When Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933, the world changed forever.
Not only was Hitler determined to pay back Germany’s enemies for his country’s defeat during the Great War, but he was also determined to rid Germany and the rest of Europe of persons whom his twisted Aryan ideology believed were “inferior” or “subhuman.”
Almost immediately upon assuming power, Hitler and his minions began instituting a policy of imprisoning personal and political opponents in special holding centers known as Konzentrazionlagern—concentration camps, or “KL” for short.
At first, abandoned factories, warehouses, and even castles were used to incarcerate the Nazis’ enemies—Communists, Social Democrats, dissidents, and anyone who dared to speak out against the government and its policies. Soon others were added to the list of prisoners—outspoken priests and pastors, men guilty of shirking work, even vagrants. The camps initially were to be “re-education centers,” where those