The Nazi concentration camps are a symbol of Nazi terror and genocide, and especially the Holocaust—the Nazi effort to exterminate the Jews of Europe and other groups. In this activity students will learn about the Nazi concentrations camps and the people who died there, as well as some who survived to tell their own stories.
Students will go to the Revisiting The Holocaust Web site to read about the history and present-day remains of the Nazi concentration camps. After answering a series of questions, they will write an account of the life of one of the people who were sent to the camps.
- Students will be able to describe and summarize the Holocaust and the establishment of concentration camps.
- Students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of the Holocaust by writing an account of the life of a person taken to one of the camps.
Student Web Activity Answers
- The types of camps included collection camps (sammellager), labor-education camps (arbeitserziehungslager); transit camps (durchgangslager), collection camps for the dying (sterbelager), large concentration camps (konzentrationslager), subcamps administered by the main camps (aussenlager), and extermination camps (vernichtungslager).
- Auschwitz is the German name for the small industrial city of Oswiecim, Poland. One reason the Nazis established several camps there was to centralize their systematic transport and murder of European Jews.
- "Arbeit Macht Frei" means "work makes you free." The expression was inscribed at the entrance of many of the concentration camps. However, the expression was meaningless for camp victims, none of whom was released for hard work or good behavior.
- Doctors at the concentration camps "experimented" on living victims, torturing, infecting, and poisoning them in the name of science. Innocent men, women, and children were gassed, poisoned, frozen, and vivisected.
- Students' accounts will vary but should include all steps, from the initial capture on. Students should be detailed in their descriptions to demonstrate an understanding of the full extent of the Holocaust.
Go To Student Web Activity