My stopwatch showed it all, 50 minutes, 70 minutes, and the diesel did not start. He was in his element, and showing me a large can full of teeth, he said: "See for yourself the weight of that gold! [32] After the war ended, Hering served for a short time as the chief of Criminal Police of Heilbronn in the American zone, and died in autumn 1945 in a hospital. [33], Bełżec camp guards included German Volksdeutsche and up to 120 former Soviet prisoners of war (mostly Ukrainian) organised into four platoons. They provide the essential knowledge about the functioning of the concentration camp at Majdanek and death camps in Bełżec and Sobibór. Up to that moment, the people [locked] in those four crowded chambers were still alive, four times 750 persons in four times 45 cubic meters. Lagerkommandant von Bełżec war ab Dezember 1941 der SS-Hauptsturmführer Christian Wirth, der bereits an der Ermordung von Behinderten im deutschen Reichsgebiet (auch Aktion T4) führend beteiligt war. The site was planted with small firs and wild lupines and all camp structures were dismantled. Bełżec : the Nazi camp for Jews in the light of archaeological sources : excavations 1997-1999 by Andrzej Kola ( Book ) The Operation Reinhard Death Camps, Revised and Expanded Edition: Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka by Yitzhak Arad ( ) 3. Some assumptions had to be made about the number of persons per each Holocaust train. Bełżec, Sobibor, Treblinka. März 1942 der erste Zugtransport mit Juden aus dem Ghetto Lublin in Bełżec ein und brachte wie die nächstfolgenden „arbeitsunfähige“ Menschen, Alte, Frauen und Kinder ins Tötungslager. The design was soon imitated by the other two Operation Reinhard extermination camps: Sobibor and Treblinka. Sobibór, along with Bełżec and Treblinka, is one of the three Nazi extermination camps designed to murder the Jews who arrived there immediately upon arrival, and … [58] In 1945 provincial authorities and the Tomaszów Lubelski Jewish Committee discussed the continuing plunder of the site. Although Holocaust witnesses' testimonies differ as to the type of fuel, Erich Fuchs' postwar affidavit indicates that most probably it was a petrol engine with a system of pipes delivering exhaust fumes into the gas chambers. [17][18], The "Final Solution" was formulated at Wannsee in late January 1942 by the leading proponents of gassing (who were unaware of Bełżec's existence),[7] including Wilhelm Dolpheid, Ludwig Losacker, Helmut Tanzmann and Governor Otto Wächter. vom Bildungswerk Stanisław Hantz e.V. [9], 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 76 kilometres (47 mi) northwest of Bełżec, and Lwów to the southeast (German: Lemberg, now Lviv, Ukraine) with the largest Jewish populations in the region. Die Niemann-Sammlung zu Holocaust und Nationalsozialismus. The camp operated from 17 … Diese Arbeitslager wurden im Oktober 1940 aufgelöst. Most of them were Jewish, but there were also several thousand Roma. [57], Grave digging at the site resumed when the German guard fled. You can't imagine what we find every day—dollars, diamonds, gold. Nur drei Überlebende des Vernichtungslagers, die ihre Lagererlebnisse öffentlich darstellten, sind bekannt: Rudolf Reder aus Lemberg, Chaim Hirszman aus Janów Lubelski und der chassidische Rabbiner Izrael Szapiro aus Lemberg. Wirth's house and the neighbouring SS building, which had been the property of the Polish Railway before the war, were not demolished. Soon, following the example of Bełżec, camps in Sobibór and Treblinka were established. Bełżec (pronounced [ˈbɛu̯ʐɛt͡s], in German: Belzec), was the first of the World War II Nazi German extermination camps created under Operation Reinhard. In vain. [65], All graves discovered by archaeologists contained large amounts of human cremation remains, and 10 graves also contained unburned human remains, which Prof. Kola described as follows: "Deposition of corpses in the water-bearing layers or in very damp structure of the ground just above that layer, with the difficulty of air penetration, because of the depth, caused the changes of the deposited bodies into adipocere. [18] Dolpheid negotiated with the SS-Oberführer Viktor Brack in Berlin for the use of the Aktion T4 personnel in the process. The process was conducted as quickly as possible amid constant screaming by the Germans. [c] Another 25 minutes elapsed. The victims were Jews deported from the Lublin Ghetto and its vicinity. "In our view," wrote Pohl & Witte in 2001, "there is no evidence to justify a figure higher than that of 600,000 victims. He submitted a … Im Frühjahr 1943 wurden alle Spuren beseitigt, später wurde zur Tarnung ein Bauernhof auf dem Gelände angesiedelt. [48][49] SS personnel with work commandos turned the camp into a fake farm with one Ukrainian SS guard assigned to settle there permanently with his family. New official monuments commemorating the camp's victims were unveiled. [63] Anita Ekstein has led many groups of students on educational trips to Poland where she shares her Holocaust story. 