Belzec extermination camp

BelzecBełżecBełżec extermination campBełżec death campBelzec death campBelzec concentration camp BelzecBełżec campcamp in Bełżecnotorious death camp
Bełżec was a Nazi German extermination camp built by the SS for the purpose of implementing the secretive Operation Reinhard, the plan to eradicate Polish Jewry, a key part of the "Final Solution" which entailed the murder of some 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.wikipedia
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Operation Reinhard

Aktion ReinhardAktion ReinhardtOperation Reinhardt
Bełżec was a Nazi German extermination camp built by the SS for the purpose of implementing the secretive Operation Reinhard, the plan to eradicate Polish Jewry, a key part of the "Final Solution" which entailed the murder of some 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.
As many as two million Jews were sent to Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka to be put to death in purpose-built gas chambers.

Extermination camp

death campsdeath campextermination camps
Bełżec was a Nazi German extermination camp built by the SS for the purpose of implementing the secretive Operation Reinhard, the plan to eradicate Polish Jewry, a key part of the "Final Solution" which entailed the murder of some 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.
On 13 October 1941, the SS and Police Leader Odilo Globocnik stationing in Lublin received an oral order from Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler – anticipating the fall of Moscow – to start immediate construction work on the killing centre at Bełżec in the General Government territory of occupied Poland.

Odilo Globočnik

Odilo GlobocnikGlobocnikGauleiter'' Globocnik
On 13 October 1941, Heinrich Himmler gave the SS-and-Police Leader of Lublin, SS Brigadeführer Odilo Globocnik an order to start Germanizing the area around Zamość, which entailed the removal of Jews from the areas of future settlement.
As an associate of Adolf Eichmann, he had a leading role in Operation Reinhard, which saw the murder of over one million mostly Polish Jews during the Holocaust in Nazi extermination camps Majdanek, Treblinka, Sobibór and Bełżec.

Bełżec (village)

BełżecBelzecBełżec, Lublin Voivodeship
It was situated about 0.5 km south of the local railroad station of Bełżec, in the new Distrikt Lublin of the semi-colonial General Government territory of German-occupied Poland.
During World War II it was the site of the Nazi Belzec extermination camp.

Lublin

Lublin, PolandLubelskieDistrikt Lublin
In the Second Polish Republic, the village of Bełżec was situated between the two major cities in the southeastern part of the country including Lublin 47 mi northwest of Bełżec, and Lwów to the southeast (Lemberg, now Lviv, Ukraine) with the largest Jewish populations in the region.
The majority of the ghetto inmates, about 26,000 people, were deported to the Bełżec extermination camp between 17 March and 11 April 1942.

Lviv

LwówLembergLvov
In the Second Polish Republic, the village of Bełżec was situated between the two major cities in the southeastern part of the country including Lublin 47 mi northwest of Bełżec, and Lwów to the southeast (Lemberg, now Lviv, Ukraine) with the largest Jewish populations in the region.
The majority of these Jews were either killed within the city or deported to Belzec extermination camp.

Occupation of Poland (1939–1945)

occupied Polandoccupation of PolandGerman-occupied Poland
It was situated about 0.5 km south of the local railroad station of Bełżec, in the new Distrikt Lublin of the semi-colonial General Government territory of German-occupied Poland.
Three secret extermination camps set up specifically for Operation Reinhard; Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor.

Lublin Reservation

Nisko PlanLublin districtDistrict Lublin
It was situated about 0.5 km south of the local railroad station of Bełżec, in the new Distrikt Lublin of the semi-colonial General Government territory of German-occupied Poland.
The main camp of the entire complex was set up in Bełżec initially (before the construction of death camp) for the Jewish forced labor.

Pyre

funeral pyrecremation pyrefuneral pyres
The burning of exhumed corpses on five open-air grids and bone crushing continued until March 1943.
Funeral pyres were used by the Nazis to cremate the bodies of 1,500,000+ prisoners in Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka extermination camps, as opposed to the crematoria used in other camps.

Gottlieb Hering

The three commandants of the camp including Kriminalpolizei officers SS-Sturmbannführer Christian Wirth and SS-Hauptsturmführer Gottlieb Hering, had been involved in the forced euthanasia program since 1940 in common with almost all of their German staff thereafter.
He served in Action T4 and later as the second and last commandant of Bełżec extermination camp during Operation Reinhard.

Christian Wirth

Wirth
The three commandants of the camp including Kriminalpolizei officers SS-Sturmbannführer Christian Wirth and SS-Hauptsturmführer Gottlieb Hering, had been involved in the forced euthanasia program since 1940 in common with almost all of their German staff thereafter.
He was the first Commandant of Bełżec extermination camp.

Zamość

ZamosczamojskiZamojskie
On 13 October 1941, Heinrich Himmler gave the SS-and-Police Leader of Lublin, SS Brigadeführer Odilo Globocnik an order to start Germanizing the area around Zamość, which entailed the removal of Jews from the areas of future settlement.
Most of them were deported to forced labor camps in Germany, concentration or extermination camps such as Auschwitz, Majdanek and Bełżec.

Richard Thomalla

Globocnik brought in Obersturmführer Richard Thomalla who was a civil engineer by profession and the camp construction expert in the SS.
Thomalla was in charge of construction for the Operation Reinhard death camps Bełżec, Sobibor and Treblinka during the Holocaust in Poland.

History of the Jews in Poland

Polish JewsPolish-JewishJewish
Bełżec was a Nazi German extermination camp built by the SS for the purpose of implementing the secretive Operation Reinhard, the plan to eradicate Polish Jewry, a key part of the "Final Solution" which entailed the murder of some 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.
Some six million Polish citizens perished in the war – half of those (three million Polish Jews, all but some 300,000 of the Jewish population) being killed at the German extermination camps at Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek, Belzec, Sobibór, and Chełmno or starved to death in the ghettos.

