Bełżec extermination camp

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"Belzec" and "Bełżec" redirect here. For the nearby town, see Bełżec, Lublin Voivodeship.
Bełżec
Extermination camp
Location of Bełżec
Belzec extermination camp memorial
Blank.png
WW2-Holocaust-Poland.PNG
Location of Bełżec (lower centre) on the map of Nazi extermination camps; marked with black and white skulls. Poland's borders before World War II. Demarcation line, red
Location in Poland
Location in Poland
Location of Bełżec in present-day Poland
Coordinates 50°22′18″N 23°27′27″E / 50.37167°N 23.45750°E / 50.37167; 23.45750Coordinates: 50°22′18″N 23°27′27″E / 50.37167°N 23.45750°E / 50.37167; 23.45750
Known for Genocide during the Holocaust
Location Near Bełżec, General Government (German-occupied Poland)
Built by
Operated by SS-Totenkopfverbände
Commandant
Original use Extermination camp
First built 1 November 1941 – March 1942
Operational 17 March 1942 – end of June 1943
Number of gas chambers 3 (later 6)[1]
Inmates mainly Jews and Roma
Killed est. 434,508–600,000
Liberated by closed before end of war
Notable inmates Rudolf Reder, Chaim Hirszman, Mina Astman, Sara Beer, Salomea Beer, Jozef Sand

Bełżec (pronounced [ˈbɛu̯ʐɛt͡s], in German: Belzec), was the first of the Nazi German extermination camps created for the purpose of implementing the secretive Operation Reinhard, a key part of "the Final Solution" which entailed the murder of some 6 million Jews during the Holocaust.[2] The camp was situated about 0.5 km (0.31 mi) south of the local railroad station of Bełżec in German-occupied Poland,[3] in the new Distrikt Lublin of the semi-colonial General Government territory; and operated from 17 March 1942 to the end of December 1942.[4] The burning of exhumed corpses on five open-air grids and bone crushing continued until March 1943.[5]

Between 430,000 and 500,000 Jews are believed to have been murdered by the Nazis at Bełżec, along with an unknown number of Christian Poles and Romani people.[4][6] Only seven Jews performing slave labour with the camp's Sonderkommando survived World War II;[5] and only two of them,[7] became known from their own postwar testimonies submitted officially.[8] The lack of viable witnesses who could testify about the camp's operation is the primary reason why Bełżec is so little known despite the enormous number of victims.[8]

Background[edit]

The village of Bełżec, in the interwar period, was situated between the two major Polish cities in southeastern Poland with the largest Jewish population locally, including Lublin 76 kilometres (47 mi) northwest of Bełżec, and the city of Lwów southeast (German: Lemberg, now Lviv, Ukraine). Bełżec fell within the German zone of occupation following the Soviet invasion of 1939 in accordance with the Nazi-Soviet Pact against Poland. Originally, in April 1940 the Jewish forced labor was brought into the area for the construction of military defense facilities of the German strategic plan codenamed Operation Otto against the Soviet advance beyond the common frontier.[9]

In the territory of the so-called Lublin reservation earmarked for the Jewish settlement, the city of Lublin became the hub of early expulsions of about 95,000 Polish Jews from the General Government area.[10] The prisoners were put to work by the Schutzstaffel (SS) in the construction of anti-tank ditches along the Nazi-Soviet border.[11] The Burggraben project was abandoned with the onset of Operation Barbarossa.[4][12] 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.[9]

Camp construction and purposes[edit]

The decision to begin work on the first stationary gas chamber in the General Government preceded the actual Wannsee Conference by three months.[9] The site near Bełżec was chosen for several reasons: it was situated on the border between the Lublin District and the German Distrikt Galizien formed after Operation Barbarossa. It could "process" the Jews of both regions.[9] The ease of transportation was secured by the railroad junction at nearby Rawa Ruska and the highway between Lublin and Lemberg.[3] The northern boundary of the planned killing centre consisted of an anti-tank trench constructed a year earlier. The ditch, excavated originally for military purposes was likely to serve as the first mass grave. Globocnik brought in Obersturmführer Richard Thomalla who was a civil engineer by profession, and the camp construction expert in the SS. Work has commenced in early November 1941, using local builders overseen by a squad of Trawniki guards. The installation, resembling a railway transit stop with insulated barracks for showering, was finished before Christmas. Some local men were released. The SS completed the work by fitting in the tank engine and exhaust systems in February 1942. The trial killings were performed in early March.[13][14]

