James Bond is Amazing

James Bond is Amazing
This actor is the best James Bond... Sean Connery

Friday, April 24, 2009

Comparing Concentration Camp Auschwitz and Internment Camp Manzanar in 1940's WW2

Concentration Camps Compared to Internment Camps During WW2
Concentration Camps Compared to Internment Camps During WW2Two places easily comparable that come to mind are Manzanar and Auschwitz. Auschwitz is the Concentration camp in this instance and Manzanar is the Internment camp. The three points I would like to touch upon are,
1. Purpose2. Living Conditions3. Food
Two different camps in two different places at the same time are dramatically different but both cause suffering.
The Purpose of Auschwitz in the beginning (1940) was to house Polish political prisoners and after the Nazis invaded Russia, Russian POW's. But that changed April 29, 1942 the first 60000 Slovak Jews were brought to a newly renovated Auschwitz and gassed in two chambers then burned in massive pits. This continued and in the end one and a half million people were killed in the concentration camp. All the way in America Manzanar's purpose was to house Japanese "citizens" (some were not citizens yet) and to make sure no spies were allowed to continue passing information to the Japanese after Pearl Harbor.
Living Conditions in Manzanar consisted of 36 Barracks hastily constructed on short notice and had partitions between rooms and no ceiling which made no privacy. My speculations for this are that they didn't want any plotting revolts or finding a way for spies to get messages to Japan. But that may not be the real reason. Furthermore, each block had a mess hall, a recreation hall, an ironing room, and a heating and oil tank. they had school facilities, a high school auditorium, plus the live stock houses in the later paragraph, a real non-lethal hospital, a store, bathroom, washing facilities, a cemetery (their bodies weren't burned), and a post office only naming some of the things and "non necessities" provided by the camp. The Concentration camp in question wasn't built for the purpose of Manzanar as I said and many of those luxuries were not provided to the "condemned" prisoners in Auschwitz. Early on when the camp housed Polish political prisoners they used a postal house and had two story barracks some sleeping on the floor some on bunks. The place had a bathroom with limited usage time and a washroom with scolding water, two buildings split up into six gas chambers, four crematoriums, also there was a mess hall. At this point in time I am not currently aware of the amounts of barracks. As you can see there is a huge difference in accommodations between these camps.
Food in Manzanar was made of hot rice and vegetables in the book Farewell to MANZANAR by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston it is quoted saying, "They issued us army mess kits, the round metal kind that folded over, and plopped in scoops of canned Vienna sausage, canned string beans, steamed rice that had been cooked too long, and on top of the rice a serving of canned apricots. The Caucasian servers were thinking that the fruit poured over rice would make a good desert." (14) Although meat was scarce they still got some in their rations and eventually they raised chicken and hogs and farmed the orchards surrounding the camp. On the other hand in Auschwitz, each prisoner got approximately 12 ounces of bread and half a liter of ersatz coffee for breakfast, and lunch was one liter of turnip and potatoes soup. For dinner they got 11 ounces of bread (approximately) and some margarine, plus 100 grams of pork anyone who missed the noon meal working got some soup too, although it was cold. The difference in food in that instance is dramatic to say the least. Not everyone in Manzanar had to work they were allowed to sit in bed whenever they wanted and if they worked they got paid; everyone living in Auschwitz was either working (for no pay) or if you were sick you were sent to the infirmary and usually never seen again thanks to the Doctor Josef Mengele who performed experiments on most of them.
Concluding, this harsh topic is difficult to get anyone’s mind around. But for all those who suffered and died we at least owe it to them to remember. These camps were different and there is a good reason for that. One was meant for killing and one was meant for housing. Two different camps in two different places at the same time are dramatically different but both caused suffering.I would like to thank the following websites:http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Manzanarhttp://www.spectacle.org/695/food.htmlhttp://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/auschwitz-birkenau.htmhttp://www.deathcamps.org/occupation/auschwitz.htmlAnd the book Farewell to MANZANAR.

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