2 The Nazi Camps and the Persecution and Murder of the Jews

The camps, more than any other phenomenon created by the Nazi regime, became the utmost symbol of the inexplicable cruelty and the highhanded waste of human lives that characterized this regime during the Second World War and the Holocaust. Since their inception, in the early 1930s, the mere knowledge that camps existed sent a shiver down people's spine – they were a closed secret world shut away from the normal one, and each of them was a closed world of its own, living by its own rules. Life in the camps, if one may call that type of existence "life" at all, had no connection or resemblance whatsoever to the world the prisoners knew before they were caged there.