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Forum LockedBritish Concentration Camps for Boers

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: British Concentration Camps for Boers
    Posted: 29-Apr-2009 at 19:42
Originally posted by gcle2003

I think the point he was trying to make is the same one I wold. Setting up camps to hold non-combatant individuals (aka to 'concentrate' them in one spot) is not the same as killing anyone, let alone deliberately.
 
Boer leaders are in fact on record as being grateful to the British for protecting their families in the camps. People of course fall ill and die in such camps, but the question has to be whether they are better off in the camps or exposed to the dangers of war and dislocation of supplies and so on in the countryside.
 
The setting up of the 'new villages' in Malaya in the 1950s is another successful use of the same technique in quashing the Communist, largely Chinese, insurrection that was threatening the establishment of modern Malaysia.


wheather or not some Boers were gratefull or not is a different question, the question why such camps were set up is more relevant here. in case of the Boer War it was to bring the Guerrillas to heel which could not be caught by force, so the British resorted to burning their farms and intern their families to force them to surrender.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2009 at 11:14
Originally posted by Temujin


wheather or not some Boers were gratefull or not is a different question, the question why such camps were set up is more relevant here. in case of the Boer War it was to bring the Guerrillas to heel which could not be caught by force, so the British resorted to burning their farms and intern their families to force them to surrender.
 
I don't want to start a new thread, but even if that is true setting up the camps was better than burning the farms and not setting up the camps. My point is that just because the term 'concentration camps' got used for the Holocaust death camps doesn't mean that concentration camps necessarily are/were death camps (or even necessarily bad or ill-intentioned).
 
They're just places where people are kept together, for whatever reason. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2009 at 18:59
Originally posted by gcle2003

 
I don't want to start a new thread, but even if that is true setting up the camps was better than burning the farms and not setting up the camps. My point is that just because the term 'concentration camps' got used for the Holocaust death camps doesn't mean that concentration camps necessarily are/were death camps (or even necessarily bad or ill-intentioned).
 
They're just places where people are kept together, for whatever reason. 


there's no issue as to the difference of ww2 concentration & death camps and colonial concentration camps. however arguably the Boer families would have been better off with their farms not burned in the first place, i mean the whole idea was already questionable to say the least, otherwise i agree with Leonidas.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2009 at 20:53
Originally posted by Leonidas

Oh thats a grey area. holding them in a spot where they will be lucky to survive is like killing them slowly and in a more inhumane way. If they ring fence the civilians and do not give them adequate basics for survival over a considerable time that's is darn close to rounding them up and shooting them.
But you threw in not giving them adequate basics for survival, which is another point entirely. Of course starving people to death is killing them, but giving them better shelter and food than they would otherwise have had is saving them not killing them.
 
Putting people in concentration camps doesn't necessarily mean starving them. It just means putting them in concentration camps.
 
I mean you can argue there shouldn't have been a Boer war in the first place, but given the war and given the way it was fought, the civilians were safer in the camps than outside them. Which is why, as I pointed out, Boer leaders themselves expressing their approval is relevant.
 


Edited by gcle2003 - 30-Apr-2009 at 21:00
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2009 at 21:36
well first of it was absolutely not necessary to put them in Concentration Camps as they were safe until the British began their scorched-earth policy. i mean you can't say the British resuced them because they were only in perrils because of the British... second, i know of none of the more famous high-ranking Boer Commanders who put their approval on that, in fact those Camps were not even approved by everyone in Britain...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2009 at 21:44
Originally posted by Temujin

well first of it was absolutely not necessary to put them in Concentration Camps as they were safe until the British began their scorched-earth policy. i mean you can't say the British resuced them because they were only in perrils because of the British... second, i know of none of the more famous high-ranking Boer Commanders who put their approval on that, in fact those Camps were not even approved by everyone in Britain...
Paul Botha said "one is only too thankful nowadays that our wives are under English protection" (Quoted in De Wet's Three Years' War, 1902.) De Wet himself said "Their sufferings are among what we may call the necessary circumstances of the war."
 
For that matter the burning of the farms was not a 'scorched earth' policy - i.e. intended to deny agrocultural produce to the enemy. Initially selected farms were chosen to be burned as punishment for selected individuals. But even that was countermanded as a policy as early as 1902: thereafter the despoiling of the countryside seems to have been no more than usual when two armies are fighting over it.
 
