Wikipedia Japanese Canadian Internment Essay



After Pearl Harbor, American military forces sent Japanese into internment camps all across the US because they were afraid of Japanese Americans spying for Japan. The living conditions of Japanese American internment camps were very hard for the Japanese because of housing, food, and the daily experiences Japanese went through. Japanese citizens were give approximately 48 hours to evacuate their homes, and they were only allowed to take few possessions. About 120,000 Japanese were relocated to internment camps after Pearl Harbor. At the camps, sometimes entire families lived in small, one room cells or barracks. Also, meals were distributed three times a day in mess halls where portions were small and dull. Several people died in these camps due to stress and lack of medical care.




Housing conditions for Japanese Americans in internment camps were very different from the average home.  Japanese were housed in barracks; sometimes entire families live in one room cells (McGill). Internment camps were sometimes located in remote areas where weather conditions weren’t always favorable, such as Manzanar and Tulelake in California ("Relocation Camps"). Japanese also had to use communal areas for washing, laundry, and eating ("World War II-Japanese"). Mine Okubo describes the conditions of the camps, “The camps represented a prison: no freedom, no privacy, no ‘America’” (Okubo 2). Internment camps were also guarded by US military personnel (World War II-Japanese), and a barb wire perimeter (McGill).


Hospital at the Minidoka Internment Camp.         Japanese Americans on a bus on the way to an internment camp


Food in Japanese internment camps also added to the hardships of the Japanese. In internment camps, Japanese were fed three times a day (Kent). Meals were served in long mess halls, where bells would signal mealtimes (Kent). Food portions were small, food starchy, and dull (Kent). Most meals consisted of potatoes and bread ("Reloa). A doctor at Tanforan describes the eating habits of people in these camps, “There is no milk for anyone over 5 years of age… No meat at all until the 12th day when very small portions were served… Anyone doing heavy or outdoor work states they are not getting nearly enough to eat and they are hungry all the time, this includes the doctors” (Kent 52).

Japanese eating dinner at the Minidoka mess hall.



The work and daily activities of Japanese Americans in internment camps was attempted to copy the Japanese normal ways of life. The camps had school, medical care, camp newspapers, and sometimes musical entertainment (Kent). Also, internees were payed by the government to do work in the camps, $13, $16, or $19 per month depending on the amount of work done (Kent). Unfortunately, some internees died from inadequate medical care or the high level of emotional stress (World Ware II- Japanese).Even though camps tried to portray Japanese's average lifestyle, Japanese were only allowed to bring few possessions from home (World Ware II- Japanese).The daily activities in the internment camps were far from what the Japanese would have experienced in their own homes.




Japanese Working in a field at Minidoka.               Japanese Americans attending school at Minidoka



During the entire war, only ten people were convicted of spying for Japan, and they all were Caucasian.





Clearing a field at Minidoka, ca. 1943. 7 May 2010. flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2010. <‌photos/‌imlsdcc/‌4586969098/>.

Dinner in a Minidoka mess hall, ca. 1943. 7 May 2010. Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2010. <‌photos/‌imlsdcc/‌4586965284/>.

High school students in classroom at Minidoka, ca. 1943. 7 May 2010. Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2010. <‌photos/‌imlsdcc/‌4586975750/>.

Hospital at Minidoka, June 1943. 7 May 2010. flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2010. <‌photos/‌imlsdcc/‌4586990824/>.

Japanese American Internment Camps. United Streaming, 2003. United Streaming. Web. 5 May 2010. <‌index.cfm?guidAssetId=9CA33ABC-605D-4B10-A121-E408661DD637&blnFromSearch=1&productcode=US>. 6

Japanese Americans in a Bus Being Taken to Internment Camp. 2006. Discovery Education. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2010. <‌index.cfm?guidAssetId=CF4CE69B-9C9A-4B43-94E9-170D94CC3BDC&blnFromSearch=1&productcode=US>.

