The Horror Continues: 8 More Ways the Nazis Ruined the Lives of Inmates in Concentration Camps
The Horror Continues: 8 More Ways the Nazis Ruined the Lives of Inmates in Concentration Camps

The Horror Continues: 8 More Ways the Nazis Ruined the Lives of Inmates in Concentration Camps

Maria - June 15, 2016

Just when you thought you had learned the worst of the atrocities committed in the Nazi concentration camps during WWII, more evidence comes to light that shatters your faith in humanity.

Listed here are eight various evils forced upon thousands of people unnecessarily, guaranteed to make your heart ache.

8. The Cleaning Crew for the Dead

The Horror Continues: 8 More Ways the Nazis Ruined the Lives of Inmates in Concentration Camps

The “Sonderkommanden” were a league of people in charge of disposing of dead bodies. While this occupation was horrifying all on its own, their duties also included pulling gold teeth from the mouths of those who’d died, and sweeping up the remaining ashes of the corpses that had been burned. And many of the Sonderkommandos weren’t the Nazis themselves – they were other prisoners, forced to wipe away the existence of their fellow prisoners without any choice in the matter.

And since they were relegated to a job that was considered to be top secret, many of them would only spend a few months on duty before they themselves were killed and replaced. The next prisoner lined up to take their place would, in fact, start their job disposing of the body of the Sonderkommando before him.

7. Train Ride to Certain Death

The Horror Continues: 8 More Ways the Nazis Ruined the Lives of Inmates in Concentration Camps

The Nazis would move thousands of Jews to concentration camps through designated train systems. Despite the fact that each train was supposed to “comfortably” transport 50 passengers, each train car would end up carrying up to 200 at a time, eliminating any possibility for easy movement or comfort.

Not only that, passengers weren’t given food, water, or any protective respite from the elements during their travels, so sadly it was quite common for people to simply die from the trip alone. In one instance, when a train carrying hundreds had arrived at a camp from Corfu, the Nazis swung open the doors only to find all of the passengers had already succumbed to these conditions. After all, the journey had taken 18 days, too long for any human to sustain themselves without water alone.

Furthermore, as if the treatment of these Jewish passengers wasn’t tragic enough, each person was actually required to buy a ticket to ride, for a standard fare price. Yes, these prisoners were charged a fee to be transported to their own demise. And – just to add insult to injury – children under the age of four were apparently allowed to ride for free.

6. Musical March to Hell

The Horror Continues: 8 More Ways the Nazis Ruined the Lives of Inmates in Concentration Camps

The sadistic nature of the Nazi’s reign knows no bounds, but they even managed to turn something beautiful – music – into its own version of torture. When inmates would arrive at the concentration camps, an orchestra made up of fellow prisoners would be forced to play happy, upbeat music, leading the newcomers through the doors. Following this was the singing and marching, which the inmates were forced to endure as they walked onward towards their certain death.

The music never actually stopped, continuing on even while the Jewish innocents were being gassed. The screaming could never fully be drowned out by the music, though, as survivors have recounted since the war. Many recall never being able to forget those moments of sheer human desolation.

5. Soap That Would Make Anyone Feel Permanently Unclean

The Horror Continues: 8 More Ways the Nazis Ruined the Lives of Inmates in Concentration Camps

Nazi officers made it a rule to consistently tell the inmates that their soap was made from the fat of previous Holocaust prisoners. There is still no conclusive evidence supporting these claims; but, myth or not, the horror of making the existing prisoners believe this to be true was a torture in and of itself. Allegations of such behavior just goes to show the horrific lengths the Nazis would go to in order to incite fear and misery in their camps.

4. Descending Into Darkness

The Horror Continues: 8 More Ways the Nazis Ruined the Lives of Inmates in Concentration Camps

Not everyone taken to concentration camps were immediately sent to the gas chambers. Some were herded into separate rooms and forced to simply stand up without food or water for days until they perished. Both used as a method of torture, as well as a cruel way to send a message, Auschwitz’s “Block 13” was known for being an area of certain death. If an inmate would survive too long for the Nazis’ liking under these conditions, they would be executed in various other ways to keep the cell open for the next prisoner.

Worse were the “dark cells,” containment rooms that allowed no light to pass through at all. Even more sadistically, they were so tightly sealed that no oxygen would pass through either, leaving the inmate to survive on the little oxygen in the room until it ran out and they suffocated.

3. Adequate Food Was a Rarity

The Horror Continues: 8 More Ways the Nazis Ruined the Lives of Inmates in Concentration Camps

Rationing of food among prisoners was common, and the little amount they were given was hardly enough to be fulfilling. Many would receive only small portions of bread made from sawdust, sausage containing meat from sickly horses, and tea made from collected weeds. This level of malnutrition led to many prisoners stealing food from the deceased while others in more extreme cases of hunger would simply resort to any rotting meals they could find in the garbage.

2. Severe Dehydration Followed the Lack of Food

 

Fresh water was something akin to a luxury for the Jewish inmates, if they were ever able to find any. The Nazis, known for performing experiments on the inmates of various camps, decided to study select prisoners for testing the damage of giving them nothing to drink besides seawater.

In one example, Dr. Hans Eppinger, a Nazi physician, forced up to 90 Gypsy prisoners to follow through with this experiment, simply to see what would happen. Of course, severe dehydration was the result, leading many poor inmates to reportedly lick the floors after they’d been mopped, hoping to catch just a few drops of “fresh” water to survive on.

1. The Most Horrifying of Tortures? The Experimentation.

 

Since a lot of the documentation of Nazi experiments has gone undiscovered due to them being destroyed near the end of the Nazi reign, the vast scope of their treachery may never be fully known.

But what we already do know is bad enough. Human experimentation was actually encouraged during this period of time. In some instances, inmates would be submerged in ice water simply so they would undergo hypothermia and the physicians could record the results. Others were injected with chemicals and poisons to determine their effect for future use. Even more were sterilized, countless others vivisected, and the majority were operated on without anesthesia.

As terrible as these experiments sound, the cruelty mentioned here is only a fraction of the various torments exacted upon these innocent lives.

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