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date: 25 September 2021

p. 11. What is a concentration camp?locked

p. 11. What is a concentration camp?locked

  • Dan Stone

Abstract

In order to consider why concentration camps are so important to modern consciousness and identity, we need to understand what they are and how they have developed. ‘What is a concentration camp?’ provides a working definition: it is an isolated, circumscribed site with fixed structures designed to incarcerate civilians. The Holocaust has confused our understanding of concentration camps in that a concentration camp is not normally a death camp. They are the consequences of large numbers of opponents, far too many for the discipline, order, and expense of prisons. When the concentration camp becomes a permanency, it is the sign of a regime that knows it cannot command national support or even tolerance.

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