Kent, Deborah. The tragic history of the Japanese Internment Camps. New Jersey: n.p., 2008. Print. 5

McGill, Sarah Ann. “Internment of Japanese Americans.” Ebsco Host. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2010. <‌ehost/‌detail?vid=5&hid=12&sid=5c756705-aeb2-4d7f-9c1b-04fb4ce78a9e%40sessionmgr12&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=mih&AN=17988081>. 1

“Minidoka Internment National Monument.” Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2010. <‌article?assetid=0194215-0>. 2

“Relocation Camps.” Relocation Camps. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2010. <‌as/‌students/‌lwash/‌camps.html>. 3

World War II- Japanese American Experience. Windows Media Player, 2004. United Streaming. Web. 5 May 2010. <‌index.cfm?guidAssetId=9e862e31-19f6-480f-8727-6e4e0cfa5b33>. 7

“World War Two-Japanese Internment Camps in the USA.” History on the Net. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 May 2010. <‌WW2/‌japan_interment_camps.htm>. 4



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This is a list of internment and concentration camps, organized by country. In general, a camp or group of camps is designed to the country whose government was responsible for the establishment and/or operation of the camp regardless of the camp's location, but this principle can be, or it can appear to be, departed from in such cases as where a country's borders or name has changed or it was occupied by a foreign power.

Certain types of camps are excluded from this list, particularly refugee camps set up to house refugees who have fled across the border from another country in fear of persecution, or have been set up by an international non-governmental organization. Prisoner-of-war camps are treated under a separate category.


During the Dirty War which accompanied the 1976–1983 military dictatorship, there were over 300 places throughout the country that served as secret detention centres, where people were interrogated, tortured, and killed.[1] Prisoners were often forced to hand and sign over property, in acts of individual, rather than official and systematic, corruption. Small children who were taken with their relatives, and babies born to female prisoners later killed, were frequently given for adoption to politically acceptable, often military, families. This is documented by a number of cases dating since the 1990s in which adopted children have identified their real families.[2][3]

These were relatively small secret detention centres rather than actual camps. The peak years were 1976–78. According to the report of CONADEP (Argentine National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons) Report.[2][3] 8,960 were killed during the Dirty War. It states that "We have reason to believe that the true figure is much higher" which is due to the fact that by the time they published the report (in late 1984) the research wasn't fully accomplished; Human Rights Organizations today consider 30,000 to be killed (disappeared). There was a total of 340 secret detention centres all over the country's territory.[4]


See also: List of World War II prisoner-of-war camps in Australia and Australian immigration detention facilities

During World War I, 2,940 German and Austrian men were interned in ten different camps in Australia. Almost all of the men listed as being Austrians were from the Croatian coastal region of Dalmatia, then under Austrian rule.

In 1915 many of the smaller camps in Australia closed, with their inmates transferred to larger camps. The largest camp was at Holsworthy in New South Wales.[5] Families of the interned men were placed in a camp near Canberra.

During World War II, internment camps were established at Orange and Hay in New South Wales for ethnic Germans in Australia whose loyalty was suspect; German refugees from Nazism including the "Dunera boys"; and Italian immigrants, many were later transferred to Tatura in Victoria (4,721 Italian immigrants were interned in Australia[6]).

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection currently jointly manages two immigration centres on Nauru and Manus Island with the host governments of Nauru and Papua New Guinea, for the indefinite detention of asylum seekers attempting to reach Australia by boat. The claims of the asylum seekers to refugee status are processed in these centres. They are a part of the Australian government's policy that asylum seekers attempting to reach Australia by boat will never be permitted to settle in Australia, even if they are found to be refugees, but may be settled in other countries. The clear intention of the Australian government's policy is to deter asylum seekers attempting to reach Australia by boat. The great majority of boats come from Indonesia, which is used as a convenient jumping-off point for asylum seekers from other countries who want to reach Australia.

These centres are not UNHCR endorsed refugee camps,[7] and the operation of these facilities has caused controversy, such as allegations of torture and other breaches of human rights.[8]


During World War I, internment camps were set up, mostly for Serbs and other pro-Kingdom of Serbia supporters; the radical pan-Serbian black hand having played a role in the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand resulting in the outbreak of World War I. Citizens deemed enemies of the state were displaced from their homes and sent to camps throughout the Austria-Hungary Empire, to places such as Doboj (46,000), Arad, Győr and Neusiedl am See.