Anyway as I said I didn't mean to start a thread about the Boer War, but just to give an example that 'concentration camp' does not equal 'extermination camp'. Wikipedia lists 25 countries that have used concentration camps as a technique (and doesn't include concentration camps set up for refugees, like those at one time in Jordan: moreover it misses out the British in Malaya).
 
 
The British in South Africa seem to have got the idea from the Spanish in Cuba in 1898.
 
PS I fully agree with Armenian Survival about the theory and legal definition of genocide, but I don't know enough about the Herero situation to comment on the facts.


Edited by gcle2003 - 02-May-2009 at 21:53
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-May-2009 at 19:25
Originally posted by gcle2003

Paul Botha said "one is only too thankful nowadays that our wives are under English protection" (Quoted in De Wet's Three Years' War, 1902.) De Wet himself said "Their sufferings are among what we may call the necessary circumstances of the war."


this is funny because he wrote his memories in German and i have them and here's what he said about Concentration Camps:

[...]Wie entsetzlich! Hätte sich jemand vor dem Krieg träumen lassen, daß das 20. Jahrhundert Zeuge solcher Greuel sein würde? Ich wußte ebensogut wie jeder andere,. daß in jedem Krieg entsetzliche Grausamkeiten, gegen welche ein Mord fast ein Kinderspiel ist, verübt werden, aber meinen Kopf hätte ich zum Pfand gesetzt, daß es in einem von dem gebildeten englischen Volke geführten Krieg unmöglich sein würde, daß wehrlose Frauen und Kinder auf direkte und indirekte Weise hingemordet würden - und dennoch ist es geschehen! Auf Lager, in denen sich nur Frauen, Kinder und abgelebte Greise befanden, wurde mit Kanonen und Gewehren geschossen,. um sie zum Haltmachen zu zwingen. Hunderte von Beispielen, alle durch Zeugen bestätigt, könnte ich dafür anführen, ich tue es aber nicht, denn meine Aufgabe ist es ja nicht, über diese traurigen Dinge zu schreiben. Ich sage dies alles nur beiläufig, denn in Südafrika und England sind ehrliche Federn genug, um diese Schandtaten an den Pranger zu stellen und weltkundig zu machen. Überdies versagt mir auch die Feder, um die entsetzlichen Szenen, die sich hier abspielten und über die nicht genug gesprochen werden kann, nach Gebühr zu schildern.


that's quite a different song from what you've played and no mention of Botha whatsoever...


 
PS I fully agree with Armenian Survival about the theory and legal definition of genocide, but I don't know enough about the Herero situation to comment on the facts.


what's his theory? if he wants it then its genocide?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-May-2009 at 20:08

Well the whole book is available on Project Gutenberg, and this appears on p. 415 (Botha said to be speaking:)

"When the war began we had plenty of provisions, and a commando could remain for weeks in one spot without the local food supply running out. Our families, too, were then well provided for. But all this is now changed. One is only too thankful nowadays to know that our wives are under English protection."
You - or anyone else - can look it up for yourself at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18794/18794-h/18794-h.htm
 
The other quote is on page 361.
 
What's the title of the German book you are quoting from? Gutenberg doesn't have anything by him in German.
 
De Wet (and Botha) do allege elsewhere the British committed war crimes, but my point is that putting people in concentration camps isn't one.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-May-2009 at 20:50
Originally posted by gcle2003

Well the whole book is available on Project Gutenberg, and this appears on p. 415 (Botha said to be speaking:)

"When the war began we had plenty of provisions, and a commando could remain for weeks in one spot without the local food supply running out. Our families, too, were then well provided for. But all this is now changed. One is only too thankful nowadays to know that our wives are under English protection."
You - or anyone else - can look it up for yourself at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18794/18794-h/18794-h.htm
 
The other quote is on page 361.
 
What's the title of the German book you are quoting from? Gutenberg doesn't have anything by him in German.
 
