40 Questions, 40 Answers

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What was the difference between concentration camps and extermination camps under the Nazi regime?

The Nazis set up a camp system that included different types of camps serving different purposes. Concentration camp was the generic term for prison camps.  "Labor camps" were those that were maintained for the purpose of exploiting slave labor for Germany's war effort. "Extermination camps" were six camps located in Poland where the mass murder of Jews and others took place.


Why did the Nazis build the extermination camps outside Germany?

Being outside Germany made the camps easier to conceal from the German people. Also, the vast majority of murdered Jews came from conquered territory to the east and south of the pre-war German borders. The extermination camps were located closer to these areas to facilitate transport.


Did the Jews try to fight against the Nazis?

Despite the difficult conditions to which Jews were subjected in Nazi-occupied Europe, many engaged in armed resistance against the Nazis. This resistance can be divided into three basic types of armed activities: ghetto revolts, resistance in concentration and death camps, and partisan warfare.  The Warsaw Ghetto revolt, which lasted for about five weeks beginning on April 19, 1943, is probably the best-known example of armed Jewish resistance, but there were many ghetto revolts in which Jews fought against the Nazis.

    Despite the terrible conditions in the death, concentration, and labor camps, Jewish inmates fought against the Nazis at the following sites: Treblinka (August 2, 1943); Babi Yar (September 29, 1943); Sobibor (October 14, 1943); Janowska (November 19, 1943); and Auschwitz (October 7, 1944).

    Jews also actively took part in national resistance movements against the Nazi occupiers and in Jewish partisan units.