July 14, 2000
I thought you might enjoy another look at Hitler's "dreaded concentration camps".
"In August, 1933 there were seven thousand 'political prisoners' (Britain's prison population is in excess of 50,000) in Germany of which about 700 are Communists. Most were convicted not of political crimes as we define them, but rather of anti-social behaviour and crime.
The discipline in the camp was of the robust kind. Every man had some kind of work to do, but this was not always enforced. The camp rose at 6.00am and all lights were out at 9.0pm. The meals consisted of breakfast, dinner, supper with meat served daily except on Fridays.
There was a dispensary attached to the camp and a German doctor was in charge. Severe cases of illness were sent to the local hospital. Various trades were carried on inside the camp such as carpentry, tailoring and shoemaking. Part of the camp was set off for bathing. Shower baths and facilities for sunbathing were shown to me. There was also a splendid sports ground.
The sleeping compartments consisted of wooden beds and straw mattresses, with three blankets for each prisoner. The working hours were from 7.00am to 11.30am and from 1.00pm to 6.00pm. A library was in the course of being introduced.
Visitors were allowed once a week, and were received in the dining room which accommodated some 300 people. There were apartments set apart for music and dramatic performances. In addition to receiving free board and lodging, each prisoner was drawing 10DM to 12DM per week, which represented his unemployment allowance pay.
Instruction in ethics, religion, the new form of government in Germany, history, languages, was given daily to those who desired to attend. There was little or no crime among the men in the camp. Good order prevailed among all classes.
The guards ate the same food as the prisoners, and were subject to the same disciplines as the internees, although they were government officials. One of the guards was a prince of the House of Hesse.
Letters and parcels were subject to censorship. In not one case out of many thousands received had it been found necessary to destroy any parcel or letter forwarded. Newspapers were permitted and smoking allowed. When a prisoner desired to light his pipe or cigarette, he had to go to a guard detailed off to supply lights for the prisoners, as no matches were permitted prisoners.
Services were held every Sunday and the majority of the opportunity. No objection was raised by the authorities to my taking photographs of both camps and internees.
The men looked in splendid physical condition. Having heard so may dreadful stories of brutal treatment being meted out to Communists in this particular camp, I asked some of the men to confide in me and tell me the truth of those allegations.
Not a few laughed at "the bloody capitalist liars in your country.'" I took fifteen men at random and asked them to strip in my presence. I wanted to see if they bore any marks of violence on their persons. I saw nothing indicative of bad treatment."
(Source: G.E.O. Knight, "In Defence of Germany")
Thought for the Day:
"The funny thing about us "cranks," especially the ancient ones, is that many of us spent six years fighting Hitler. Perhaps suffering from delusions, we thought we were fighting for a world in which cranks of all kinds would be able to peddle their opinions without being persecuted for them."
(Canada's fabled columnist, Doug Collins, now a victim of Canada's Marxist-flavored Human Rights Tribunals and their fellow travelers)
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