1942-03-17 mass deportations from the ghettos in Lublin and Lviv to the death camp in Bełżec began. [66]) Hirszman was killed before he was able to give a full account of his experiences at the camp. [53] The radio telegram indicated that 434,508 Jews were deported to Bełżec through 31 December 1942 based on numbers shared by the SS with the state-run Deutsche Reichsbahn (DRG). Weitere T4-Mitarbeiter kamen ab Januar 1942 hinzu. Stellvertretender Lagerkommandant und Leiter des Vernichtungsbereiches war ab Ende 1941 der SS-Untersturmführer Schwarz. Bronnaja Gora | Unloading ramp and cremation rails (historical artefacts). Später kamen Baracken für jüdische Häftlinge hinzu, die Kleidung sortierten und in der Wäscherei arbeiteten. She first visited Bełżec in 2005, a year after the new memorial opened, and discovered her mother's name inscribed on the memorial wall on Mother's Day. Work on the camp's construction started in the end of May 1942, and by the 22nd of July of the same year th… [13] Seit November 1942 wurden Leichen massenhaft exhumiert und auf großen Rosten aus Eisenbahnschienen verbrannt. See Beginning of the resistance movement in the camp. The Bahnschutzpolizei told him: "trains filled with Jews pass almost daily through the railway yards and leave immediately on the way to the camp. 5. Gedreht hat er vom Stativ und das erinnert an Claude Lanzmanns „Shoah“, das ihn beeinflusst hat. Any equipment that could be reused was taken by the German and Ukrainian personnel to the concentration camp Majdanek. In the midst of them stood Captain Wirth. [7] Dieses Lager in Bełżec war das erste von drei Vernichtungslagern der „Aktion Reinhardt“, die allein zur physischen Vernichtung von Menschen bestimmt waren. [22] For very small transports of Jews and Gypsies over a short distance, a minimised version of the gas van technology was also used in Bełżec. 1947. The bodies were placed on pyres made from rail tracks, splashed with petrol and burned over wood. ", "Chapter 4. Treblinka, 50.37166666666723.4575Koordinaten: 50° 22′ 18″ N, 23° 27′ 27″ O, Ermordung von Behinderten im deutschen Reichsgebiet (auch Aktion T4), Artikelabschnitt Belzec im Artikel Gaskammer (Massenmord), Artikelabschnitt Aktion Reinhardt im Artikel Lorenz Hackenholt, Liste der Konzentrationslager des Deutschen Reichs, Erhalt und Instandsetzung „Kommandantur Bełżec“, Gedenkstätte Belzec - Aufnahmen vom Oktober 2010, Belzec – eine Gedenkstätte für die Opfer der Shoah. Unlike Auschwitz, which was a death camp and concentration camp, a vast area the size of lower Manhattan, where slave labor and extermination existed side by side, Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka simply to murdered Jews. "those willing to help") in the concentration camps as guards and gas chamber operators. Im anderen Lagerkomplex befanden sich mehrere Leichengruben, Unterkünfte für die Juden des Sonderkommandos und die Gaskammern. For economic and practical reasons, Wirth had almost the same carbon monoxide gas used in T-4, generated with the torque of a large engine. It was reprinted in 1999 by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum with translation by Margaret M. See Decision to build the camp. Auschwitz | [3][6] This makes it the third-deadliest extermination camp, exceeded only by Treblinka and Auschwitz. They were Rudolf Reder and Chaim Hirszman. [24] The two zones were completely screened from each other and connected only by a narrow corridor called der Schlauch, or "the Tube". [3] Most Jews from the corpse-unit (the Totenjuden) were killed periodically and replaced by new arrivals, so that they would neither organise a revolt nor survive to tell about the camp's purpose. 1963 kam es in München zum Belzec-Prozess gegen Einzeltäter, von denen nur Josef Oberhauser am 21. [35][36], The more detailed description of how the gas chambers at Bełżec were managed came in 1945 from Kurt Gerstein, Head of the Technical Disinfection Services who used to deliver Zyklon B to Auschwitz from the company called Degesch during the Holocaust. The installation, resembling a railway transit point for the purpose of forced labour, was finished before Christmas. [16], NS-Dokumente über das Lager, zu seiner Größe und Bebauung sind nicht überliefert. Wirth received the Iron Cross in April 1944. [10] 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. Lorenz Hackenholt survived the defeat of Germany, but disappeared in 1945 without a trace. [3] It was situated about 500 m (1,600 ft) south of the local railroad station of Bełżec, in the new Lublin District of the General Government territory of German-occupied Poland. The National Archives: WO311/106. In einem Kassiber konnten sie die dortigen Häftlinge noch warnen, die auch deshalb im Herbst 1943 dort den Aufstand wagten. 