On January 14, 1945, the final liquidation of the Nazi German concentration camp Plaszow took place. On a frosty January day, a group of over 600 of the last prisoners (including about 150 women) marched towards the Auschwitz camp under SS escort.
The ramp no.3 was located inside the Auschwitz II Birkenau camp, and went into operation in May 1944 in connection with the anticipated arrival of transports of Hungarian Jews. The railroad spur along this ramp ran as far as gas chambers and crematorium II and III.
Very similar gas chambers operated in the three German Nazi extermination camps created as part of Operation Reinhard. All of them resembled Jewish ritual baths, both from the outside and inside. They were all located in the separated and masked zone no. III, the so-called death zone, camp no. 3 or camp of the dead.
On December 24, 1940, the first Christmas Eve took place in the German Nazi concentration camp KL Auschwitz. On the assembly square, there was a Christmas tree illuminated by electric lamps, and the bodies of prisoners who died while working or froze to death during the assembly were placed under the tree.
Sonderbehandlung - murdering women with Zyklon B by the Germans in the narrow-gauge railway cars in in the German concentration and extermination camp Stutthof.
The railway ramp in Sobibór is one of the few buildings which can be seen until this day in the area of the German extermination camp that operated in 1942–1943.
On December 13, 1945, 11 people were executed in the Hameln prison in Germany (including 3 women). They were sentenced to death for their criminal activities in German concentration camp Bergen-Belsen.
On December 11, 1942, a preventive camp for young Poles was established in the Litzmannstadt ghetto (the Łódź ghetto) - Polen-Jugendverwahrlager der Sicherheitspolizei in Litzmannstadt. Children and adolescents aged 2 to 16 were sent to the camp.
On December 8, 1941, the activity of the first German death camp Kulmhof (Chełmno nad Nerem) was initiated in terms of extermination on an industrial scale. It was the first camp created for one purpose only - mass extermination.
At a distance of approximately 500m from the German forced labor camp Treblinka I, in the nearby Maliszewski Forest, there is the so-called "execution site". The remains of several thousand prisoners of the penal labor camp, who were shot or died due to inhumane living conditions, exhausting work, diseases, wounds suffered during work, or breach of camp regulations, are buried here.
Perpendicular to the ramp, between camps BII C and BII D, there is the so-called "Road of death". Surrounded on both sides by a 4-meter-high fence with barbed wire at (360V / 400V), it was the way to crematoria 4 and 5, located in the westernmost part of the largest German extermination camp.
On November 17, 1943, the German extermination camp in Treblinka was finally liquidated. On that day, the last group of 25-30 prisoners from the so-called Restkommando, responsible for demolishing the camp infrastructure and covering up the traces of the crime, was shot.
On the Independence Day celebrated in Poland, 151 people were shot in the German concentration camp Auschwitz. It was also the first mass execution performed by shooting in the back of the head with a silent-firing small-caliber weapon. The execution took place at the "death wall" in the courtyard of Block 11, known as the "Death Block".
On November 3, 1943, in the concentration camp at Majdanek, the so-called action "Erntefest" ("Harvest Festival") began, during which the Germans murdered over 18,000 Jews by shooting. That day was called "Bloody Wednesday" by the prisoners.
On October 23, 1943, a transport of 1,800 Polish Jews from Bergen-Belsen was directed to the German Auschwitz Birkenau camp. All the deportees had passports entitling them to emigrate to South America, which they purchased for a large fee and with the approval of Gestapo.
On October 14, 1943, an armed uprising of Sonderkommando prisoners took place in the German death camp in Sobibor. The goal was to escape from the camp and save themselves from death. In the extermination camps, apart from SS supervisors and Ukrainian watchmen, a small number of prisoners were selected from transports to serve the "extermination machine".
On October 13, 1941, a decision was made to build the death camp in Belzec. The conference at the Wolf's Lair was attended, among others, by Heinrich Himmler and Odilo Globocnik, SS and Police commander in the Lublin District, who was supposed to supervise the Belzec camp.
On October 7, 1944, the Sonderkommando prisoners forced to work in the crematoria started the greatest revolt in the history of the largest German extermination camp - Auschwitz-Birkenau. Sonderkommando prisoners were aware that due to the decreasing number of incoming transports and being direct witnesses of the committed crimes, they would soon be killed by the Germans.
On September 29-30, 1941, one of the most notorious crimes of the Second World War took place in the Babi Yar gorge in the north-eastern part of Kiev. German troops of Einsatzgruppen C, specifically Sonderkommando 4a, with the support of the SD and SS Police Battalions and the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police supported by the Wehrmacht, shot almost 34,000 people, mainly Jews.
The death camp in Sobibór (SS Sonderkommando Sobibór) - a Nazi German extermination camp established as part of Operation Reinhardt, near the village of Sobibór, near the Bug River, in the General Government. The time of mass murder covers the period from April 1942 to October 1943.
On September 2, 1939, the first concentration camp In the current territory of the Republic of Poland, later called Konzentrationslager Stutthof, was established in Sztutowo (German: STUTTHOF), 36 km from Gdańsk. The first transport consisted of about 150 prisoners, Poles arrested on September 1, 1939.
Treblinka railway station - the no longer existing building of the railway station where trains stopped just before the entrance to the Treblinka II camp. Transports of Jews murdered in one of the largest German extermination camps passed through this station. Most of Jewish Warsaw ended up there, as well as transports from all over occupied Europe.
In concentration and extermination camps, the Germans used gas chambers for mass extermination, mainly of the Jewish people, but also of Poles, Soviets, Roma, and prisoners deported from actually every occupied European country. Before the Germans started the extermination with the use of the most known agent, gas "Zyklon B", used in the camps: Auschwitz, Majdanek, Stutthof, the SS used gas chambers fueled with carbon monoxide from diesel / petrol engine exhaust.
