In World War II the Nazis, led by Hitler, did everything within their power to persecute anyone that was different or had different views from them. This is what brought forth the Holocaust and the concentration camps that were used to hold these people. During the Holocaust, a massive amount of people were arrested and placed in concentration camps due to their race, nationality, religion, or sexuality. Life in the concentration camps consisted of constant hardships due to poor treatment, sanitary conditions, medical experiments, and death due to extermination.
The people kept in concentration camps during the Holocaust were subject to harsh treatment and abuse. They were underfed and overworked. Prisoners were expected to live on less than 1,600 calories (Lewy 155). With this small amount of food to nourish them, the prisoners were expected to work all day and the labor was hard. Anyone who collapsed was killed immediately (Aroneanu 51). In addition, the prisoners were subject to harsh discipline. Discipline consisted of both humiliating and painful measures. This included things such as being forced to stand naked in freezing weather, being caned or whipped, and being starved. The beatings were perhaps the worst. Sometimes they lasted for hours at a time and often the victim was so swollen and bruised no one could recognize him. In many other cases, the victim was beaten to death (Aroneanu 42-44).
The sanitary conditions in the camps were such that people sustained numerous illnesses and died of infections. Common illness included typhus, pneumonia, scarlet fever, and tuberculosis. People infected with these diseases were often laid next to the uninfected to spread the disease. Nothing in the camps was disinfected or cleaned. Wounds either were not bandaged or were bandaged with dirty rags (Aroneanu 68-69). Although medical examinations were performed, they did nothing to prevent the spread of disease.