1901, "compound for noncombatants in a war zone" (see concentration); a controversial idea from the second Boer War (1899-1902), and the term emerged with a bad odor. In reference to prisons for dissidents and minorities in Nazi Germany from 1934, in Soviet Russia from 1935.
A place for assembling and confining political prisoners and enemies of a nation. Concentration camps are particularly associated with the rule of the Nazis in Germany, who used them to confine millions of Jews as a group to be purged from the German nation. Communists, Gypsies, homosexuals, and other persons considered undesirable according to Nazi principles, or who opposed the government, were also placed in concentration camps and eventually executed in large groups. (See Holocaust.)