Most people associate concentration camps with Nazi Germany. Behind Barbed Wire examines how these notorious World War II camps actually reflected a previous use of the system, a system that began almost a century earlier. In truth, Adolf Hitler had studied the American Indian Reservations as he plotted his regime's attack on European Jews and other minorities. Remarkably, in the years between the reservations and the Nazi camps, the United States, along with several other Western powers, implemented concentration camps throughout the globe, each instance employing more and more barbaric measures with harsher and harsher outcomes. Behind Barbed Wire explains how these nations dubiously justified camp operations by citing military counterinsurgency tactics, containment policies, and simply the ability to prosecute war more easily.
This brief history addresses the subliminal reasons for relocating hundreds of thousands of civilians, why the system became so prevalent, and how concentration camps existed under the cover of armed conflict. It argues that, most often, camps can be facilitated only under the guise of war. Anyone with an interest in military history, World War II, concentration camps, and the plight of the Jews will discover how all these topics converge into a compelling story of war, bigotry, and military might.
Behind Barbed Wire also sheds light on the concentration camp systems that have been employed since the fall of the Nazi dictatorship. With current geopolitical issues focusing on elitism, xenophobia, deplorables, terrorism, and military necessity, this book offers some understanding about the unintended consequences of policy.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
The Origination of Concentration Camps: Reconcentrados in Cuba 1
The U.S. Military vs. the Filipinos 19
American Indian Reservations 39
British Refugee Camps during the Boer War 59
German Concentration Camps in South West Africa 73
The Soviet Gulag 95
Military Necessity and Institutional Extremism 111
A Climate of Bigotry: The Persecution of European Jews 127
The “Aryan Race” vs. the “Undesirables” 147
The Nazi Concentration Camp System 167
viii BEHIND BARBED WIRE
Yellow Peril: The Japanese Internment Camps 189
Lesser Known Concentration Camps 209
Selected Bibliography 351