The Nazi Concentration Camp
"It was a completely independent domain of the SS"
One of the first “wild camps” established in the immediate aftermath of the Nazi seizure of power, the former military detention facility known as Columbia Haus in Berlin, would be used by the Gestapo as a prison for enemies of the Reich. The first inmates were political prisoners, who were held in horrific conditions in what can best be described as a torture facility run by the SS. Eventually others were held at the camp, such as homosexuals and Jews, who were persecuted by the Nazis. After several scandals involving the prison staff, the camp was designated a concentration camp, and came under the control of the SS Inspectorate of Concentration Camps, which ended the arbitrary killings and brought the prisoners under the systematic brutality that had been refined at the infamous Dachau camp. Some of the most notorious SS guards would begin their training at Columbia, overseeing the imprisonment of as many as 10,000 inmates over the course of the camps existence.