The "Final Solution" was formulated at Wannsee in late January 1942,[7] by the leading proponents of gassing unaware of the Bełżec existence, including Wilhelm Dolpheid, Ludwig Losacker, Helmut Tanzmann and Governor Otto Wächter.[14] Dolpheid negotiated with the SS-Oberführer Viktor Brack in Berlin for the use of the Action T4 personnel in the process.[14] Only two months later, on 17 March 1942 the daily gassing operations at Bełżec extermination camp began with the T4 leadership brought in from Germany under the guise of Organisation Todt (OT).[9][15]

Experience in the Action T4 euthanasia program[edit]

Commandant Christian Wirth

The three commandants of the camp including Kriminalpolizei officers SS-Sturmbannführer Christian Wirth and SS-Hauptsturmführer Gottlieb Hering, had been involved in the Nazi euthanasia Action T4 program since 1940 in common with almost all of their German staff thereafter.[14] Wirth had the leading position as the supervisor of all six euthanasia institutions in the Reich; Hering was the non-medical chief of the Sonnenstein gassing facility in Saxony as well as at the Hadamar Euthanasia Centre.[14] Christian Wirth had been a killing expert from the beginning as participant of the first T-4 gassing of handicapped people at the Brandenburg Euthanasia Centre. He was, therefore, an obvious choice to be the first commandant of the first stationary extermination camp of Operation Reinhard in the General Government. It was his proposal to implement the T-4 method of killing by poison gas inside fake shower rooms. Wirth decided to use exhaust fumes instead of the bottled carbon monoxide as the killing agent because no delivery from outside the camp would be required. The comparable technology of mobile gas vans used at Chełmno extermination camp before December 1941, and by the Einsatzgruppen in the East,[16] had proven insufficient for the projected number of victims from the Holocaust trains arriving at the new railway approach ramp.[17]

Wirth developed his method on the basis of experience he had gained in the fixed gas chambers of Action T4, and decided to utilize the exhaust gas produced by the internal-combustion engine of a motorcar. Even though Zyklon B became broadly available later on, Wirth decided against it. Zyklon B was produced by a private firm for both Birkenau and Majdanek nearby, but their infrastructure differed. Bełżec was a Reinhard camp meant to circumvent the problems of supply, and instead, rely on a system of extermination based on ordinary and universally available killing agents. For economic and transport reasons, Wirth had almost the same carbon monoxide gas used in T-4 supplied by a large engine. 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. For very small transports of Jews and Gypsies over a short distance, a minimized version of the gas van technology was also used in Bełżec. The T-4 man and first operator of the gas chambers, SS-Hauptscharführer Lorenz Hackenholt,[18] rebuilt an Opel-Blitz post-office vehicle with the help of a local craftsman into a small gas van.[19]

Concealment of camp's purpose[edit]

The wooden gas chambers built with double walls insulated by earth packed down in between them, were disguised as the shower barracks of a work camp, so that the victims would not realize the true purpose of the facility. The process was conducted as quickly as possible amidst constant yelling. The new arrivals were forced to disrobe upon disembarking from the trains and run along a fenced-off path to the gas chambers, leaving them no time to absorb where they were. A handful of Jews were selected at the ramp to perform all the manual work involved with extermination (removing the bodies from the gas chambers, burying them, sorting and repairing the victims' clothing, etc.). The extermination process itself was conducted by Hackenholt, guards, and a Jewish aide.[20] The Jewish Sonderkommandos were killed periodically and replaced by new arrivals, so that they would neither organize a revolt nor survive to tell about the camp.