13.10.1941. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard, International Youth Meeting Center in Oświęcim/Auschwitz, Rescue of Jews by Poles during the Holocaust,, Articles with German-language sources (de), Wikipedia extended-confirmed-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Polish, German, Ukrainian and Austrian Jews. Admission to the Museum is free of charge. [3] At times, a handful of Jews were selected at the ramp to perform all the manual work involved with extermination. [53] The camp had ceased to operate for mass killings by then. With deportations from Lublin and Lwow to the death camp in Bełżec, the Reich started extermination of Jews living in the General Government and those brought from other European countries. Having previously overseen the construction of Bełżec extermination camp, he applied lessons learned there to Sobibor. [12] The Burggraben project was abandoned with the onset of Operation Barbarossa. Finally, after 32 minutes, all were dead ... Dentists hammered out gold teeth, bridges and crowns. After 2 hours and 49 minutes—the stopwatch recorded it all—the diesel started. This number became widely accepted in the literature. Yitzhak Aradaccepted 600,000 as minimum, and the sum in his table of Bełżec … Sobibór, along with Bełżec and Treblinka, is one of the three Nazi death camps designed to murder the Jews who arrived there immediately upon arrival, and it is hard to find. [34] Józef Marszałek calculated 500,000. Januar 1965 zu vier Jahren und sechs Monaten Zuchthaus wegen Beihilfe zum gemeinschaftlichen Mord in 300.000 Fällen verurteilt wurde. The National Archives: CAB/66/8/27. Polski: Bełżec, ul. [27] Air photo analysis suggests that these 33 mass graves were not the only graves at Bełżec extermination camp. Sentence by the First Munich District Court (Belzec-Prozess – Urteil, "Drzewa "żywe pomniki" w Muzeum – Miejscu Pamięci w Bełżcu [Trees as living monuments at Bełżec]", "Decision to commence investigation into Katyn Massacre", A Reassessment: Resettlement Transports to Belzec, March–December 1942, "A New Document on the Deportation and Murder of Jews during 'Einsatz Reinhardt' 1942", "The ZWZ-AK Bureau of Information and Propaganda",, "Dawne upamiętnienie: pół wieku zapomnienia (Half-a-century of forgetting)",, "Obóz zagłady w Bełżcu (Death camp in Bełżec)", "Bełżec. The last visitors are admitted to the State Museum at Majdanek and its branches in Bełżec and Sobibór one hour before the closing time. 1942-06-01 at the beginning of June, deportations of Jews from the Kraków district to Bełżec began. [29], There were only two Jewish escapees from the camp who shared their testimony with the Polish Main Commission for the Investigation of Nazi German Crimes. 1942-08-01 Gottlieb Hering replaces Christian Wirth in Bełżec. Globocnik brought in Obersturmführer Richard Thomalla who was a civil engineer by profession and the camp construction expert in the SS. Decision to build the camp. [60], Following the collapse of the Communist dictatorship in 1989, the situation began to change. Following a decision in 1997 to establish a memorial project in which the entire area of the camp will be the memorial, archaeological research was conducted in order to examine the topography of the former camp, so as to exclude areas with human remains. The death camp at Belzec was located in South Eastern Poland, within the Lublin District, near the remote village of Belzec, on the Lublin – Lvov railway line. Niemann dokumentierte in zwei Alben und weiteren Einzelfotos seine ganze Karriere in der SS. [67], Rudolf Reder summarised his account of the Bełżec camp imprisonment in the book Bełżec, published in 1946 by the Jewish Historical Committee in Kraków with Preface by Nella Rost, his editor and literary helper. Fotos aus Sobibor. Hering kam Ende Juli 1942 mit weiterem Personal hinzu, das vorher beim „Euthanasie-Programm“ (Aktion T4) tätig gewesen war. Taken as a whole, Globočnik's camps at Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka had almost identical design, including staff members transferring between locations. Juni 2020 um 14:47 Uhr bearbeitet. Von den Entkleidungsbaracken führte der „Schlauch“, ein schmaler, von Stacheldraht begrenzter 70 Meter langer Weg, zu den Gaskammern. [5] The railway embankments used to be lined with bodies. Even though Zyklon B became broadly available later on, Wirth decided