During the Nazi period, several concentration camps, for example the Mauthausen-Gusen camp, were located in Austria. These camps were overwhelmingly run by Austrian members of the NAZI party.

Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]

During the Bosnian War, internment camps were set up, mostly for Bosniaks (also known as 'Bosnian Muslims') and other non-Serbs by the authorities of Republika Srpska. Camps were also set up by the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In a UN report, 381 out of 677 alleged camps have been corroborated and verified, involving all warring factions.[9]


Main articles: Khmer Rouge and The Killing Fields

The totalitarianCommunistKhmer Rouge régime established over 150 prisons for political opponents, of which Tuol Sleng is the best known.[17] According to Ben Kiernan, "all but seven of the twenty thousand Tuol Sleng prisoners" were executed.[18]


List of World War I prisoner-of-war camps in Canada[edit]

Ukrainian Canadian internment[edit]

See also: Ukrainian Canadian internment, Castle Mountain Internment Camp, and Eaton Internment Camp

In World War I, 8,579 male "aliens of enemy nationality" were interned, including 5,954 Austro-Hungarians, including ethnic Ukrainians, Croats, and Serbs. Many of these internees were used for forced labour in internment camps.

List of World War II prisoner-of-war camps in Canada[edit]

In the World War II, the Canadian government interned people of German, Italian and Japanese ancestry, besides citizens of other origins it deemed dangerous to national security. This included both fascists (including Canadians such as Adrien Arcand who had negotiated with Hitler to obtain positions in the government of Canada once Canada was conquered), Montreal mayor Camillien Houde (for denouncing conscription) and union organizers and other people deemed to be dangerous Communists. Such internment was made legal by the Defence of Canada Regulations, passed 3 September 1939. Section 21 of which read:

The Minister of Justice, if satisfied that, with a view to preventing any particular person from acting in a manner prejudicial to the public safety or the safety of the State, it is necessary to do so, may, notwithstanding anything in these regulations, make an order [...] directing that he be detained by virtue of an order made under this paragraph, be deemed to be in legal custody.

Internment of Jewish refugees[edit]

European refugees who had managed to escape the Nazis and made it to Britain, were rounded up as "enemy aliens" in 1940. Many were interned on the Isle of Man, and 2,300 were sent to Canada, mostly Jews. They were transported on the same boats as German and Italian POWs.[19] They were sent to camps in New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec provinces where they were mixed in with Canadian fascists and other political prisoners, Nazi POWs, etc.[20]

German Canadian internment[edit]

During the Second World War, 850 German Canadians were accused of being spies for the Nazis, as well as subversives and saboteurs. The internees were given a chance by authorities to defend themselves; according to the transcripts of the appeal tribunals, internees and state officials debated conflicting concepts of citizenship.

Many German Canadians interned in Camp Petawawa were from a nineteenth-century migration in 1876. They had arrived in a small area a year after a Polish migration landed in Wilno, Ontario. Their hamlet, made up of farmers primarily, was called Germanicus, and is in the bush less than 10 miles from Eganville, Ontario. Their farms (homesteads originally) were expropriated by the federal government for no compensation, and the men were imprisoned behind barbed wire in the AOAT camp. (The Foymount Air Force Base near Cormac and Eganville was built on this expropriated land.) Notable was that not one of these homesteaders from 1876 or their descendants had ever visited Germany again after 1876, yet they were accused of being German Nazi agents.

756 German sailors, mostly captured in East Asia were sent from camps in India to Canada in June 1941 (Camp 33).[21]

By April 19, 1941, 61 prisoners had made a break for liberty from Canadian internment camps. The escapees included 28 German prisoners who escaped from the internment camp east of Port Arthur, Ontario in April, 1941.[22]

Italian Canadian internment[edit]

