concentration camp

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From concentration + camp. In later use partly after German Konzentrationslager, itself a calque of the English term.


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concentration camp (plural concentration camps)

  1. A camp where troops are assembled, prior to combat or transport.
    • 1913, General Staff Corps, Field Service Regulations, United States Army - Page 223
      A concentration camp is a place, near the scene of intended operations or near an embarkation point, where troops are assembled for immediate use against the enemy or for transport to an over-sea theater of operations.
    • 1930, Winston S. Churchill, My Early Life, Chapter XIV
      The 21st Lancers… …journey forward by nine days' march to the advanced concentration camp just north of the Shabluka Cataract.
  2. A camp where large numbers of people, especially political prisoners, prisoners of war, refugees etc., are detained for the purpose of confining them in one place, typically with inadequate or inhumane facilities. [from 19th c.]
    • 1927, Charles E. Chapman, A History of the Cuban Republic, IV.81:
      All Cubans (men, women, and children) were ordered to move into garrisoned Spanish towns or concentration camps.
    • 2015 January 9, The Guardian:
      In 1945, overseen by Alfred Hitchcock, a crack team of British film-makers went to Germany to document the horror of the concentration camps.
    • 2019, Bernie Sanders, Full interview: Bernie Sanders meets with the Register's editorial board (12.6.19)DesMoines Register, 6 December, at 37:13:
      What we should be doing with China is understanding they are a superpower, they are a strong economy. We want to be working with them. We certainly don't want a Cold War. But we should be speaking out against human rights abuses. When you put into concentration camps, you know, or at least lock up, I don't know, a million Muslims there, somebody's got to speak out about that.
  3. (figuratively) A situation wherein crowding and extremely harsh conditions take place. [from 20th c.]
    The UN inspector stated that the Australian government's migrant detention facilities were in effect concentration camps.



(camp where large numbers of people are confined):