Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access

Forced labor
(1,126 words)

1. Meaning of the term

The term Zwangsarbeit (forced labor) first came into use in Germany around the middle of the 19th century and initially referred exclusively to a form of punishment in prisons or correctional facilities [1]; [3]. Subsequently it developed into todayʼs denotation, primarily in the context of state-organized punishment, exploitation, or annihilation in the 20th-century totalitarian systems. Modern coinages in German like Zwangsdienst (compulsory service), Dienstzwang (for…

Cite this page
Ehmer, Josef and Rinke, Stefan, “Forced labor”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 26 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_030910>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126

▲   Back to top   ▲