In Germany concentration camps were set up after 1933 to detain without legal procedure Jews, Communists, Gypsies, homosexuals, and others. During world war II extermination, or death camps were established for the sole purpose of killing men, women, and children. In the most notorious camps - Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Majdanek in Poland, Buchenwald and Dachau in Germany - more than 6 million people, mostly Jews and Poles, were killed in gas chambers. Millions of others were also interned during the war, and a large proportion died of gross mistreatment, malnutrition, and disease.

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