Kapo (concentration camp)

Kapo (Concentration Camp)

Kapo (concentration camp)

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A kapo was a prisoner who worked inside German Nazi concentration camps during World War II in any of certain lower administrative positions. The official Nazi word was Funktionshäftling, or "prisoner functionary", but the Nazis commonly referred to them as kapos.


The origin of "kapo" is unclear. Some think it is an abbreviated form of the word, Kameradschaftspolizei, (roughly, "comrade police force") or comes from the Italian word for "head", capo. According to the Duden, it is derived from the French word for "Corporal" (Caporal).

Reputation for brutality

Kapos received more privileges than normal prisoners, towards whom they were often brutal. They were often convicts

From Oliver Lustig's Dictionary of the Camp:<blockquote>Vicenzo and Luigi Pappalettera wrote in their book The Brutes Have the Floor The author or translator probably refers to the book: Pappalettera, Vincenzo y Luigi. " La parola agli aguzzini: le SS e i...
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