Jasenovac, a camp of the State independent of Croatia of Ante Pavelić. In this camp directed by Oustachi S, were killed out of 45 000 with 80 000 Serb, Croatian, Jewish, gypsies and opponents.
Certain Nazi camps were " réutilisés" after the release for the French and German civilian or prisoners of war, for example camp of Zgoda
Camps of regrouping were created during the Guerre of Algeria to allow the control of the Algerian populations.
On the other hand, the camps of regrouping of Harkis after the Accords of Evian are not concentration camps: they in did not have the character (the harkis, far from being enemies of France, on the contrary had served it, they were full French citizens, and these camps comprised neither prison mode, nor brimades), but constituted all the same camps of regrouping of the population. Their duration of existence, higher than ten years, went well beyond that of the simple refugee camps, because the French authorities practically did not do anything to ensure their integration.
Concentration camps Nazis
At the time of Europe Nazi of the concentration camps ( Konzentrationslager or KZ) were founded with nondefensive, but ultra-punitive aims. (modification: the Nazi Germany used concentration camps to move away the opponents to the mode then to exterminate there immediately or by exhaustion with work and Jewish ill treatments the , the gypsies, the Témoins of Jéhovah, the homosexual ones, the handicapped people, asocial… qualified the " of impurs" and which could " souiller" the Aryan ones… In 1939, Hitler charged to the Jews the responsibility for the war and transformed some of these concentration camps into death camps, but even Auschwitz, the main thing of these death camps, was used as camp of work for the valid Jews as much as extermination)
The most known example (and undoubtedly most fatal) of concentration camps is that of the camps Nazis used as from 1933 and in particular during the Second world war. In these camps, like Dachau or Buchenwald, the German anti-nazis (initially the Communiste S), then the political opponents and the resistant ones of all Europe who were not immediately carried out, were off-set there, with little hope to leave there alive. But the main aim of these repressive camps was the slavery of the internees, their great mortality while being only the accessory.
The camps above should not be confused with other Nazi camps, such that of Auschwitz-Birkenau, which were Death camp, of which the principal goal was the industrial liquidation of whole populations off-set, children initially, the temporary function of workers slaves of some of them being only secondary.
Goals of the concentration camps NazisThe objective of a concentration camp can be for example (and without these various objectives being exclusive) of:
- to empty a country of its population, to prevent it from supporting combatants at the time of a war;
- to purge the population of the people considered as vermin;
- to exploit a great number of forced workers (one speaks then about Camp of work).
The people imprisoned in such camps are it often for reasons political, religious, racial, generally because of a discrimination or a suspicion in their opposition.
The prisoners are there often: separated from their close relations, kept under conditions precarious and difficult, badly nourished, forced to work and maltreated by the guards. Mortality is thus high there.
Among the concentration camps Nazis, the majority were camps of work in which mortality was very strong. Work was exhausting, insufficient food, the practically non-existent care, the regular ill treatments. Strong mortality was not a problem since new " travailleurs" arrived by whole trains. Certain camps became immediate death camps.
Bagne and Katorga
- summary and wide installations contrary to the prisons;
- forced labor, in general hard (many prisoners would die about it) and without qualification.
The katorgas were installed in Siberia and in the little populated zones of the the Russian Far East giving to these regions a reputation of punishment.
Relegation (in France)Relegation was created by the law of the May 27th 1885 and functioned in Guyana until in 1939, then the Ile de Ré took the changing. It was automatic for the multirecidivists until the law of the July 3rd 1954, but remained - as optional - until in 1970, where it was replaced by the penal supervision until in 1981. It is this relegation which inspired the song of Léo Ferré and Pierre Seghers, Merde in Vauban.
CurrentlyCertain people affirm that currently, the American military base of Guantanamo is the last concentration camp known to function. In December 2003, the cuban National Assembly also qualified publicly this base as being a concentration camp.
|Random links:||Nothomb (Belgium) | Seven men to be cut down | Jean-Claude Bourbault | Johnny Moore (guitarist) | Serpoukhov|