Internment is the imprisonment or confinement of people, commonly
in large groups, without trial. The term is especially used for the
confinement "of enemy citizens in wartime or of terrorism
suspects". Thus, while it can simply mean imprisonment, it tends to
refer to preventive confinement, rather than confinement after having
been convicted of some crime. Use of these terms is subject to debate
and political sensitivities.
Interned persons may be held in prisons or in facilities known as
internment camps. In certain contexts, these may also be known either
officially or pejoratively, as concentration camps.
Internment also refers to a neutral country's practice of detaining
belligerent armed forces and equipment on its territory during times
of war under the Hague Convention of 1907.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights restricts the use of
internment. Article 9 states that "No one shall be subjected to
arbitrary arrest, detention or exile."
1 History and the term "concentration camp"
2 See also
4 External links
History and the term "concentration camp"
Main article: List of concentration and internment camps
Ten thousand inmates were kept in El Agheila, one of the Italian
concentration camps in Libya during the Italian colonization of Libya
Jewish slave laborers in the
Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp near
Weimar, 16 April 1945 (second row from bottom, seventh from left is
American Heritage Dictionary defines the term concentration camp
as: "A camp where persons are confined, usually without hearings and
typically under harsh conditions, often as a result of their
membership in a group the government has identified as a suspect."
United States set up concentration camps for Cherokee and other
Native Americans in the 1830s. In 1864, the U.S. government forced
Navajos to walk more than 300 miles at gunpoint from their
ancestral homelands in northeastern Arizona and northwestern New
Mexico to an internment camp in Bosque Redondo, a desolate tract on
the Pecos River in eastern New Mexico. From 1863 to 1868, the U.S.
Military persecuted and imprisoned 9,500
Navajo and 500 Mescalero
Apache. Living under armed guards, more than 3,500
Mescalero Apache men, women, and children died from starvation and
The English term concentration camp was first used in order to refer
to the reconcentrados (reconcentration camps) set up by the Spanish
Cuba during the Ten Years'
War (1868–78) and the Cuban
War for Independence (1895–98), and similar camps set up by the
United States during the Philippine–American
The term concentration camp saw wider use during the Second
(1899–1902), when the British operated such camps in South Africa
for interning Boers. They built 45 tented camps for Boer
internees and 64 for black Africans. Conditions were terrible for the
health of the internees, mainly due to neglect, poor hygiene, and bad
sanitation. Of the 28,000
Boer men captured as prisoners of war, the
British sent 25,630 overseas. The vast majority of Boers remaining in
the local camps were women and children, over 26,000 of whom died
there. More than 14,000 Black Africans died in the camps.
Emily Hobhouse brought to the attention of the
British public the appalling conditions inside the camps. The British
government set up the Fawcett Commission to investigate her claims,
under Millicent Fawcett, which corroborated her account, and resulted
in improved conditions.
Between 1904 and 1908, the Imperial German Army operated concentration
camps like the
Shark Island Concentration Camp
Shark Island Concentration Camp in German South-West
Africa (now Namibia) as part of its genocide of the Herero and Namaqua
In the late 1930s, over 100,000 defeated or interned personnel of the
Spanish Republican armed forces, along with civilians, were held in
concentration camps by the government of France, and they included
Meheri Zabbens, and the
Camp de concentration d'Argelès-sur-Mer
Camp de concentration d'Argelès-sur-Mer in
southern France. Some of them managed to go into exile or went off to
join the armies of the Allies in order to fight against the Axis
powers, while others ended up in Nazi concentration camps.
During the 20th century, the arbitrary internment of civilians by the
state reached its most extreme form with the establishment of the Nazi
concentration camps (1933–45). The Nazi concentration camp system
was extensive, with as many as 15,000 camps and at least 715,000
simultaneous internees. The total number of casualties in these
camps is difficult to determine, but the conscious policy of
extermination through labor in at least some of the camps ensured that
the inmates would die of starvation, untreated disease and summary
executions. Moreover, Nazi Germany established six extermination
camps, specifically designed to kill millions, primarily by
As a result, some say that today the term "concentration camp" may be
conflated with the concept of "extermination camp" and historians
debate whether the term "concentration camp" or "internment camp"
should be used in order to describe other examples of civilian
internment, such as the
United States government's internment of
Japanese Americans during World
War II, and the Australian
government's immigrant detention facilities.
Extermination through labor
"Polish death camp" controversy
^ a b Almirante Valdés (VS o AV)
^ internment. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete &
Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved November 03, 2014, from
^ a b Euphemisms, Concentration Camps And The Japanese Internment
^ "The Second Hague Convention, 1907". Yale.edu. Archived from the
original on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
^ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 9, United Nations
^ "Concentration camp". American Heritage Dictionary. Retrieved 22
^ James L. Dickerson (2010). Inside America's Concentration Camps: Two
Internment and Torture. p. 29. Chicago Review Press
^ a b M. Annette Jaimes (1992). The State of Native America: Genocide,
Colonization, and Resistance. p. 34. South End Press
^ "Concentration Camp". The Columbia Encyclopedia (Sixth ed.).
Columbia University Press. 2008.
^ Cite error: The named reference Columbia was invoked but never
defined (see the help page).
^ "Documents re camps in
Boer War". sul.stanford.edu. Archived from
the original on 9 June 2007. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status
^ a b Meredith, Martin (2007). Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British,
the Boers, and the Making of South Africa Conditions were reputedly
even worse in the camps where black Africans were held, but unlike in
Boer camps, death rates were not recorded in the camps where black
Africans were held (First ed.). New York: PublicAffairs.
pp. 452–56. ISBN 978-1586484736.
^ Knight, Ian (2000).
Boer Wars (2): 1898–1902. Men-at-Arms. Oxford:
Osprey Publishing. p. 40. ISBN 978-1855326132.
^ Thomas Pakenham (1991), The Scramble for Africa, 1876-1912, Random
House, New York. Pages 580-581.
^ Porch, Douglas (2013). “Counterinsurgency: Exposing the Myths of
the New Way of War”. p. 73. Cambridge University Press.
^ 24 au 26 août 1944 Libération de Paris par les chars... espagnols
de la nueve[dead link]
^ “Republicans deportats als camps de concentració nazis”
^ Concentration Camp Listing Sourced from Van Eck, Ludo Le livre des
Camps. Belgium: Editions Kritak; and Gilbert, Martin Atlas of the
Holocaust. New York: William Morrow 1993 ISBN 0-688-12364-3. In
this online site are the names of 149 camps and 814 subcamps,
organized by country.
^ Evans, Richard J. (2005). The Third Reich in Power. New York:
Penguin Group. ISBN 978-0-14-303790-3.
^ Marek Przybyszewski, IBH Opracowania – Działdowo jako centrum
administracyjne ziemi sasińskiej (Działdowo as the centre of local
administration). Internet Archive, 22 October 2010.
^ Robert Gellately; Nathan Stoltzfus (2001). Social Outsiders in Nazi
Germany. Princeton University Press. p. 216.
^ Anne Applebaum, A History of Horror, Review of "Le Siècle des
camps" by Joël Kotek and Pierre Rigoulot, The New York Review of
Books, 18 October 2001
^ Charles, Stephen (4 May 2016). "Our detention centres are
concentration camps and must be closed" – via The Sydney Morning
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See also: Desegregation