chapter  1
27 Pages

The dynamics of destruction: the development of the concentration camps, 1933–1945

ByNIKOLAUS WACHSMANN

There was no typical concentration camp in the Third Reich. To be sure, the literature on Nazi terror is full of references to ‘the’ concentration camp. But we need to be clear that the camp depicted in such works (written largely by sociologists and philosophers) is an artificial and ahistorical construct, meant to illustrate broader questions and conclusions about the human condition; it does not fully reflect the complex history of the camps.1