Main article: Italian Canadian internment

On June 10, 1940, Italy joined the war on the axis side. After that, Italian Canadians were heavily scrutinized. Openly fascist organizations were deemed illegal while individuals with fascist inclinations were arrested most often without warrants. Organizations seen as openly fascist also had properties confiscated without warrants as well. A provision in the Canadian War Measures Act was immediately enacted by Prime Minister King. Named the Defense of Canada Regulations, it allowed government authorities to take the needed measures to protect the country from internal threats and enemies. The same afternoon which Italy joined the axis powers, Italian consular and embassy officials were asked to leave as soon as physically possible. Canada, which was heavily involved in the war effort on the allies' side, saw the Italian communities as a breeding ground of likely internal threats and a haven of conceivable spy networks helping the fascist axis nations of Italy and Germany. Though many Italians were anti-fascist and no longer politically involved with their homeland, this did not stop 600-700 Italians from being sent to internment camps throughout Canada.[23][24][25][26]

The main brunt of Italian prisoners were sent to Camp Petawawa situated in the Ottawa River Valley. By October 1940 the round up had already been completed. Italian Canadian Montrealer, Mario Duliani wrote, "The City Without Women" about his life in the internment camp Petawawa during World War II which describes a personal account of the struggles of the time. Throughout the country Italians were investigated by RCMP officials who had a compiled list of Italian persons who were politically involved and deeply connected in the Italian communities. Most of the arrested individuals were from the Montreal and Toronto areas and pronounced enemy aliens.[23][27]

After the war, resentment and suspicion still lingered upon the Italian communities. Laval Fortier, commissioner for overseas immigration after the war wrote "The Italian South Peasant is not the type we are looking for in Canada. His standard of living, his way of life, even his civilization seem so different that I doubt if he could ever become an asset to our country".[28] Such remarks embedded a large proportion of the country that had negative views upon the Italian communities. A gallop poll released in 1946 showed 73 percent of Québécois were against immigration with 25 percent stating Italians were the group of people most wanted kept out. Such a stance upon the Italian people was evident even though years prior to the war had proven Italians were an asset to the Canadian economy and industry, for they accomplished critical jobs that were seen as very unappealing such as laying track across rural and dangerous landscapes and the construction of infrastructure in urban areas.[23][27]

Japanese internment and relocation centres[edit]

Main article: Japanese Canadian internment

During World War II, Canada interned residents of Japanese ancestry. Over 75% were Canadian citizens and they were vital in key areas of the economy, notably the fishery and also logging and berry farming. Exile took two forms: relocation centres for families and relatively well-off individuals who were a low security threat, and internment camps (often called concentration camps in contemporary accounts, but controversially so) which were for single men, the less well-off, and those deemed to be a security risk. After the war, many did not return to the Coast because of bitter feelings as to their treatment, and fears of further hostility from non-Japanese citizens; of those that returned only about 25% regained confiscated property and businesses. Most remained in other parts of Canada, notably certain parts of the British Columbia Interior and in the neighbouring province of Alberta.

Camps and relocation centres in the West Kootenay and Boundary regions[edit]

Internment camps, called "relocation centres", were at Greenwood, Kaslo, Lemon Creek, New Denver, Rosebery, Sandon, Slocan City, and Tashme. Some were nearly-empty ghost towns when the internment began, others, like Kaslo and Greenwood, while less populous than in their boom years, were substantial communities.

Self-supporting centres in the Lillooet-Fraser Canyon region[edit]

A different kind of camp, known as a self-supporting centre, was found in other regions. Bridge River, Minto City, McGillivray Falls, East Lillooet, Taylor Lake were in the Lillooet Country or nearby. Other than Taylor Lake, these were all called "Self-supporting centres", not internment camps. The first three listed were all in a mountainous area so physically isolated that fences and guards were not required as the only egress from that region was by rail or water. McGillivray Falls and Tashme, on the Crowsnest Highway east of Hope, British Columbia, were just over the minimum 100 miles from the Coast required by the deportation order, though Tashme had direct road access over that distance, unlike McGillivray. Because of the isolation of the country immediately coast-wards from McGillivray, men from that camp were hired to work at a sawmill in what has since been named Devine, after the mill's owner, which is within the 100-mile quarantine zone. Many of those in the East Lillooet camp were hired to work in town, or on farms nearby, particularly at Fountain, while those at Minto and Minto Mine and those at Bridge River worked for the railway or the hydro company.[29][30][31][32][33]

Camps and relocation centres elsewhere in Canada[edit]

