US History 1
June 24, 2013
The concentration camps, by making death itself anonymous (making it impossible to find out whether a prisoner is dead or alive), robbed death of its meaning as the end of a fulfilled life. In a sense they took away the individual’s own death, proving that henceforth nothing belonged to him and he belonged to no one. His death merely set a seal on the fact that he had never existed.
There were many prison camps during the World War 2. During World War II, those not killed by the enemy would be taken in as Prisoners of war. These prisoners would be sent to camp where they would be forced to do different kinds of work. Depending on what country you got captured by, what would happen to you would differ. Out of the 140,000 Prisoners of war in Japanese camps, about one third of them died from starvation, punishment for disobedience, and disease. The POWs were treated very poorly because the Japanese did not follow the rules set in place by the Geneva Convention. The POWs were forced to work in mines, fields, shipyards and factories for twelve hours a day. If any disobedience was sensed in a prisoner, they would be beaten. The little food they were given included soy beans, seaweed, rice, and once a month, fish. Escape from Japanese camps was very rare. When somebody was caught trying to escape they would be killed in front of other prisoners. In some camps ten prisoners would be killed for every one prisoner that was caught escaping.
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