The past that should never be forgotten
The title of this book stands for Konzentationslager in German, concentration camp(s) in English. Many excellent books have been written over the years about individual concentration camps in the Third Reich. However, this encyclopaedic work by Nikolaus Wachsmann can be regarded as the definitive history of the Nazi concentration camps. This study covers all of them, from their inception to the end of the Second World War. Although one usually hears and reads more about the twenty-two larger ones, there were hundreds of satellite camps, spread across Europe. The harrowing accounts of the the brutality, the torture, the killings and life under a permanent cloud of intimidation for those who were not eliminated immediately upon arrival, makes for grim reading and even now, seventy years after the end of World War II, when one thinks there is hardly anything left to be exposed about these camps, we are left wondering how the evil, oppressive and repressive Nazi regime could sink to such depths of monstrous depravity. How could they? How could anyone commit such heinous acts? How much do we still not know?
Wachsmann has done a remarkable job in producing this work. He was abe to access authentic documents and primary sources - including first-hand accounts from survivors of the camps - to uncover hitherto unpublished gruesonme details of everyday life in the concentration camps. His painstaking research has resulted in a brilliant, penetrating study, reminding us that we should never ever forget the Holocaust.