In the Camps Hist 4957 Dr. Fritz MWF 10:20-11:15 11/29/99 Concentration camp is a term that stirs up many emotions. How did they come about? What were they exactly? And just what went on inside those walls? Many have tried to give a full description of what life in the camps was like. With toady's fast moving and knowledgeable media the public has become very informed on the subject at hand. The fact still remains that few were there, so few can know what really happened. These three poignant questions posed above could each take eternity to fully understand. This is a short explanation of the atrocities that the Nazi's handed out to the innocent victims of the Holocaust.
How exactly did concentration and extermination camps come about, legally speaking? On first glance it seems that in toady's modern and civil world that nothing of this nature could ever happen.
In fact it happened due to article 48, paragraph 2 in the German Constitution. Here the president is given far reaching emergency powers. This article was used by Paul von Hindenburg in 1933 giving protective custody to protect the state's security. From there in momentum gained. On April 12, 1934 an edict from the Ministry of the Interior was introduced governing protective custody grounds for establishment of camps. This edict also decreed that those sent to concentration camps were under the rule of the Gestapo and their release was indicative to the discretion of this secret service.
Power is a strange phenomena. Once the Gestapo had legal rights to cruelty the act of playing God became easier to abuse. Terrence Des Pres explains this best by stating: "As power grows, it grows more and more hostile to everything outside itself. Its logic is inherently negative, which is why it ends...