There were internment camps near Kananaskis, Alberta; Petawawa, Ontario; Hull, Quebec; Minto, New Brunswick; Amherst, Nova Scotia and St. John's, Newfoundland.[citation needed] About 250 people worked as guards at the Amherst, Nova Scotia camp at Park and Hickman streets from April 1915 to September 1919. The prisoners, including Leon Trotsky, cleared land around the experimental farm and built the pool in Dickey Park. [34]

Channel Islands[edit]

Alderney in the Channel Islands was the only place on the British Isles where the Germans established concentration camps during their Occupation of the Channel Islands. In January 1942, the occupying German forces established four camps, called Helgoland, Norderney, Borkum and Sylt (named after the German North Sea islands), where captive Russians and other east Europeans were used as slave labourers in order to build the Atlantic Wall's defences on the island. Around 460[citation needed] prisoners died in the Alderney camps.


Concentration camps existed throughout Chile during Pinochet's dictatorship in the 1970s and 80s. An article in Harvard Review of Latin America reported that "there were over eighty detention centers in Santiago alone" and it gave details of some.[35] Information on detention centers is included in the Report of the Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation (Rettig report).[36]

Some of the detention centers in Chile in this period:


Laogai was a word, short for "reform through labor", that referred to penal labour or prison farms in the People's Republic of China. The word itself was dropped in 1994 and replaced with the word "prison".[37] In the 1960s, critics of the government were arrested and sent to the prisons which were organized like factories.[citation needed] There are accusations[by whom?] that the products of penal labor are sold and profit by the government.[38]

The books of Harry Wu describe his experience in reform through labor prisons from 1960 to 1979. They say he was imprisoned for criticizing the government while he was in college and that he was not released until 1979 after which he moved to the United States and eventually became an activist. Party officials have argued that he far overstates the present role of Chinese labor camps and ignores the tremendous changes that have occurred in China since then.

There are accusations that Chinese labor camps[38] produce products which are often sold in foreign countries with the profits going to the PRC government. The products include everything from green tea to industrial engines to coal dug from mines.

There have been reports of Falun Gong practitioners being detained at the Sujiatun Thrombosis Hospital, or the "Sujiatun Concentration Camp". It has been alleged[by whom?] that Falun Gong practitioners are killed for their organs, which are then sold to medical facilities.[39][40] The Chinese government rejects these allegations.[41] US State Department visited the alleged camp on two occasions, first unannounced, and found the allegation not credible.[42][43] Chinese dissident and Executive Director of the Laogai Research Foundation, Harry Wu, having sent his own investigators to the site, was unable to substantiate these claims, and he believed the reports were fabricated.[44]

See also: human rights in the People's Republic of China


World War II[edit]

Main article: Concentration camps in the Independent State of Croatia § Ustaša-run

Yugoslav wars[edit]


Main article: Valeriano Weyler, 1st Duke of Rubí

After Marshal Campos had failed to pacify the Cuban rebellion, the Conservative government of Antonio Cánovas del Castillo sent out Weyler. This selection met the approval of most Spaniards, who thought him the proper man to crush the rebellion. While serving as a Spanish general, he was called "Butcher Weyler" because hundreds of thousands of people died in his concentration camps.

He was made governor of Cuba with full powers to suppress the insurgency (rebellion was widespread in Cuba) and restore the island to political order and its sugar production to greater profitability. Initially, Weyler was greatly frustrated by the same factors that had made victory difficult for all generals of traditional standing armies fighting against an insurgency. While the Spanish troops marched in regulation and required substantial supplies, their opponents practiced hit-and-run tactics and lived off the land, blending in with the non-combatant population. He came to the same conclusions as his predecessors as well—that to win Cuba back for Spain, he would have to separate the rebels from the civilians by putting the latter in safe havens, protected by loyal Spanish troops. By the end of 1897, General Weyler had relocated more than 300,000 into such "reconcentration camps." Weyler learned this tactic from the American Civil War campaign of General Sherman while assigned to the post of military attaché in the Spanish Embassy in Washington D.C.. However, many mistakenly believe him to be to the origin of such tactics after it was later used by the British in the Second Boer War and later evolved into a designation to describe the concentration camps of the 20th century regimes of Hitler and Stalin. Although he was successful moving vast numbers of people, he failed to provide for them adequately. Consequently, these areas became cesspools of hunger and disease, where many hundreds of thousands died.

