Internment is the imprisonment of people, commonly in large groups, without charges or intent to file charges, and thus no trial. The term is especially used for the confinement "of enemy citizens in wartime or of terrorism suspects". Thus, while it can simply mean imprisonment, it tends to refer to preventive confinement, rather than confinement after having been convicted of some crime. Use of these terms is subject to debate and political sensitivities.
Interned persons may be held in prisons or in facilities known as internment camps. In certain contexts, these may also be known either officially or pejoratively, as concentration camps.
Defining internship and "concentration camp"
The American Heritage Dictionary defines the term concentration camp as: "A camp where persons are confined, usually without hearings and typically under harsh conditions, often as a result of their membership in a group the government has identified as dangerous or undesirable."
Although the first example of civilian internment may date as far back as the 1830s, the English term concentration camp was first used in order to refer to the reconcentrados (reconcentration camps) set up by the Spanish military in Cuba during the Ten Years' War (1868–78). The term saw wider use around the Second Boer War (1899–1902), when the British operated such camps in South Africa for interning Boers.
During the 20th century, the arbitrary internment of civilians by the state reached its most extreme form with the establishment of the Nazi concentration camps (1933–45). The Nazi concentration camp system was extensive, with as many as 15,000 camps and at least 715,000 simultaneous internees. The total number of casualties in these camps is difficult to determine, but the conscious policy of extermination through labor in at least some of the camps ensured that the inmates would die of starvation, untreated disease and summary executions. Moreover, Nazi Germany established six extermination camps, specifically designed to kill millions, primarily by gassing.
As a result, the term "concentration camp" today is sometimes conflated with the concept of "extermination camp" and historians debate whether the term "concentration camp" or "internment camp" should be used to describe other examples of civilian internment.
- Lowry, David (1976). Human Rights Vol. 5, No. 3 "INTERNMENT: DENTENTION WITHOUT TRIAL IN NORTHERN IRELAND". American Bar Association: ABA Publishing. p. 261. JSTOR 27879033.
The essence of internment lies in incarceration without charge or trial.
- Kenney, Padraic (2017). Dance in Chains: Political Imprisonment in the Modern World. Oxford University Press. p. 47.
A formal arrest usually comes with a charge, but many regimes employed internment (that is, detention without intent to file charges)
- "the definition of internment". www.dictionary.com.
- "Euphemisms, Concentration Camps And The Japanese Internment". npr.org.
- "The Second Hague Convention, 1907". Yale.edu. Archived from the original on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 9, United Nations
- "Concentration camp". American Heritage Dictionary. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- James L. Dickerson (2010). Inside America's Concentration Camps: Two Centuries of Internment and Torture. p. 29. Chicago Review Press
- "Concentration Camp". The Columbia Encyclopedia (Sixth ed.). Columbia University Press. 2008.
- "Documents re camps in Boer War". sul.stanford.edu. Archived from the original on 9 June 2007.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- Concentration Camp Listing Sourced from Van Eck, Ludo Le livre des Camps. Belgium: Editions Kritak; and Gilbert, Martin Atlas of the Holocaust. New York: William Morrow 1993 ISBN 0-688-12364-3. In this online site are the names of 149 camps and 814 subcamps, organized by country.
- Evans, Richard J. (2005). The Third Reich in Power. New York: Penguin Group. ISBN 978-0-14-303790-3.
- Marek Przybyszewski, IBH Opracowania – Działdowo jako centrum administracyjne ziemi sasińskiej (Działdowo as the centre of local administration). Internet Archive, 22 October 2010.
- Robert Gellately; Nathan Stoltzfus (2001). Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany. Princeton University Press. p. 216. ISBN 978-0-691-08684-2.
- Anne Applebaum, A History of Horror, Review of "Le Siècle des camps" by Joël Kotek and Pierre Rigoulot, The New York Review of Books, 18 October 2001
- Media related to Internment at Wikimedia Commons