Expansion of the Concentration Camps

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In the course of preparing for war, the camp system was extended and restructured. With the exception of Dachau, the existing camps were closed down. New and larger camps were built instead: Sachsenhausen (1936), Buchenwald (1937), Flossenbürg and Mauthausen (1938) and Ravensbrück (1939). Their sites were chosen based on strategic and economic considerations; inmates were to be utilized as forced labor as profitably as possible. Approximately one third of the concentration camp inmates were exploited in camp workshops and SS-owned brick works and quarries. The concentration camp system served political and racial repression and economic exploitation. 24,000 female and male guards ensured this.

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