Chapter

Forced Labor and Deportations

Marion A. Kaplan

in Between Dignity and Despair

Published in print November 1999 | ISBN: 9780195130928
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854486 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130928.003.0008

Series: Studies in Jewish History

Forced Labor and Deportations

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The chapter opens with a description of life in Jewish labor camps and the experiences of Jews who were forced to work for at least ten hours daily, regardless of age or gender. These people worked under constant fear of deportation to the infamous concentration camps which were initiated in the fourth quarter of December 1941. The author cites friendship among fellow Jewish laborers and stories of people possessed of strong wills as mitigating factors for the growing despair among the Jewish population in Germany. However, many still opted for the route of suicide as a final means of defiance. The final section describes the deportations implemented by the Nazis and the propaganda they waged to disguise the activities at concentration camps like Auschwitz and Theresienstadt. These deceptions, documented in personal correspondences and memoirs, failed to prevent the truth from leaking out, even to the German populace.

Keywords: labor camps; concentration camps; Jews; Nazis; Auschwitz; Theresienstadt

Chapter.  12285 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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