Camp operation[edit]

Aerial photograph of Belzec camp perimeter taken in 1944 by the Luftwaffe (common with death factories after cleanup, making sure that it is safe to abandon). Known structures are gone except for the brick-and-mortar garage and auto-shop for the SS, whose foundations still exist today (lower left). Across the fence (left), separated from the main camp, the Hiwi guards' accommodations with kitchen as well as sorting and packing yard for victims possessions. Dismantled barracks can still be seen surrounded by walking sand. The railway unloading platform, with two parallel ramps, marked with red arrow. A smaller arrow shows the holding pen for Jews still waiting to be "processed". Location of gas chambers marked with a cross. Undressing and hair-cropping area marked with rectangle, with fenced-out "Sluice" into the woods, obstructing the view of the surroundings. Cremation pyres and ash pits (yellow), upper half.

Bełżec camp consisted of two sections: Camp I, which included the barracks of the Ukrainians, the workshops and barracks of the Jews, and the victims' unloading area with two undressing barracks; as well as Camp II, which contained the gas chambers and the dug-out mass graves. The two camps were connected by a narrow corridor called der Schlauch, or "Tube". The German guards and the administration were housed in two cottages outside the camp across the road.[4]

Bełżec's three gas chambers began operating officially on March 17, 1942, the first of the Operation Reinhard camps to begin killing.[4] Its first victims were Jews deported from the Lublin and Lwów ghettos. There were many technical difficulties in this first attempt at mass extermination. The gas chamber mechanisms were problematic, and usually only one or two were working at any given time, causing a backlog. Furthermore, the corpses were buried in pits covered with only a narrow layer of earth. The bodies often swelled in the heat as a result of putrefaction and the escape of gases, and the covering of earth split. This latter problem was corrected in other death camps with the introduction of crematoria.

It was soon realized that the original three gas chambers were insufficient for completing the task at hand, especially with the growing number of arrivals from the Kraków and Lwów Ghettos. A new complex with six gas chambers made of concrete, each 4 × 5 or 8 meters, was erected, and the wooden gas chambers were dismantled. The new facility, which could handle over 1,000 victims at a time, was imitated by the other two Operation Reinhard extermination camps: Sobibor and Treblinka. There was a sign on the new building that read "Stiftung Hackenholt" or Hackenholt Foundation named after the SS NCO who designed it.[21] In December 1942, the last shipment of Jews arrived in Bełżec. By that time, the Jews in the area served by Bełżec had been almost entirely murdered, and it was felt that the new facilities under construction at Auschwitz-Birkenau could kill the rest.[citation needed]

Command structure[edit]

The camp's first commandant, Christian Wirth, lived very close to the camp in a house which also served as a kitchen for the SS as well as an armoury.[22] He later moved to the Lublin airfield site to oversee Operation Reinhard. He was transferred to San Sabba, a former rice mill in Trieste, Italy. He received the Iron Cross in April 1944. He was killed the following month by partisans whilst travelling in an open topped car in what is today western Slovenia. His successor Gottlieb Hering served after the war for a short time as the chief of Criminal Police of Heilbronn and died in autumn 1945 in a hospital. Lorenz Hackenholt survived the war, but disappeared in 1945.[19]

Belzec extermination camp SS staff, 1942

Only seven former members of the SS-Sonderkommando Belzec were indicted in Munich. Of these, just one, Josef Oberhauser, was brought to trial in 1964,[23] and sentenced to four years and six months in prison, of which he served half before being released.

Camp guards[edit]

Bełżec camp guards included Germans (Volksdeutsche) and former Soviet prisoners of war.[24][25] Before they were posted as "Hiwi" (German letterword for Hilfswilligen, lit. "those willing to help") in the concentration camps, most Soviet POWs who served as camp guards underwent special training at the Trawniki SS camp division, originally set up as the holding center for Soviet POWs following Operation Barbarossa. They provided the bulk of Wachmänner collaborators in all major killing sites of the "Final Solution".[26][27]

Gerstein's testimony on the gas chambers[edit]

Main article: Gerstein Report

SS-Obersturmführer Kurt Gerstein, who worked in the SS medical service, was ordered to deliver a shipment of Zyklon B to Bełżec. He was so shocked by what he saw that he immediately buried the canisters of poison gas, and confessed his experiences to the Swedish diplomat Göran von Otter in a train from Warsaw to Berlin, where they met on August 20. He describes how he arrived at Bełżec on August 19 (another source gives the date as August 18)[21] where he witnessed the unloading of 45 train cars crowded with 6,700 Jews, many of whom were already dead, but the rest were marched naked to the gas chambers.

