Re: CZ letter #austria-czech

Dick Plotz

It can be very confusing when words and abbreviations have multiple
meanings, especially when some combination of wrong meanings seems to
fit so well.

Balboa is a part of Panama City that was formerly a separate city and
capital of the US-administered Canal Zone, abbreviated CZ. It has
nothing to do with Czechoslovakia at all.

As for the term "concentration camp", it originated with the British
during the Boer War, and simply meant a place where a certain category
of people were interned, in that case Boers who might have hindered
the British war effort. I'm not aware of any concentration camps in
the Canal Zone during World War II, but it wouldn't surprise me if
camps for aliens of uncertain loyalty, or for refugees, existed there.
The US had what were effectively concentration camps for Japanese in
the US proper, and there were also camps for refugees, notably in
upstate New York, that can be described as concentration camps. The
term is not exactly neutral, but it isn't restricted to living hells
like Auschwitz either.

Dick Plotz
Providence RI USA

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