Nazis Ran a Staggering 20K Concentration Camps
Decade-long study could change scholars' 'mental universe'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 4, 2009 11:45 AM CDT
Visitors walk in the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald near Weimar, Germany, on Thursday, June 4, 2009.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
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(Newser) – A year's work on a new Holocaust encyclopedia pointed researchers to some 15,000 concentration camps they hadn’t known about, a finding that could shift the public's perception of the Holocaust, the Washington Post reports. “Instead of thinking of main death camps, people are going to understand that this was a continent-wide phenomenon,” says an expert. “The mental universe of how scholars operate is going to change.”

Most of the sites were known only “to one or two people,” said the director of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s project. “Sometimes there would be just one person who had done research on one prison.” The 23 main camps turned out to have nearly 900 sub-camps, and “in most towns, there was some sort of prison, or holding area or place where people were victimized,” said a museum scholar. “What we are seeing in this project is that all of Europe was a camp.”