Unterscharführer Hackenholt was making great efforts to get the engine running. But it doesn't go. Captain Wirth comes up. I can see he is afraid because I am present at a disaster. Yes, I see it all and I wait. My stopwatch showed it all, 50 minutes, 70 minutes, and the diesel did not start. The people wait inside the gas chambers. In vain. They can be heard weeping, "like in the synagogue," says Professor Pfannenstiel, his eyes glued to a window in the wooden door. Furious, Captain Wirth lashes the Ukrainian assisting Hackenholt twelve, thirteen times, in the face. After 2 hours and 49 minutes—the stopwatch recorded it all—the diesel started. Up to that moment, the people shut up in those four crowded chambers were still alive, four times 750 persons in four times 45 cubic meters. Another 25 minutes elapsed. Many were already dead, that could be seen through the small window because an electric lamp inside lit up the chamber for a few moments. After 28 minutes, only a few were still alive. Finally, after 32 minutes, all were dead...Dentists hammered out gold teeth, bridges and crowns. In the midst of them stood Captain Wirth. He was in his element, and showing me a large can full of teeth, he said: "See for yourself the weight of that gold! It's only from yesterday and the day before. You can't imagine what we find every day—dollars, diamonds, gold. You'll see for yourself! "[28]

Closure and dismantlement[edit]

Belzec mausoleum. Unloading ramp and cremation rails
Portion of the memorial in Bełżec. Cemented rails built in place of the original unloading ramp, lead in all directions from which the Jews were brought in [29]
The field of crushed stone serves as grave marker; the entire perimeter contains human ashes mixed with sand.[29]
Portion of the memorial in Bełżec.
Symbolic "death road" (portion of the memorial in Bełżec). Under the ground passage built in place of former "Sluice" into the gas chambers, evokes the feelings of no escape [29]
Belzec extermination camp memorial. During the construction of the Mausoleum trees planted by the SS were removed and only the oaks, that witnessed the genocide, were retained.[29]
The ohel of the Belzec mausoleum
Belzec extermination camp museum

In the last phase of the camp operations, all prior mass graves were unearthed. The bodies were gradually removed and then cremated on long open-air pyres, part of the Nazi plan to hide the evidence of mass murder, known as the Sonderaktion 1005. Bone fragments were pulverized and mixed with the ashes.[4][30] The site was planted with small firs and wild lupines and the camp was dismantled. The last train with 300 Jewish Sonderkommando prisoners who performed the cleanup operation departed to Sobibor extermination camp for gassing in late June 1943. They were told that they were being evacuated to Germany instead. Any equipment that could be reused was taken by the German and Ukrainian personnel to the concentration camp Majdanek. Wirth's house and the neighboring SS building, which had been the property of the Polish Railway before the war, were not demolished.[30]

When the Germans left, some people from the surrounding villages returned to the site and began plucking the fresh lupins and digging in the soil mixed with ashes in search of manmade nuggets shaped from melted gold once hidden on the bodies of victims.[30] The area was covered with unearthed evidence of mass murder and human remains. The efforts to disguise the site were thwarted.[30] In response, the SS personnel with work commandos were ordered back to the camp to turn it into a fake farm with one Ukrainian SS guard assigned to settle there permanently with his family.[30] This model for guarding and disguising former camp sites was later adopted in Treblinka and Sobibor.[30]

Death toll[edit]

This document, the so-called Höfle Telegram, confirms 434,508 Jews were killed at Belzec in 1942

Historian Eugeniusz Szrojt in his 1947 study published by the Bulletin of the Main Commission for Investigation of the German Crimes in Poland (Biuletyn Głównej Komisji Badania Zbrodni Niemieckich w Polsce, 1947) following investigation by GKBZNwP which began in 1945, estimated the number of people murdered in Bełżec as 600,000.[29] This number became widely accepted in literature. Raul Hilberg gave a figure of 550,000.[31] Yitzhak Arad accepted 600,000 as minimum,[24] and the sum in his table of Bełżec deportations exceeded 500,000.[24] Józef Marszałek calculated 500,000.[32] British historian Robin O'Neil once gave an estimate of about 800,000 (based on his investigations at the site).[33] German historians Dieter Pohl and Peter Witte,[34] gave estimate of 480,000 to 540,000. Michael Tregenza stated that it would have been possible to have buried up to one million victims on the site although the true death toll is probably around half of that amount.

