February -March 2018
Jewish Community Campus
5801 West 115th Street
Overland Park, Kansas
Recent research shows that over 45,000 camps and ghettos existed within the Nazi system. This spring, MCHE’s Public Historian Dr. Shelly Cline will offer a five-week course focused on ten of these camps that represent the experience in concentration, labor, and death camps. The course will explore the function, prisoner experience, and memorialization of these camps. Sessions will be held at noon at the Jewish Community Campus in the Multi-Activity Center and will last 75 minutes.
The cost for this course is $50. Interested participants may register online or by phone 913-327-8194. Participants are encouraged bring a lunch, drinks and dessert will be provided.
February 1- Overview of the Camp System
There were many types of camps included within the Nazi system. This session will provide a foundational overview of the system as a whole as well as a discussion of the differences between forced labor, concentration, and death camps.
February 8 – Early Beginnings and Other Prisoners: Sachsenhausen and Ravensbrück
Established in 1936, Sachsenhausen was part of the early system, as such it housed a variety of prisoners and served as a model for some subsequent camps. Like Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrück held a large number of political prisoners, but it was uniquely all-female. This session will look at how these camps fit into the larger system as well as what was unique to their locations.
February 15- Forced Labor: Neuengamme and Dora Mittelbau
Forced labor was a key component within the Nazi system; this session explores two of camps that served that purpose. Located just outside the city of Hamburg, Germany, Neuengamme was a mid-sized facility that focused production on brickmaking. Other locations, such as Dora Mittelbau, were less visible and supplied armaments for the war.
February 22 – Developing a Death Camp: Belzec to Auschwitz
Although Auschwitz has come to epitomize the Holocaust, many do not realize that it was a culmination of years of previous efforts. This session will look at the evolution of the killing process beginning with the rudimentary efforts in the first death camp, Belzec, and concluding with the industrialized genocide in Auschwitz.
March 1 – Liberation: Belsen and Dachau
When liberating armies discovered these camps in the spring of 1945, they found thousands of dead and dying, massive over-crowding, starvation and disease. These camps became symbolic of the liberation experience, and indeed the Holocaust, in the West. Images of their liberation are sealed into our consciousness, yet there is much more to the history of these camps than their final months. This session will look both at their liberation and their use earlier in the war.