A bit more information
These are names that should bring on nightmares even now, more than sixty years later.
Treblinka. Chelmno. Belzec. Sobibor. Majdanek. Auschwitz. To name only a few of the places where a policy of extermination was carried out at
the behest of the Nazi gov't. These, and others, were generally constructed on major railway links in order to facilitate the movement of
A Short History of the Operations.
Chelmno. The first death camp. Near Lodz, Poland. Between Dec. 1941, and Spring 1943, it is estimated that over 200,000 Polish Jews and tens of
thousand of Soviet Prisoners of War, and Gypsies were murdered there, using trucks converted into gas chambers.
Belzec. The second death camp. Near Lublin, Poland. Between March 1942 and May 1943, approximately 500,ooo Jews were exterminated by
Soibibor. Also near Lublin, Poland. Between May 1942, and October 1943, saw the murder of 250,000 Jews from all parts of Europe, along with an
unknown number of non-Jewish prisoners of war and civilians in the more sophisticated gas chambers disguised as shower and disinfection stateions.
Treblinka. Near Warsaw, Poland. This camp "serviced" the Jews of Warsaw amongst others. Between July 1942 and August 1943 upwards of 800,000 Jews
These four camps had no other function than to kill their inmates. There was no possibility of surviving as slave labourers, and all Jews were
murdered virtually upon arrival. The only ones who didn't were those the Nazi's needed to perform the gruesometasks associated with the deception
of, the murder of , disposal of, the soon to be dead, the dead, and their personal belongings.
Majdanek. Near Lublin, Poland. This camp was a combination concentration/extermination camp. During 1942 and 1943 130,ooo Jews perished here.
Auschwitz I/Auschwitz II (Birkenau)/Auschwitz III (Buna). All were located in SW Poland. Auschwitz was a combination, or complex, of camps combining
the functions of internment, concertration, and extermination. Auschwitz I was a "normal" concentration camp. Auschwitz II, known as Birkenau, was
the most extensive and ambitious, not to mention notorious; of all the death camps. Auschwitz III, also known as Buna, was a huge labour camp which
serviced the German war economy. The death toll in these 3 camps alone is estimated to have run upwards of one and q quarter million. The Jews
slaughtered at Birkenau, came from all over Europe: Holland, Greece, Germany, Poland, Russia, France, Belgium, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Norway,
Austria, Slovakia, Croatia, Italy, and Yugoslavia. Most of these deportees, soon to be victims, were unawaare of the fate that awaited them as they
were herded into cattlecars and deprived of air, food and water on the horrific trip to the version of Hell awaiting them. Many, many died of
suffocation and dehydration.
Immediately upon arrival at Birkenau, the jajority were tricked into taking "showers", or were driven by whips, dogs, and bullets into the chambers,
once naked inside these rooms, the doors were shut, bolted, and then hydrogen-cyanide gas (zyclon-B) was introduced into the rooms, murdering the
It will probably never be known exactly how many died during the Holocaust and the years leading up to it, Not just Jews, though they were the
primary targets; Soviet prisoners of war, Gypsies, the mentally and qhysically handicapped, percieved enemies of the Nazi Regime. All of them were
deemed undesirable by Hitler and his cadre of criminal. Not just the Death Camps, or the Concentration Camps, but Einsatzgruppen (SS mobile killing
squads)in and around the Eastern Front. The quisling gov'ts in occupied Europe, and countries which carried out their own pogroms, the Vichey
French, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, and others.
When all is said and done, counting is pointless and ultimately meaningless, I'm not hoing to arguenumbers. Any number I trot out, or others trot
out are probably wrong.
The fact that something this ugly and horrific was allowed to happen is a blot on the soul of mankind, and speaks to the darkest parts of our
There are, of course, other episodes that speak to that darkness to the same degree. The Turkish genocidal war against Armenians. The genocidal
warfare against native americans from 1492 on through the end of the 19th century. Slavery in all it's forms. The ongoing genocidal conflict in
Darfur and other places in Aftica.
But none of these, as horrific as they were, or are, speak to the evil that man is capable of quite as much as the Holocaust.
I wrote this in remembrance of a young lady whose granddaughter never met her. Knowing her granddaughter though, she must have been a wonderful
person. I don't know her name, probably never will, since Abby her granddaughter passed several years ago. But I remember her.