The crucial piece of evidence in the debate was published in 2001 by Stephen Tyas and Peter Witte.[34] It was the Höfle Telegram sent by Operation Reinhard's Chief of Staff Hermann Höfle, which indicated that 434,508 Jews ("cumulative arrivals") were killed in Bełżec through December 31, 1942. As the camp had ceased to operate for mass killings by then, this figure needs to be treated as almost absolute in regard to Holocaust trains statistics. "In our view," wrote Pohl & Witte in 2001, "there is no evidence to justify a figure higher than that of 600,000 victims."[35] After this period a sonderkommando of up to 500 people worked in the camp, disinterring the bodies and burning them. The sonderkommando was transported to Sobibor extermination camp around August 1943 and murdered on arrival.

The difference between this "low-end" figure and other estimates can be explained by the lack of exact and detailed sources on the deportations statistics. Thus, Y. Arad writes, that he had to rely, in part, on Yizkor books, which were not guaranteed to give the exact estimates of the numbers of deportees. He also had to rely on partial German railway documentation, from the numbers of trains could be gleaned. But here also assumptions had to be made about the number of persons per train.[24] Considering the vagueness of primary sources, many old scholarly estimates are not far off the mark.

It should also be noted that it is not completely clear whether the Jews who died in transit are included in the final sum. Considering the aim of compiling such a statistic (which was to know the overall number of the victims of the "Final Solution"—Hoefle's numbers were used in Korherr Report) they probably were included. Also, the sources like Westermann's report[36] contain the exact data about the number of deported persons, but only estimates of the numbers of those who died in transit, the fact which also hints that they were included in the final sum, because it would be hard for the authorities in Bełżec to learn the exact number of those murdered, excluding the dead in transport.

Remains of the camp[edit]

From late 1997 until early 1998, a thorough archaeological survey of the site was conducted. The survey was headed by Andrzej Kola, director of the Underwater Archaeological Department at the University of Toruń, and Mieczysław Góra, senior curator of the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology in Łódź. The team identified the railway sidings and remains of a number of buildings. They also found 33 mass graves, the largest of which were 210 by 60 feet. The team estimated that they had found 15,000 unburned bodies, and "The largest mass graves ... contained unburned human remains (parts and pieces of skulls with hair and skin attached) and entire bodies preserved in wax-fat transformation. The foul smelling bottom layer of the graves consisted of several inches to a meter thick of human fat resembling black soap. One grave contained uncrushed human bones so closely packed that the drill could not penetrate."[37]

Postwar commemoration[edit]

As a result of the Nazi German efforts to erase evidence of the camp's existence near the war's end, almost all its traces disappeared from the site. Even though the leveled-out mass graves of the camp's victims remained, there were no survivors to alert the Stalinist officials to the true significance of the site in the postwar years. Therefore the scene was not legally protected until the late 1940s. Some local inhabitants dug in the ground to look for concealed valuables buried with the ashes. Pursuit of the Nazi German perpetrators of the Holocaust in Germany in the second half of the 1950s drew first serious attention to the site. Furthermore, Soviet trials of Russian camp personnel held in Kiev and Krasnodar in the early 1960s soon followed suit.[38]

Scrawled with a Pencil in the Sealed Cattle Car, a poem by Dan Pagis, forms part of the modern memorial

In the 1960s the area of the former camp was fenced off, and the first few monuments were placed on the site. The fenced area did not correspond to the actual area of the camp during its operation due to lack of proper evidence and modern forensic research, and so some commercial development took place on areas formerly belonging to it. Due to the isolated location on Poland's eastern border, only a very small number of people visited the former camp before 1988. The site was largely forgotten and poorly maintained.[38]

Following the collapse of the Communist dictatorship in 1989, the situation slowly changed. As the number of visitors to Poland interested in Holocaust sites increased, more of them came to Bełżec. Many reacted negatively to the unkept state of the grounds. In the late 1990s extensive investigations were carried out on the camp grounds to determine precisely the camp's extent and provide greater understanding of its operation. Buildings constructed after the war on the camp grounds were removed. In 2004, Belzec became a new branch of the Majdanek State Museum,[39] and a large new monument commemorating the camp's victims was unveiled.

