The Storm Troopers (SA) established the Oranienburg camp near Berlin in March 1933. The first prisoners were German political prisoners, primarily Communists and Social Democrats. Oranienburg became known for the maltreatment of inmates. Here, the Nazis attempt to undermine the charges of brutality by showing the "normal" prisoner routine. Oranienburg was gradually deactivated, closing by 1935. Most of the other early camps were also closed, to be replaced with larger camps run by the SS.
We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.