- a guarded compound for the detention or imprisonment of aliens, members of ethnic minorities, political opponents, etc., especially any of the camps established by the Nazis prior to and during World War II for the confinement and persecution of prisoners.
Origin of concentration camp
- a guarded prison camp in which nonmilitary prisoners are held, esp one of those in Nazi Germany in which millions were exterminated
Word Origin and History for concentration camp
1901, "compound for noncombatants in a war zone" (see concentration); a controversial idea from the second Boer War (1899-1902), and the term emerged with a bad odor. In reference to prisons for dissidents and minorities in Nazi Germany from 1934, in Soviet Russia from 1935.
A place for assembling and confining political prisoners and enemies of a nation. Concentration camps are particularly associated with the rule of the Nazis in Germany, who used them to confine millions of Jews (see also Jews) as a group to be purged from the German nation. Communists, Gypsies, homosexuals, and other persons considered undesirable according to Nazi principles, or who opposed the government, were also placed in concentration camps and eventually executed in large groups. (See Holocaust.)