Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Concentration Camp System (US Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Concentration Camp System (US Holocaust Memorial Museum) – http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007387

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What was life like in a concentration camp?
  • What did the Allies find when they liberated a concentration camp?
  • How were the concentration camps organized and administered?


This site serves as a pocket reference to one of the most heinous systems ever devised. The main page provides an overview of the system and the development (degeneration?) of the German law enforcement and judicial systems. Subsequent pages detail locations and procedures of concentration camps.

Of special interest to writers might be 538 pieces of survivor testimony from before, during and after their confinement in death camps. These can be found at http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/media_list.php?MediaType=oh. Also of interest is a collection of nearly 2,500 photographs that include the following:

  • Lithuanian librarian Ona Simaite – Helped save Jews and their cultural treasures.
  • An author and actor who was imprisoned in 1937 for 27 months for homosexuality
  • Roll call for newly arrived prisoners, mostly Jews arrested during Kristallnacht (the “Night of Broken Glass”), at the Buchenwald concentration camp
  • Two survivors at one of the human-ash pits in the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp, located near Nordhausen.
  • Soviet officials view stacked corpses of victims at the Klooga camp

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