against it. "[27], It is believed that some 50 Jews might have escaped from Bełżec successfully, although most of them perished before the commencement of the "Final Solution". (Zum Inhalt und der Intention: Moscovitz, Jahrgang 1969, redet immer wieder davon, dass dieser Film fast zu spät kommt. Of those who escaped, only seven were still alive at the war's end. Das Vernichtungslager Belzec in Bełżec (in der heutigen Woiwodschaft Lublin) war ein deutsches Vernichtungslager, in dem in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus zwischen März 1942 und Dezember 1942 nach Zählung der SS 434.508 Menschen ermordet wurden. In early 1940 the Germans set up a number of labour camps in and around Belzec, housing workers building the so-called “Otto Line,” a series of fortifications on the border with the Soviet Union. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – Bełżec and, This page was last edited on 20 December 2020, at 20:31. [10], Innerhalb der nächsten vier Wochen wurden 75.000 Juden umgebracht, danach die Transporte vorübergehend eingestellt. The Reinhard death camps adapted progressively as each new site was built. [10] The ease of transportation was secured by the railroad junction at nearby Rawa-Ruska and the highway between Lublin-Stadt and Lemberg. The gassing itself, which took about 30 minutes, was conducted by Hackenholt with the Ukrainian guards and a Jewish aide. Chris Webb, Victor Smart & Carmelo Lisciotto (2009), The Bełżec Death Camp. [2] The camp operated from 17 March 1942 to the end of June 1943. Bone fragments were pulverised and mixed with the ashes to hide the evidence of mass murder. [30] He later moved to the Lublin airfield camp, to oversee Operation Reinhard till the end. [22], Bełżec "processing" zone consisted of two sections surrounded by a high barbed wire fence camouflaged with cut fir branches: Camp 1, which included the victims' unloading area with two undressing barracks further up; as well as Camp 2, which contained the gas chambers and the mass graves dug by the crawler excavator. The ditch, excavated originally for military purposes was likely to serve as the first mass grave. In some graves the layer of corpses reached the thickness of ca 2,00m. Von Bełżec aus wurden diese etwa 10.000 polnischen Juden in zahlreiche verschiedene Zweiglager verteilt und ab August 1940 überwiegend zu Erdarbeiten eingesetzt, um an der sowjetischen Grenze zwischen Bug und San Befestigungsanlagen zu bauen. [69], German extermination camp in occupied Poland during World War II, "Belzec" redirects here. Treblinka (pronounced [trɛˈblʲinka]) was an extermination camp, built and operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II. It could "process" the Jews of both regions. It is not advisable for children under 14 to visit the grounds and buildings of the former camps at Majdanek, in Bełżec and in Sobibór. An unknown number of prisoners jumped out from the moving Holocaust trains on the way to the camp, at their own peril. [10], There was a hand-painted sign on the new building that read Stiftung Hackenholt or Hackenholt Foundation named after the SS man who designed it. Bełżec fell within the German zone of occupation in accordance with the German-Soviet Pact against Poland. "[29] The last transport of Jews arrived at Bełżec on 11 December 1942. Schülerprojekte und Bildungsmaterial zum ehemaligen KZ Belzec (,, „Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike“. The camp was situated about 1.5 miles south of the village Belzec. [61], One of the prime benefactors behind the new memorial at Bełżec was Miles Lerman, an American Holocaust survivor whose own parents were murdered in Bełżec, raising approximately 5 million dollars with the help of the Polish government and the American Jewish Committee. und der Forschungsstelle Ludwigsburg der Universität Stuttgart, Metropol-Verlag, Berlin 2020, ISBN 978-3-86331-506-1. [a] The people wait inside the gas chambers. 1942-06-01 at the beginning of June, deportations of Jews from the Kraków district to Bełżec began. Bełżec, Sobibor and Treblinka: the Operation Reinhard death camps. You'll see for yourself!" In 2001, Lanzmann combined unused interviews with survivor Yehuda Lerner shot during the making of Shoah, along with new … [46] The Germans attempted to use the commission's results to drive a wedge between the Allies. [10], In the territory of the so-called Nisko 'reservation', the city of Lublin became the hub of early Nazi transfer of about 95,000 German, Austrian, and Polish Jews expelled from the West and the General Government area. Several people tried to escape from Bełżec, but only one of them, Rudolf Reder, survived. 1942-06-18 in the Bełżec camp, the Germans built new concrete gas chambers.