Weyler's "reconcentration" policy had another important effect. Although it made Weyler's military objectives easier to accomplish, it had devastating political consequences. Although the Spanish Conservative government supported Weyler's tactics wholeheartedly, the Liberals denounced them vigorously for their toll on the Cuban civilian population. In the propaganda war waged in the United States, Cuban émigrés made much of Weyler's inhumanity to their countrymen and won the sympathy of broad groups of the U.S. population to their cause. He was nicknamed "the Butcher" Weyler by journalists like William Randolph Hearst.

Weyler's strategy also backfired militarily due to the rebellion in the Philippines that required the redeployment by 1897 of some troops already in Cuba. When Prime Minister Antonio Cánovas del Castillo was assassinated in June, Weyler lost his principal supporter in Spain. He resigned his post in late 1897 and returned to Europe. He was replaced in Cuba by the more conciliatory Ramón Blanco y Erenas.

Main article: Military Units to Aid Production

See also: Human rights in Cuba

Military Units to Aid Production were forced laborconcentration camps established by Fidel Castro's communist government, from November 1965 to July 1968.

They were a way to eliminate alleged "bourgeois" and "counter-revolutionary" values in the Cuban population. First, people were thrown into overcrowded cells at police stations and later taken to secret police facilities, movie houses, stadiums, warehouses, and similar locations. They were photographed, fingerprinted and forced to sign confessions declaring that they were the "scum of society" in exchange for their temporary release until they were summoned to the concentration camps.[46] Those who refused to sign the confessions were physically and psychologically tortured.[46]

Beginning in November 1965, people already classified as the "scum of society" started to arrive in the concentration camps by train, bus, truck and other police and military vehicles.[46]

"Social deviants" such as homosexuals, vagrants, Jehovah's Witnesses and other religious missionaries were imprisoned in these concentration camps, where they would be "reeducated".[47]


Before and during World War II[edit]

  • Horserød camp – established during World War I as a camp for war prisoners in need of treatment, used during World War II as an internment camp. It is now an open prison.
  • Frøslev Prison Camp – established during World War II as an internment camp by the Danish government in order to avoid deportation of Danish citizens to Germany. Used after the war to house Nazi collaborators and later students of a continuation high schools located inside the camp.

After World War II[edit]

Denmark received about 240,000 refugees from Germany and other countries after the war. They were put into camps guarded by the reestablished army. Contact between Danes and the refugees were very limited and strictly enforced. About 17,000 died in the camps caused either by injuries and illness as a result of their escape from Germany or the poor conditions in the camps.[48] Known camps were

  • Dragsbæklejren – a base for seaplanes, later converted into an internment camp for refugees. It is now used by the army[49]
  • Gedhus – located on an area which now is home to Karup Airport
  • Grove – located on an area which now is home to Karup Airport
  • Rye Flyveplads – a small airfield in Jutland[50]
  • Kløvermarken – is now a park in Copenhagen
  • Oksbøl Refugee Camp – now belongs to the Danish Army
  • Skallerup Klit – was developed into an area for Summer houses

After 9-11 legislation has been introduced to cope with the new situation. As result of this the police can now detain people for 12 hours without charges being brought.


Finnish Civil War[edit]

Main article: Finnish Civil War prison camps

In the Finnish Civil War, the victorious White Army and German troops captured about 80,000 Red prisoners by the end of the war on 5 May 1918. Once the White terror subsided, a few thousand including mainly small children and women, were set free, leaving 74,000–76,000 prisoners. The largest prison camps were Suomenlinna, an island facing Helsinki, Hämeenlinna, Lahti, Viipuri, Ekenäs, Riihimäki and Tampere. The Senate made the decision to keep these prisoners detained until each person's guilt could be examined. A law for a Tribunal of Treason was enacted on 29 May after a long dispute between the White army and the Senate of the proper trial method to adopt. The start of the heavy and slow process of trials was delayed further until 18 June 1918. The Tribunal did not meet all the standards of neutral justice, due to the mental atmosphere of White Finland after the war. Approximately 70,000 Reds were convicted, mainly for complicity to treason. Most of the sentences were lenient, however, and many got out on parole. 555 persons were sentenced to death, of whom 113 were executed. The trials revealed also that some innocent persons had been imprisoned.[51]