One of the prime movers behind the new memorial at Belzec was Miles Lerman, an American Holocaust survivor whose own parents were murdered in Belzec, raising approximately 5 million dollars with the help of the Polish government and the American Jewish Committee.

Another prominent Holocaust survivor with a connection to Belzec is philanthropist Anita Ekstein, former national chair of March of the Living Canada. Anita Ekstein was born in the Lviv area and was hidden as a child by Righteous Poles during the Holocaust.[40] Her mother, Ethel Helfgott, was among the victims in Belzec.[41] Anita Ekstein has led many groups of students on educational trips to Poland where she shares her Holocaust story. She first visited Belzec in 2005, a year after the new memorial opened, and discovered her mother's name inscribed on the memorial wall on Mother's Day.[42]

Survivors[edit]

There were only two Jewish escapees of the Belzec Death Camp who survived the war and shared their testimony after the war's end. They were Rudolf Reder and Chaim Hirszman. However, it is only the testimony of Reder that is of significance, since Hirszman was murdered after the war in Poland, before he was able to give a full account of his experience. Reder testified before the Central Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Kraków, Poland in January 1946 and he wrote an account of the Belzec camp in the book Belzec.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Yitzhak Arad (1987). Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pg. 73.
  2. ^ Yad Vashem. "Aktion Reinhard" (PDF). Shoah Resource Center. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  3. ^ a b MMPwB, Decyzja o podjęciu akcji 'Reinhardt', Muzeum-Miejsce Pamięci w Bełżcu, Oddział Państwowego Muzeum na Majdanku 
  4. ^ a b c d e f The Holocaust Encyclopedia. "Belzec". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b ARC (26 August 2006). "Belzec Camp History". Aktion Reinhard. 
  6. ^ "Belzec Death Camp Memorial, Poland (University of Minnesota)". Chgs.umn.edu. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  7. ^ a b Bergen, Doris (2003). War & genocide: a concise history of the Holocaust Critical issues in history. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 178. ISBN 0-8476-9631-6. 
  8. ^ a b "Belzec Death Camp: "Remember Me"". Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team. 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Historia Niemieckiego Obozu Zagłady w Bełżcu [History of Belzec extermination camp] (in Polish), National Bełżec Museum & Monument of Martyrology [Muzeum - Miejsce Pamięci w Bełżcu], retrieved 14 March 2014 
  10. ^ Robert Rozett, Shmuel Spector. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. Routledge. p. 47. ISBN 1135969507. 
  11. ^ Schwindt, Barbara (2005). Das Konzentrations- und Vernichtungslager Majdanek: Funktionswandel im Kontext der "Endlösung". Königshausen & Neumann. p. 52. ISBN 3-8260-3123-7. 
  12. ^ Christopher R. Browning, The Path to Genocide: Essays on Launching the Final Solution. Cambridge University Press, 1995. ISBN 0521558786.
  13. ^ Kenneth McVay, Yad Vashem (2015) [1984]. "The Construction of the Belzec Extermination Camp". The "Final Solution": Operation Reinhard - The Camps of Belzec, Sobibor & Treblinka. Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  14. ^ a b c d e "Aktion Reinhard and the Emergence of "The Final Solution"". Deathcamps.org. 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  15. ^ "The Gerstein Report (Der Gerstein-Bericht im NS-Archiv)". Annefrank.dk. 1945-05-26. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  16. ^ Ernst. Klee, Willi Dressen, Volker Riess (1991). "The gas-vans (3. 'A new and better method of killing had to be found')". The Good Old Days: The Holocaust As Seen by Its Perpetrators and Bystanders. Konecky Konecky. p. 69. ISBN 1568521332. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
