How do human beings respond to being in a concentration camp?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Human beings responded to being in a concentration camp in different ways. Some people responded by being passively resistant. They would appear to be cooperating with the camp officials, but were secretly disobeying the camp guards. They would smuggle items to other people and secretly perform forbidden religious rituals like reading from the Torah and observing holidays. They would do the jobs they were asked to do, but would try to find ways to do those jobs less effectively. These people knew if they were caught, they would likely die. They didn’t want to give up and not try to fight to save themselves. There were risks that they were willing to take to increase their chances of surviving.

There were some stories of people who tried to escape concentration camps. While some were successful in doing this, most did not succeed.

Some people weren’t able to survive the rigors they faced. They were dehumanized so much and their bodies could no longer tolerate the harsh conditions. Many people became sick and were killed. Some people just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unfortunately, they were assigned to a group that was going to be gassed to death. These people never had a chance of surviving.

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