Combined with the severe food shortage, the mass imprisonment led to high mortality rates in the camps, and the catastrophe was compounded by a mentality of punishment, anger and indifference on the part of the victors. Many prisoners felt that they were abandoned also by their own leaders, who had fled to Russia. The condition of the prisoners had weakened rapidly during May, after food supplies had been disrupted during the Red Guards' retreat in April, and a high number of prisoners had been captured already during the first half of April in Tampere and Helsinki. As a consequence, 2,900 starved to death or died in June as a result of diseases caused by malnutrition and Spanish flu, 5,000 in July, 2,200 in August, and 1,000 in September. The mortality rate was highest in the Ekenäs camp at 34%, while in the others the rate varied between 5% and 20%. In total, between 11,000 and 13,500 Finns perished. The dead were buried in mass graves near the camps.[52] The majority of the prisoners were paroled or pardoned by the end of 1918 after the victory of the Western powers in World War I also caused a major change in the Finnish domestic political situation. There were 6,100 Red prisoners left at the end of the year,[53] 100 in 1921 (at the same time civil rights were given back to 40,000 prisoners) and in 1927 the last 50 prisoners were pardoned by the social democratic government led by Väinö Tanner. In 1973, the Finnish government paid reparations to 11,600 persons imprisoned in the camps after the civil war.[54]

WWII (Continuation War)[edit]

Main article: East Karelian concentration camps

When the Finnish Army during the Second World War occupied East Karelia from 1941–1944, which was inhabited by ethnically related FinnicKarelians (although it never had been a part of Finland—or before 1809 of Swedish Finland), several concentration camps were set up for ethnically Russian civilians. The first camp was set up on October 24, 1941, in Petrozavodsk. The two largest groups were 6,000 Russian refugees and 3,000 inhabitants from the southern bank of River Svir forcibly evacuated because of the closeness of the front line. Around 4,000 of the prisoners perished due to malnourishment, 90% of them during the spring and summer 1942.[56] The ultimate goal was to move the Russian speaking population to German-occupied Russia in exchange for any Finnish population from these areas, and also help to watch civilians.

Population in the Finnish camps:

  • 13,400 – December 31, 1941
  • 21,984 – July 1, 1942
  • 15,241 – January 1, 1943
  • 14,917 – January 1, 1944


Main article: Internment camps in France


During France's occupation of Algeria, its forces interned large numbers of Algerians in "tent cities" and concentration camps, both during the initial French invasion in the 1830s, and particularly during the Algerian War of Independence.

During the early part of the colonial period, the French used the camps to hold Arabs, Berbers and Turks they had forcibly removed from fertile areas of land, in order to replace them by primarily French, Spanish, and Maltese settlers. It has been estimated that from 1830 to 1900, between 15 and 25% of the Algerian population died in such camps. The war in general killed a third of Algeria's population.[citation needed]

During the Algerian War of Independence, the French incarcerated whole populations of villages who were suspected to have supported the rebel National Liberation Front (FLN).

Spanish Republicans[edit]

After the end of Spanish Civil War, there were harsh reprisals against Franco's former enemies.[57] Hundreds of thousands of Republicans fled abroad, especially to France and Mexico.[58] On the other side of the Pyrenees, refugees were confined in internment camps of the French Third Republic, such as the Rieucros Camp, Camp de Rivesaltes, Camp Gurs or Camp Vernet, where 12,000 Republicans were housed in squalid conditions (mostly soldiers from the Durruti Division[59]). The 17,000 refugees housed in Gurs were divided into four categories (Brigadists, pilots, Gudaris and ordinary Spaniards). The Gudaris (Basques) and the pilots easily found local backers and jobs, and were allowed to quit the camp, but the farmers and ordinary people, who could not find relations in France, were encouraged by the Third Republic, in agreement with the Francoist government, to return to Spain. The great majority did so and were turned over to the Francoist authorities in Irún. From there they were transferred to the Miranda de Ebro camp for "purification".