  17. ^ Jack Fischel. The Holocaust (GOOGLE BOOKS). Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 46–47, 175. ISBN 0313298793. 
  18. ^ Michael Tregenza (2000), "The ‘Disappearance’ of SS-Hauptscharfuhrer Lorenz Hackenholt." A Report on the 1959-63 West German Police Search for Lorenz Hackenholt, the Gas Chamber Expert of the Aktion Reinhard Extermination Camps. Mazel on-line library. Internet Archive.
  19. ^ a b Klee, The Good Old Days (ibidem), at pages 230, 237, 241, and 296.
  20. ^ Ernst Klee. The Good Old Days. Pfannenstiel, Wilhelm, "Statement" given 25 April 1960, translated and reprinted (Konecky Konecky). pp. 238–244. Retrieved 26 April 2015. 
  21. ^ a b Gerstein, Kurt, "Report" dated 4 May 1945, excerpted, translated, and reprinted in Klee, The Good Old Days, at page 242
  22. ^ "Belzec - the house of Christian Wirth". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  23. ^ Sentence by the First Munich District Court (Belzec-Prozess - Urteil, LG München I) (German). Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  24. ^ a b c d Yitzhak Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. The Operation Reinhard Death Camps, Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis, 1987 ISBN 978-0-253-34293-5[page needed]
  25. ^ Reder, Rudolf, Belzec, Panstwowe Muzeum Oswiecim – Brezezinka.
  26. ^ "Trawniki (Holocaust Encyclopedia - United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)". Ushmm.org. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  27. ^ Mgr Stanisław Jabłoński (1927–2002). "Hitlerowski obóz w Trawnikach". The camp history (in Polish). Trawniki official website. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  28. ^ Arad, Yitzhak (1987). Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps. Indiana University Press. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-253-34293-5. Another translation of Gerstein's testimony can be found at Klee, The Good Old Days (ibidem), at page 242. 
  29. ^ a b c d e Jacek Małczyński (2009-01-19). "Drzewa "żywe pomniki" w Muzeum – Miejscu Pamięci w Bełżcu [Trees as living monuments at Bełżec]". Współczesna przeszłość, 125-140, Poznań 2009. University of Wrocław. pp. 39–46. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  30. ^ a b c d e f Yitzhak Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps, Indiana University Press, 1999, p.371, ISBN 0-253-21305-3
  31. ^ Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, Yale University Press, 2003, revised hardcover edition, ISBN 0-300-09557-0
  32. ^ Joseph Poprzeczny (2004). "Odilo Globocnik, Hitler's Man in the East (Notes to Chapter VII)". Google eBook. McFarland. p. 400. ISBN 0786481463. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  33. ^ Robin O'Neil, A Reassessment: Resettlement Transports to Belzec, March-December 1942. JewishGen, Yizkor Book Project. Accessed August 9, 2013.
  34. ^ a b Peter Witte and Stephen Tyas, A New Document on the Deportation and Murder of Jews during "Einsatz Reinhardt" 1942, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Vol. 15, No. 3, Winter 2001, ISBN 0-19-922506-0.
  35. ^ Dieter Pohl & Peter Witte (2001). "The number of victims of belżec extermination camp". Volume 31, Issue 1. East European Jewish Affairs. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  36. ^ The Westermann Report
  37. ^ "Archeologists reveal new secrets of Holocaust", Reuters News, 21 July 1998
  38. ^ a b "Dawne upamiętnienie: pół wieku zapomnienia (Half-a-century of forgetting)". Camp history and photographs. Obóz Zagłady w Bełżcu (Belzec extermination camp). 2005. Archived from the original (INTERNET ARCHIVE 2009 CAPTURE) on 2009-02-02. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Kalendarium". Powstanie Państwowego Muzeum (Creation of the Museum). Państwowe Muzeum na Majdanku. Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  40. ^ "March of the Living". 
  41. ^ "Yad Vashem". 
  42. ^ "March of the Living" (PDF). 

References[edit]

External links[edit]