De Wet (and Botha) do allege elsewhere the British committed war crimes, but my point is that putting people in concentration camps isn't one.


i found my quote again here, chapter 24:

How
incorrect, indeed! Could any one ever have thought before the war that
the twentieth century could show such barbarities? No. Any one knows
that in war, cruelties more horrible than murder can take place, but
that such direct and indirect murder should have been committed against
defenceless women and children is a thing which I should have staked my
head could never have happened in a war waged by the civilized English
nation. And yet it happened. Laagers containing no one but women and
children and decrepit old men, were fired upon with cannon and rifles in
order to compel them to stop. I could append here hundreds of
declarations in proof of what I say. I do not do so, as my object is not
to write on this matter. I only touch upon it in passing. There are
sufficiently many righteous pens in South Africa and England to pillory
these deeds and bring them to the knowledge of the world, to remain on
record for the future. For what nation exists, or has existed, which has
not a historical record whether to its advantage or to its disadvantage?
I cannot do it here as it should be done. And too much cannot be said
about this shameful history.

this is quite clearly about Concentration Camps, particularly if you read the first half of the paragraph that i haven't quoted where he's mocking the name given by the British for Concentration Camps as Refugee Camps.

i found your quote under "appendix C", which doesn't exist with my version. still looking for the first quote as apparently page numbers don't correspond with yours


Edited by Temujin - 03-May-2009 at 20:59
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-May-2009 at 12:26

Originally posted by Temujin

Originally posted by gcle2003


 
De Wet (and Botha) do allege elsewhere the British committed war crimes, but my point is that putting people in concentration camps isn't one.

i found my quote again here, chapter 24:

How incorrect, indeed! Could any one ever have thought before the war that the twentieth century could show such barbarities? No. Any one knows that in war, cruelties more horrible than murder can take place, but that such direct and indirect murder should have been committed against defenceless women and children is a thing which I should have staked my head could never have happened in a war waged by the civilized English nation. And yet it happened. Laagers containing no one but women and children and decrepit old men, were fired upon with cannon and rifles in order to compel them to stop. I could append here hundreds of declarations in proof of what I say. I do not do so, as my object is not to write on this matter. I only touch upon it in passing. There are sufficiently many righteous pens in South Africa and England to pillory these deeds and bring them to the knowledge of the world, to remain on record for the future. For what nation exists, or has existed, which has not a historical record whether to its advantage or to its disadvantage? I cannot do it here as it should be done. And too much cannot be said about this shameful history.

I pointed out myself that both Botha and De Wet elsewhere accused the British of war crimes.
"Laagers containing no one but women and children and decrepit old men, were fired upon with cannon and rifles in order to compel them to stop."?
Stop what? And where is there any evidence or even a suggestion that the British fired on camps that contained nothing but women and children and old men?

this is quite clearly about Concentration Camps, particularly if you read the first half of the paragraph that i haven't quoted where he's mocking the name given by the British for Concentration Camps as Refugee Camps.

Actually, no. This is about firing on and killing women and children and old men whether they were in concentration camps or not.
 
It would be idiotic to say killing women and children and old men was OK just as long as they weren't in concentration camps.

i found your quote under "appendix C", which doesn't exist with my version. still looking for the first quote as apparently page numbers don't correspond with yours


 
I gave the page number in the Gutenberg download (HTML version) so you could look it up there. Tom Pakenham in The Boer War footnotes it as being on pp 491-2 of the English original edition. What page it may have ended up on in a German edition I don't of course know. On the Gutenberg of course you can just search for 'only too thankful' which finds it.



Edited by gcle2003 - 04-May-2009 at 12:33
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-May-2009 at 18:14
Originally posted by gcle2003

De Wet (and Botha) do allege elsewhere the British committed war crimes, but my point is that putting people in concentration camps isn't one.


I pointed out myself that both Botha and De Wet elsewhere accused the British of war crimes.
"Laagers containing no one but women and children and decrepit old men, were fired upon with cannon and rifles in order to compel them to stop."?
Stop what? And where is there any evidence or even a suggestion that the British fired on camps that contained nothing but women and children and old men?

Actually, no. This is about firing on and killing women and children and old men whether they were in concentration camps or not.

It would be idiotic to say killing women and children and old men was OK just as long as they weren't in concentration camps.


no it isn't, have you read the whole paragraph at all? he summarizes the suffering of the womenfolk and their children, that the British burned their farms and destroyed the crop, that they were fired upon to stop them (running away) as you quoted above as well as the concentration camps.


I gave the page number in the Gutenberg download (HTML version) so you could look it up there. Tom Pakenham in The Boer War footnotes it as being on pp 491-2 of the English original edition. What page it may have ended up on in a German edition I don't of course know. On the Gutenberg of course you can just search for 'only too thankful' which finds it.



if you look closely your quotes are listed under Appendices, which didn't existed in his original memoires.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-May-2009 at 18:52
Originally posted by Temujin

if you look closely your quotes are listed under Appendices, which didn't existed in his original memoires.
 
