The following is from:
The workdays in the camps were formalized in 1938. On weekdays, the inmates worked from 0730 to 1200 and from 1230 to 1700, for a total of nine hours a day. On Saturdays work was from 0730-1200, for a total of four and one-half hours. Not only were Saturday afternoons free, but Christian inmates had all of Sunday to attend their own services within the camp and to contemplate the reasons for their imprisonment
I was wondering if this applied to all camps until the end of the war.
Over the years, tens of thousands of inmates were released from the camps once they had shown that they had chosen to reform themselves. On many occasions the commandants of the camps had determined that inmates had abandoned their old ways and had chosen to become loyal members of German society. As late as October 1944, inmates were being released, and many of these were communists who had abandoned their previous beliefs.
However, instead of being vindictive or out to do harm to the communists, the concentration camp at Dachau was designed to reform them and make them into citizens that the Germans could be proud of - citizens who could return to German society at large and live out their lives as peaceful and proper German men and women. Instead of being an institution aimed at punishment, the German system of concentration camps was designed to reform and to reeducate enemies of the new German state.
I found the following to be strange:
In a book written on the camp established at Oranienburg, Werner Schafer claimed that some citizens in the local communities asked permission to send some of their rebelling children to the camps to learn self-discipline. Schafer also said that there were some prisoners who were offered release who refused since they could not remember doing work since the beginning of the Great Depression.14 Schafer listed the types of food eaten by the prisoners and computed how much weight they had gained during their internment in the camp.
The heirs of any prisoner who died while being held at one of the camps were eligible to collect their life insurance. Since the life insurance policies would expire if the premiums were not paid, and the inmates were incarcerated and without any substantial income, the SS came up with a solution that Establishment historians will not give them credit for. The SS set up its own fund to pay the insurance premiums of prisoners until the day they died.23 In this way, the loved ones of incarcerated inmates would not be overly burdened if their relative died while in custody.
This I have never heard of. Has anyone at the forum?
The SS tried over 700 staff members throughout the course of the Third Reich for their conduct toward inmates. This was because the SS and the National Socialist state always considered concentration camps to be re-education camps first and foremost.
...the concentration camps would be seen to be a punitive punishment and not the center of re-education that they really were.
I think that this article will stir up more than a little contraversy. For one, it is from the Barnes Review, but mainly it presents the concentration camps in a light that I have never seen before, i.e., purely humane places.