Concentration camps and slave work

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Concentration camps and slave work

Post by DIESEL on Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:02 am

The Nazis were responsible for the Holocaust, the killing of approximately six million Jews (overwhelmingly Ashkenazim), as well as two million ethnic Poles and four million others who were deemed "unworthy of life" (including the disabled and mentally ill, Soviet POWs, homosexuals, Freemasons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Roma) as part of a program of deliberate extermination. About 12 million, most of whom were Eastern Europeans, were employed in the German war economy as forced labor in Germany during World War II.[216]
Victims of the Holocaust.

In addition to Nazi concentration camps, the Soviet gulags, or labor camps, led to the death of citizens of occupied countries such as Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, as well as German prisoners of war (POWs) and even Soviet citizens who had been or were thought to be supporters of the Nazis.[217] Sixty percent of Soviet POWs of the Germans died during the war.[218] Richard Overy gives the number of 5.7 million Soviet POWs. Of those, 57% died or were killed, a total of 3.6 million.[219] Some of the survivors on their return to the USSR were treated as traitors. (See Order No. 270)[220]
Body disposal at Unit 731, the Japanese biological warfare research unit

Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, many of which were used as labour camps, also had high death rates. The International Military Tribunal for the Far East found the death rate of Western prisoners was 27.1 percent (for American POWs, 37 percent),[221] seven times that of POWs under the Germans and Italians[222] The death rate among Chinese POWs was much larger; a directive ratified on August 5, 1937 by Hirohito declared that the Chinese were no longer protected under international law.[223] While 37,583 prisoners from the UK, 28,500 from the, Netherlands and 14,473 from United States were released after the surrender of Japan, the number for the Chinese was only 56.[224]

According to a joint study of historians featuring Zhifen Ju, Mark Peattie, Toru Kubo, and Mitsuyoshi Himeta, more than 10 million Chinese were mobilized by the Japanese army and enslaved by the East Asia Development Board for slave labor in Manchukuo and north China.[225] The U.S. Library of Congress estimates that in Java, between 4 and 10 million romusha (Japanese: "manual laborers"), were forced to work by the Japanese military. About 270,000 of these Javanese laborers were sent to other Japanese-held areas in South East Asia, and only 52,000 were repatriated to Java.[226]
Mistreated and starved prisoners in the Mauthausen camp, Austria, 1945.

On February 19, 1942 Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, interning thousands of Japanese, Italians, German Americans, and some emigrants from Hawaii who fled after the bombing of Pearl Harbor for the duration of the war. 150,000 Japanese-Americans were interned by the U.S. and Canadian governments, as well as nearly 11,000 German and Italian residents of the U.S.

Allied use of involuntary labor occurred mainly in the east, such as in Poland,[227] but more than a million was also put to work in the west. For example, in the 1940s, Lac Saint-Jean, along with various other regions within Canada, such as the Saguenay, Saint Helen's Island and Hull, Quebec, had prisoner-of-war camps.[228] By 1942 the Lac St. Jean region had 2 camps with at least 50 POWs.[228] These prisoners were forced into hard labour which included lumbering and assisting in the production of pulp and paper.[228] Canada's war prisons, such as St. Helen's prison, camp forty seven (Camp 47), were numbered and remained unnamed.[228][229] The POWs where classified into categories including their nationality and civilian or military status. Camp 47's POWs were mostly of Italian and German nationality. These prisoners were forced into farming and lumbering the land. By 1944 Camp 47 would be closed and shortly afterwards destroyed because of an internal report on the treatment of prisoners.[228] By December 1945 it was estimated by French authorities that 2,000 German prisoners were being killed or maimed each month in mine-clearing accidents.[230]
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