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What Countries Had Concentration Camps? / Countries with Concentration Camps


The concentration camps on the western border of the German Nazi Empire were housed in France. Many of the concentration camps in this area were designated detention camps, although more than 3,000 people lost their lives while interned. The main concentration camps in France were Gurs, Rivesaltes, Saint-Cyprien, Le Vernet, and Les Milles. These camps were run by French authorities and primarily housed Jews in terrible conditions.


On the northwestern extreme of the Nazi-held territory, the Netherlands was also home to a concentration camp. The Amersfoort concentration camp was located near Amersfoort, Netherlands. The SS officers operated this Nazi-controlled concentration camp between 1941 and 1945. The concentration camp held about 37,000 prisoners, of which more than 600 perished in the deplorable conditions.


In total, there were 22 different concentrations camps or labor camps in Estonia during World War II. The largest concentration camp was Vaivara. Nearly 20,000 primarily Jewish captives were processed through this camp. Most prisoners came from Vilna and Kovno Ghettos, but several Jewish prisoners were transferred from Hungary, Poland, Latvia, or the Theresienstadt concentration camp. The majority of the people professed at this concentration camp were Estonian Jews.


Several ghettos in Lithuania housed Jews in either ghettos or labor camps. The largest organized ghetto was the Vilnius ghetto which housed about 20,000 people. The next largest ghetto was the Kaunas ghetto with 17,500 people, and lastly, the Shavli ghetto with 5,000 people. How many people perished in these ghettos and labor camps positioned in Lithuania is unknown.


Poland was home to World War II's largest, most extensive, and most grotesque concentration camps. Germany occupied Poland throughout the duration of the war, and the Nazi administration ran the camps. The major concentration camps in Poland were Auschwitz, Chelmno, Belzec, Majdanek, Sobibor, and Treblinka. Auschwitz was the most elaborate and largest camp and was labeled as a death camp where people were sent to be exterminated. The camp could house 100,000 people at any given time. Throughout the course of the war, 1.3 million people were sent to the Auschwitz camp, and nearly 1.1 million people perished at the camp.


The atrocities committed by the Nazi regime in Germany started in Germany. At first, camps were established to act as detention centers for people who were viewed as enemies of the state. Eventually, enemies of the state came to mean political rivals and Jehovah's Witnesses, Roma, homosexuals, and communists. The first camps were established in Germany-controlled Austria in 1938. Countless Jewish people were arrested and held in Dachau, Buchenwald, or Sachsenhausen camps. Concentration camps usually involved forced labor, but other camps were purely extermination centers. Nearly 1 million people died in concentration camps throughout the war, not including the number of people sent to their death at extermination camps. It is believed that over 6 million Jews were murdered during the war.

  • Yugoslavia included modern day Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia, North Macedonia, and Serbia.
  • Czechoslovakia included modern-day Czech Republic and Slovakia.
  • The real name of 'Citadelle' is unknown; it was located near Lvov.
  • Most main camps were composed of several smaller camps, which could number in the hundreds. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, the Nazis are estimated to have established up to 15,000 labor, death, and concentration camps in total.

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# of Main Camps
Main Camps
Bosnia and HerzegovinaSee Yugoslavia
CroatiaSee Yugoslavia
Czech RepublicSee Czechoslovakia
Finland2Kangasjarvi, Koveri
France14Argeles, Aurigny, Brens, Drancy, Gurs, Les Milles, Le Vernet, Natzweiler-Struthof, Noe, Recebedou, Rieucros, Rivesaltes, Suresnes, Thill
Germany13Bergen-Belsen, Borgermoor, Buchenwald, Dachau, Dieburg, Esterwegen, Flossenburg, Gundelsheim, Neuengamme, Papenburg, Ravensbruck, Sachsenhausen, Sachsenburg
Italy3Bolzano, Fossoli, Risiera di San Sabba
Latvia7Riga, Riga-Kaiserwald, Dundaga, Eleje-Meitenes, Jungfernhof, Lenta, Spilwe
Lithuania5Aleksotaskowno, Kaunas, Palemonas, Pravieniskès, Volary
MontenegroSee Yugoslavia
North MacedoniaSee Yugoslavia
Norway6Baerum, Berg, Bredtvet, Falstadt, Tromsdalen, Ulven
Poland28Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Bierznow, Biesiadka, Dzierzazna & Litzmannstadt, Gross-Rosen, Huta-Komarowska, Janowska, Krakow, Kulmhof-Chelmno, Lublin, Lwow, Majdanek, Mielec, Pawiak, Plaszow, Poniatowa, Pustkow, Radogosz, Radom, Schmolz, Schokken, Sobibor, Stutthof, Treblinka, Wieliczka, Zabiwoko, Zakopane
Russia21Akmétchetka, Balanowka, Bar, Bisjumujsje, Bogdanovka, "Citadelle", Czwartaki, Daugavpils, Domanievka, Edineti, Kielbasin, Khorol, Klooga, Lemberg, Mezjapark, Ponary, Rawa-Russkaja, Salapils, Strazdumujsje, Yanowski, Vertugen
SerbiaSee Yugoslavia
SloveniaSee Czechoslovakia

How many countries had concentration camps?

Concentration camps could be found in 6 different countries, including France, the Netherlands, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, and Germany, during WWII.

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