For one thing, what difference does it make where in the book they appear? For another the original was written in Dutch, not German nor English, so before you can say whether they were in the original you'll have to have the Dutch version to compare. In any case the relevant appendix is "Minutes of the Meeting of the Special National Representatives at Vereeniging, South African Republic, Thursday, the 29th of May, 1902, And the Following Days", which if anything makes it more authoritative than De Wet's ex post memoirs.
 
(I note in passing that De Wet said he couldn't be held responsible for translations of his book into other languages.)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-May-2009 at 19:05
Originally posted by gcle2003

 
For one thing, what difference does it make where in the book they appear? For another the original was written in Dutch, not German nor English, so before you can say whether they were in the original you'll have to have the Dutch version to compare. In any case the relevant appendix is "Minutes of the Meeting of the Special National Representatives at Vereeniging, South African Republic, Thursday, the 29th of May, 1902, And the Following Days", which if anything makes it more authoritative than De Wet's ex post memoirs.
 
(I note in passing that De Wet said he couldn't be held responsible for translations of his book into other languages.)


i've read the intro too. he wrote his memoires in Dutch but they were only published in German before any other language. and i stand correct to say the quotes are not IN his book because the appendices are not part of the book otherwise they wouldn't be appendices and missing from other language versions...

and btw, even if we go that way and say soem Boers liked Concentration Camps? none of those you quoted actually WAS in one and there was even a British Comission to improve the situation in the camps so how can you say the Concentration Camps were not uncontested?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-May-2009 at 19:21
i created a new thread and moved the posts about the British Concentration Camps in the Boer War from the German/Herero genocide thread here.


Edited by Temujin - 04-May-2009 at 19:37
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-May-2009 at 20:50
Makes sense.
 
The only bit of this that was relevant to the Herero thread is that concentration camps aren't necessarily evil, or associated with genocide, or even bad.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-May-2009 at 22:44
Originally posted by gcle2003

My point is that just because the term 'concentration camps' got used for the Holocaust death camps doesn't mean that concentration camps necessarily are/were death camps (or even necessarily bad or ill-intentioned).
 
They're just places where people are kept together, for whatever reason. 

There's a great irony here.

Before WW2, the term 'concentration camp' - having been first applied to camps in South Africa during the Boer War - came to be applied to all manner of camps where people were concentrated. During the Depression, for instance, labour camps were often referred to as concentration camps.

And that's where we get the name for the German camps. In an effort to downplay the detention of Jews and others in slave labour camps (the existance of the death camps was unknown to the general public in the West until nearly the end of the war), the Nazis termed them 'concentration camps'. It was a familiar, normalized term. Concentrate the hobos in camps and give them work so they're not riding the rails, drinking in the streets, stealing, begging from farmers, and so on. Since a large portion of Western populations were, at the time, anti-semitic, it wasn't such a far stretch for them to accept the idea of Germany concentrating a population they believed to be similarly troublesome.

The Germans also played on the idea of reforming people in these camps through labour to strengthen the link between Depression work camps, and Nazi slave and death camps (keeping in mind that the man in the street, outside of Germany, didn't know of the death camps until the war was pretty much over). They used that term - concentration camps - to create the impression that the Viennese gentleman and great statesman, Hitler, was just correcting these wayward miscreants -  the anti-socials, the bums, the Jews, the Gypsies, etc - by encouraging them with a little elbow grease. Sort of a "tough love" idea - one that the public in the West was quite used to.

We're all familiar with "Arbeit Macht Frei" at the Auschwitz gate; the same ideas were employed to fool the Jews as well.

In essence, 'concentration camp' came to mean what it does because Hitler was using it to downplay the severity of the Nazi program. It was an Orwellian trick of language meant to obfuscate, like 'collateral damage'.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-May-2009 at 01:13
Originally posted by edgewaters

Originally posted by gcle2003

My point is that just because the term 'concentration camps' got used for the Holocaust death camps doesn't mean that concentration camps necessarily are/were death camps (or even necessarily bad or ill-intentioned).
 
They're just places where people are kept together, for whatever reason. 

There's a great irony here.

Before WW2, the term 'concentration camp' - having been first applied to camps in South Africa during the Boer War - came to be applied to all manner of camps where people were concentrated. During the Depression, for instance, labour camps were often referred to as concentration camps.

