Comments to Concentration Camp Charts

The first chart provides a solid support to a statement that Nazis used concentration camps as the tool to “reprogram” political opponents into a loyal supporters of the Nazi regime.

In 1933, political police arrested thousands of political opponents of the Nazis (left-wing, right-wing and centrists) and sent them to concentration camps to be “re-educated” (i.e. transformed into a loyal supporters of the Nazi state).

After spending about three months on average, over 90% of inmates were released as they were no longer considered a threat to the regime. Unfortunately, some of the inmates died (during or after incarceration), committed suicide, were executed or outright murdered by the SS guards. Which, obviously, made the Nazis concentration camp system a very much criminal enterprise.

A 62% increase in the number of concentration camp inmates in 1937 happened most likely to increased persecution of Jews and Catholics (after the famous Mit brennender Sorge – the only papal encyclical published in German – was issued by Pope Pius XI on March 10th, 1937).

A 6.5 times increase means that Nazis did in Austria (after Anschluss), Sudetenland and occupied Czechoslovakia exactly the same thing that they did in Germany five years earlier – rounded up thousands of political opponents (and potential Resistance activists) and sent them to concentration camps. After the majority of them were “re-educated” (or simply neutralized as a threat), the number of inmates predictably dropped 2.5 times. But still remained high due to mass incarceration of the Jews after Kristallnacht and Czech nationals.

The KL/GULAG comparison charts prove beyond the reasonable doubt that before World War II Stalin’s Bolshevist regime in the Soviet Union was far more repressive and murderous that the Nazi one (even when adjusted for the difference in population between Germany and Russia).

Actually, it would be safe to say that prior to the outbreak of the Second World War there was only one mass murderer in Europe – Joseph Stalin. Which makes the decision of His Majesty’s Government to partner with Stalin against Hitler (instead of the other way around) totally and completely bizarre.

Number of Inmates in SS Concentration Camps and GULAG 1933-39 Adjusted For Relative Population Size

Adjusted Number of Inmates in SS Concentration Camps and GULAG 1933-39

* on September 1st, 1939 (i.e. before the outbreak of World War II)

Sources SS Camps: Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany: The New Histories edited by Jane Caplan & Nikolaus Wachsmann; Nikolaus Wachsmann: KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps; Richard J. Evans: Third Reich in Power.

Sources GULAG: Земсков В. Н. ГУЛАГ (историко-социологический аспект) // Социологические исследования. — 1991. — № 6—7.

Number of Inmates in SS Concentration Camps and GULAG 1933-39

Number of Inmates in SS Concentration Camps and GULAG 1933-39

* on September 1st, 1939 (i.e. before the outbreak of World War II)

Sources SS Camps: Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany: The New Histories edited by Jane Caplan & Nikolaus Wachsmann; Nikolaus Wachsmann: KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps; Richard J. Evans: Third Reich in Power.

Sources GULAG: Земсков В. Н. ГУЛАГ (историко-социологический аспект) // Социологические исследования. — 1991. — № 6—7.