After the proclamation by Marshal Philippe Pétain of the Vichy regime, the refugees became political prisoners, and the French police attempted to round-up those who had been liberated from the camp. Along with other "undesirables", they were sent to the Drancy internment camp before being deported to Nazi Germany. About 5,000 Spaniards thus died in Mauthausen concentration camp[60]

Vichy France[edit]

During World War II, The French Vichy government ran what were called "detention camps" such as the one at Drancy. Camps also existed in the Pyrenees on the border with pro-Nazi Spain, among them Camp de Rivesaltes, Camp Gurs and Camp Vernet. From these, the French cooperated in deporting about 73,000 Jews to Nazi Germany.

In addition, in areas which Germany formally annexed from France, such as Alsace-Lorraine, concentration camps were built, the largest being Natzweiler-Struthof.

The Vichy French also ran camps in North and West Africa, and possibly French Somaliland and Madagascar. The following are the locations of concentration camps, POW camps, and internment camps in (Vichy) West and (Vichy) North Africa:

The camps were located at:

West Africa:

North Africa:

Also camps connected to the Laconia incident:

The following camps which are under investigation:

  • Taza
  • Fes
  • Oujda
  • Sidi-bel-Abbes
  • Berguent
  • Settat
  • Sidi-el-Ayachi
  • Qued Zem
  • Mecheria

The camps at Conakry, Timbuctoo, and Kankan had no running water, no electricity, no gas, no electric light no sewers, no toilets, and no baths. The prisoners (mainly British and Norwegian) were housed in native accommodation - mud huts and houses, and a tractor shed. The Vichy French authorities in West Africa called these camps "concentration camps".


German South West Africa, 1904–1908[edit]

Between 1904 and 1908, following the German suppression of the Herero and Nama in the Herero and Namaqua genocide, survivors were interned[61] at the following locations in German South-West Africa (now Namibia):

World War I[edit]

In World War I male (and some female) civilian nationals of the Allies caught by the outbreak of war on the territory of the Germany were interned. The camps (Internierungslager) included those at:

  • Ruhleben, for up to 4,500 internees, on a horse race-track near Berlin.[64]
  • Holzminden in Lower Saxony, for up to 10,000 internees.
  • Havelberg, in Saxony-Anhalt, for 4,500 internees, including nearly 400 British Indians.
  • Celle Castle in Lower Saxony.
  • Rastatt Camp, for French civilians.

The Third Reich[edit]

Main article: Nazi concentration camps

See also: List of Nazi concentration camps, Polenlager, The Holocaust, Ilag, and Arbeitslager

On January 30, 1933 Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of the Weimar Republic's weak coalition government. Although the Nazi party (NSDAP) was in a minority, Hitler and his associates quickly took control of the country.[65] Within days the first concentration camp (Konzentrationslager), at Dachau, Nazi Germany, was built to hold persons considered dangerous by the Nazi administration—these included suspected communists, labor union activists, liberal politicians and even pastors. This camp became the model for all later Nazi concentration camps. It was quickly followed by Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen which became a facility for the training of SS-Death's Head officers in the operation of concentration camps.

Theodor Eicke, commandant of the Dachau camp, was appointed Inspector of Concentration Camps by Heinrich Himmler on 4 July 1934. By 1934 there were eight major institutions. This started the second phase of development. All smaller detention camps were consolidated into six major camps: Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, Flossenburg, and after the annexation of Austria in 1938, Mauthausen; finally in 1939 Ravensbrück (for women). The pajama type blue-striped uniforms were introduced for inmates as well as the practice of tattooing the prisoner's number on his fore-arm. Eicke started the practice of farming out prisoners as slave-labor in German industry, with sub-camps or Arbeitskommandos to house them. The use of common criminals as Kapo

Choung Ek Killing Field: The bones of young children who were killed by Khmer Rouge.
Russian children at a Finnish-run transfer camp in Petrozavodsk. The sign reads, in Finnish and Russian: "Transfer camp. Entry to the camp and conversations through the fence are forbidden under the penalty of death."[55]

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