And that's where we get the name for the German camps. In an effort to downplay the detention of Jews and others in slave labour camps (the existance of the death camps was unknown to the general public in the West until nearly the end of the war), the Nazis termed them 'concentration camps'. It was a familiar, normalized term. Concentrate the hobos in camps and give them work so they're not riding the rails, drinking in the streets, stealing, begging from farmers, and so on. Since a large portion of Western populations were, at the time, anti-semitic, it wasn't such a far stretch for them to accept the idea of Germany concentrating a population they believed to be similarly troublesome.

The Germans also played on the idea of reforming people in these camps through labour to strengthen the link between Depression work camps, and Nazi slave and death camps (keeping in mind that the man in the street, outside of Germany, didn't know of the death camps until the war was pretty much over). They used that term - concentration camps - to create the impression that the Viennese gentleman and great statesman, Hitler, was just correcting these wayward miscreants -  the anti-socials, the bums, the Jews, the Gypsies, etc - by encouraging them with a little elbow grease. Sort of a "tough love" idea - one that the public in the West was quite used to.

We're all familiar with "Arbeit Macht Frei" at the Auschwitz gate; the same ideas were employed to fool the Jews as well.

In essence, 'concentration camp' came to mean what it does because Hitler was using it to downplay the severity of the Nazi program. It was an Orwellian trick of language meant to obfuscate, like 'collateral damage'.


To add to the point. In more recent terms. In the Bosnian/Yugoslavian wars - the Srebrenica incident happenned due to a similar philosophy. Instead of "concentration" camp it was called a "free zone" and generally a free zone entails unarmed and unprotected groups of poeple that were rather easily picked out and massacred, with the numbers running up to 8,000 - within a period of 72 hours or so. Again under the premise of being "protected" and quarantined off for their own safety.



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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-May-2009 at 10:57
Agreed with most of that with a minor quibble: I think the phrase 'concentration camp' was used to descriibe the camps set up in Cuba by the Spanish in the 1890s. That's where the British got the idea from. The Spanish word was 'reconcentrados', but I'm pretty sure it was translated into English in contemporary newspaper accounts.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2009 at 21:28
from what i read the Condition of Concentration Camps differed greatly. some were well maintained and others were in appaling condition. in regards to the German/Herero thread it's important to point out that you can't judge the same crime under two different conditions. we don't have a Boer genocide and there's no evidence that the appaling conditions in the worser led camps were deliberate but inability on the side of the organizers. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2009 at 23:26
Originally posted by edgewaters

Originally posted by gcle2003

My point is that just because the term 'concentration camps' got used for the Holocaust death camps doesn't mean that concentration camps necessarily are/were death camps (or even necessarily bad or ill-intentioned).
 
They're just places where people are kept together, for whatever reason. 

There's a great irony here.

Before WW2, the term 'concentration camp' - having been first applied to camps in South Africa during the Boer War - came to be applied to all manner of camps where people were concentrated. During the Depression, for instance, labour camps were often referred to as concentration camps.

And that's where we get the name for the German camps. In an effort to downplay the detention of Jews and others in slave labour camps (the existance of the death camps was unknown to the general public in the West until nearly the end of the war), the Nazis termed them 'concentration camps'. It was a familiar, normalized term. Concentrate the hobos in camps and give them work so they're not riding the rails, drinking in the streets, stealing, begging from farmers, and so on. Since a large portion of Western populations were, at the time, anti-semitic, it wasn't such a far stretch for them to accept the idea of Germany concentrating a population they believed to be similarly troublesome.

The Germans also played on the idea of reforming people in these camps through labour to strengthen the link between Depression work camps, and Nazi slave and death camps (keeping in mind that the man in the street, outside of Germany, didn't know of the death camps until the war was pretty much over). They used that term - concentration camps - to create the impression that the Viennese gentleman and great statesman, Hitler, was just correcting these wayward miscreants -  the anti-socials, the bums, the Jews, the Gypsies, etc - by encouraging them with a little elbow grease. Sort of a "tough love" idea - one that the public in the West was quite used to.

We're all familiar with "Arbeit Macht Frei" at the Auschwitz gate; the same ideas were employed to fool the Jews as well.

In essence, 'concentration camp' came to mean what it does because Hitler was using it to downplay the severity of the Nazi program. It was an Orwellian trick of language meant to obfuscate, like 'collateral damage'.

And it was not until much after 1945 that the words "concentration camp" aquired the meaning they have today, the British in Malaya and Kenya, the Americans in Vietnam, the Israelis and others had concentration (not death) camps, and I think the British actually continued to call theres just that.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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