Chełmno extermination camp

ChełmnoChelmno extermination campChelmno
However, Wirth decided that the comparable technology of mobile gas vans used at Chełmno extermination camp before December 1941 (and by the Einsatzgruppen in the East), had proven insufficient for the projected number of victims from the Holocaust trains arriving at the new railway approach ramp.
At the very minimum, 152,000 people were killed in the camp, which would make it the fifth most deadly extermination camp, after Sobibór, Bełżec, Treblinka, and Auschwitz.

Final Solution

Final Solution to the Jewish QuestionThe Final SolutionEndlösung
Bełżec was a Nazi German extermination camp built by the SS for the purpose of implementing the secretive Operation Reinhard, the plan to eradicate Polish Jewry, a key part of the "Final Solution" which entailed the murder of some 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.
It was the single largest massacre of Polish Jews in Generalgouvernement prior to mass gassings of Aktion Reinhard, which commenced at Bełżec in March 1942.

Schutzstaffel

SSßNazi SS
Bełżec was a Nazi German extermination camp built by the SS for the purpose of implementing the secretive Operation Reinhard, the plan to eradicate Polish Jewry, a key part of the "Final Solution" which entailed the murder of some 6 million Jews in the Holocaust. On 13 October 1941, Heinrich Himmler gave the SS-and-Police Leader of Lublin, SS Brigadeführer Odilo Globocnik an order to start Germanizing the area around Zamość, which entailed the removal of Jews from the areas of future settlement.
During Operation Reinhard, run by officers from the Totenkopfverbände, who were sworn to secrecy, three death camps were built in occupied Poland: Bełżec (operational by March 1942), Sobibór (operational by May 1942), and Treblinka (operational by July 1942), with squads of Trawniki men (Eastern European collaborators) overseeing hundreds of Sonderkommando prisoners, who were forced to work in the gas chambers and crematoria before being murdered themselves.

Lorenz Hackenholt

The T-4 SS man and first operator of the gas chambers, Lorenz Hackenholt, rebuilt an Opel-Blitz post-office vehicle with the help of a local craftsman into a small gas van.
During World War II Hackenholt built and operated the gas chamber at the Bełżec extermination camp in occupied Poland.

Sobibor extermination camp

SobiborSobibórSobibór extermination camp
The design was soon imitated by the other two Operation Reinhard extermination camps: Sobibor and Treblinka.
Roughly 200,000 people were murdered at Sobibor, making it the fourth most deadly extermination camp, after Belzec, Treblinka, and Auschwitz.

Kraków Ghetto

KrakówKrakow GhettoJewish ghetto in Kraków
The second phase of extermination began in July 1942, when the new gas chambers were built of brick and mortar on a lightweight foundation, thus enabling the facility to "process" Jews of the two largest agglomerations nearby including the Kraków and the Lwów Ghettos.
The Ghetto was liquidated between June 1942 and March 1943, with most of its inhabitants sent to their deaths at Bełżec extermination camp as well as Płaszów slave-labor camp, and Auschwitz concentration camp, 60 km rail distance.

Trawniki men

TrawnikisTrawniki guardsUkrainian auxiliaries
Work had commenced in early November 1941, using local builders overseen by a squad of Trawniki guards.
They took an active role in the extermination of Jews at Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka II, Warsaw (three times), Częstochowa, Lublin, Lvov, Radom, Kraków, Białystok (twice), Majdanek as well as Auschwitz, not to mention Trawniki concentration camp itself, and the remaining subcamps of KL Lublin/Majdanek camp complex including Poniatowa, Budzyn, Kraśnik, Puławy, Lipowa, and also during massacres in Łomazy, Międzyrzec, Łuków, Radzyń, Parczew, Końskowola, Komarówka and all other locations, augmented by the SS and Schupo, as well as the Reserve Police Battalion 101 formation of Ordnungspolizei.

Wilhelm Cornides

One Wehrmacht sergeant at the train station in Rzeszow, Wilhelm Cornides, recorded in his diary a conversation with a German policeman on 30 August 1942.
He was the author of the Cornides Report, which contains his account of the extermination of Jews at Belzec during the Holocaust.

Lwów Ghetto

Lemberg GhettoLwówLvov
The second phase of extermination began in July 1942, when the new gas chambers were built of brick and mortar on a lightweight foundation, thus enabling the facility to "process" Jews of the two largest agglomerations nearby including the Kraków and the Lwów Ghettos.
The ghetto, set up in the second half of 1941 after the Germans arrived, was liquidated in June 1943 with all its inhabitants who survived prior killings, sent to their deaths in cattle trucks at Bełżec extermination camp and the Janowska concentration camp.

Heinrich Himmler

HimmlerAlfred HimmlerH Himmler
On 13 October 1941, Heinrich Himmler gave the SS-and-Police Leader of Lublin, SS Brigadeführer Odilo Globocnik an order to start Germanizing the area around Zamość, which entailed the removal of Jews from the areas of future settlement.
He ordered the Aktion Reinhard camps—three extermination camps—to be constructed at Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka.

History of Poland (1939–1945)

German occupation of PolandGerman occupationPoland
Bełżec fell within the German zone of occupation in accordance with the German-Soviet Pact against Poland.
Six extermination camps (Auschwitz, Bełżec, Chełmno, Majdanek, Sobibór and Treblinka) were established in which the most extreme measure of the Holocaust, the mass murder of millions of Jews from Poland and other countries, was carried out between 1942 and 1945.