Although most people are aware of the 6 Nazi Death Camps – Auschwitz, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor, and Treblinka – meant specifically for mass, factory-like killing, not as many people are aware of the extent of the Nazi ghetto and camp system which funnelled victims into the death camps.
Even scholars are taken aback by the newest numbers. Researchers at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, in Washington, D.C., have over the past decade been cataloging and counting both ghettos and camps. The numbers, presented in late January at an academic conference, are staggering: 42,500. The locations existed where the Nazis did, from Germany itself, to occupied Poland, France, and Russia. The map above shows the Nazi camps.
The map below shows Nazi ghettos – areas in cities and towns in which the Jews (and other cultures or groups the Nazis included) were forced to live, with scant access to the necessities of life. (Imagine being locked into an area the size of a city block, with no access to food, with thousands of other people and you start to get the idea). The most famous is the Warsaw ghetto in Poland. The map can’t help but leave one aghast at the sheer number; the amount of planning that was involved in the Holocaust is what strikes me. I’m constantly upset whenever people think it was only Hitler that caused the Holocaust; but a system this large and with this much organization shows just how many people knew and were involved.
My source for the research and maps was the New York Times article, ‘The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking’ by Eric Lichtblau, published online March 1st, 2013.