How This Question Came Up: I am currently visiting my sister Rose at her home in Saarbruecken Germany. During a train ride to Luxembourg (where we were taking a day-trip) I asked my sister if there were any Concentration Camps near her home. She responded that only labor camps were in Germany and that all the concentration camps were in Poland. This lead to a discussion of the difference between labor camps, concentration camps, and death/extermination camps. After we finished this conversation I was left wondering ‘Why were there no death camps in Germany?’
1: The German labor camps were built before the Final Solution was decided upon in 1942.
2. Poland was a convenient location because it was home to the largest Jewish population of any European country.
3. Poland’s remote location was ideal for hiding the attempted genocide from the German people and from the world.
4. The Nazis saw the German population (and other populations of Western Europe) as an ideal Aryan race that was being contaminated with the presence of Jews. They wanted to rid Germany of this ‘contamination’ as soon as possible. The Nazis saw the Slavic people of Poland as ‘half human’, making Poland a resonable place to send the ‘poisonous’ Jewish people.
5. Eastern Europe was not an option because the Eastern European railway system was already overwhelmed by the Nazi War Effort. The trains could not have supported the exrta burden of the transportation of all off Europe’s Jews.