On August 14, 1941, Father Maksymilian Kolbe was killed in the basement of the "death block" in the German concentration camp Auschwitz. At the end of July, during the roll call, he voluntarily chose to starve to death in exchange for a convicted fellow prisoner, Franciszek Gajowniczek. Eventually, after 15 days in a cell without food or drink, he was killed with a phenol injection and his body was burnt in Crematorium No. 1.
KL PLASZOW - "Hujowa Górka - one of the three execution sites located in the German concentration camp (formerly labor camp) in Krakow-Plaszow. Executions, most often by shooting, took place regularly from the summer of 1943 to the beginning of 1944.
At the beginning of August 1942, as part of the great action "resettlement to the east", the Orphans' Home in the Warsaw Ghetto was liquidated. On August 6, 1942, about 200 children, along with their guardian, Janusz Korczak, and the employees of the Orphans' Home, were sent to death in the German extermination camp in Treblinka.
August 1, 1942 - Operation Reinhardt: SS Sturmbannführer Christian Wirth (former commandant of the camp in Bełżec.) was appointed the Inspector of extermination camps of Operation Reinhardt. From that moment on, Wirth supervised the functioning of the German extermination camps in Bełżec, Treblinka and Sobibór.
SS Sonderkommando Belzec was the first Nazi German extermination camp established in the created as part of Operation "Reinhardt". The construction of the camp began on October 31, 1941, and the last prisoners, after covering up the traces of the crime, left the camp on June 26, 1943. Estimated number of victims: 450 000.
Majdanek, or rather KL Lublin - Nazi German concentration and extermination camp. It was the largest concentration camp (note: not the greatest extermination) in the General Government, which operated in the years 1941-1944. For less than three years of operation, at least 150,000 prisoners of various nationalities were sent to KL Lublin, of which about 78,000 died.
Wolf's Lair is a bunker town surrounded by forest, lakes and swamps. It is the largest and most recognizable field command headquarters of Adolf Hitler, which was in use from 1941 to 1945. Wolf's Lair is located in Gierłoż near Kętrzyn. This place is also related to the history of concentration and extermination camps.
The Nazi German concentration camp Gross-Rosen was located in the administrative area of the German state (Third Reich), near the present-day village of Rogoźnica (post-war name) in the Dolnośląskie Voivodeship. As a German Nazi concentration camp, it operated in the years 1940-1945. About 125,000 prisoners passed through the camp in 5 years, of whom 40,000 are estimated to have died.
On July 3, 1944 9 prisoners escaped from the Auschwitz sub-camp "Eintrachthütte" located in Świętochłowice through a dug tunnel. Digging of the 25-meter tunnel began on May 2. Chisels and a file smuggled out of the smelter served as tools. The entrance to the tunnel was in an unfinished barrack, where also hollow soil was scattered
Exactly 77 years ago, on June 26, 1943, a group of the last Jewish prisoners who took part in blurring the traces of the Nazi German extermination camp in Belzec were deported to extermination camp in Sobibor, where they were murdered.
June 23, 1944, the German Nazi extermination camp Kulmhof (Chełmno Nad Nerem) resumed its activities
Exactly 76 years ago, on June 23, 1944, the German Nazi extermination camp Kulmhof (Chełmno Nad Nerem) resumed its activities in the field of extermination. That day, 561 Jews from the Łódź ghetto came to the extermination camp. All died gassed in trucks (Gas Vans) in the Rzuchowski Forest.
Operation Barbarossa was carried out, were one of the most brutal and destructive battles of World War II. The launch of activities in the east was also a turning point in the Nazi plan to "solve the Jewish question."
Plaszow (Płaszów) - Nazi German forced labor camp (German: Zwangsarbeitslager Plaszow des SS- und Polizeiführers im Distrikt Krakau) 1942-1943. In 1943 it was transformed into a concentration camp (German: Konzentrationslager Plaszow bei Krakau) operating until January 1945. Estimated number of victims: 5 000 - 8 000.
On June 14, we celebrate the National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camps. The date 14.06 is not accidental, because that day the first transport of Polish prisoners from Tarnów arrived to Auschwitz.
Konzentrationslager Stutthof was the first and longest-existing Nazi German concentration camp in the current territory of the Republic of Poland. It was founded on September 2, 1939, near the town of Sztutowo (Stutthof) and existed as long as the war lasted - 2077 days. Its liberation took place only on May 9, 1945.
Auschwitz II Birkenau - in October 1941, at the behest of H. Himmler, the construction of a branch of the Auschwitz camp (Stammlager - mother camp) began in Brzezinka (German: Birkenau), about 3 km from the main camp. The branch was called Auschwitz Birkenau, Auschwitz II or KL Birkenau.
Treblinka II was the main Nazi German extermination camp in the General Government. Next to Bełżec and Sobibór, it was the third extermination center created as part of Operation Reinhard. The camp was located near the village of Treblinka, about 80 km northeast of Warsaw, on the main railway line Warsaw-Białystok.
On June 4, 1942, eight days after the assassination, Reinhard Heydrich, a German Nazi in the rank of Obergruppenführer, and a police officer in the rank of general died; he was the head of the Security Service in 1932–1939, Gestapo in 1934–1939, Reich Main Security Office in 1939–1942, president of Interpol in 1940–1942, deputy protector of Bohemia and Moravia in 1941–1942. The organizer of the Wannsee conference and a Nazi criminal who was one of the most significant people co-responsible for the Holocaust.
Auschwitz / Auschwitz Birkenau - Nazi German concentration and extermination camp, founded by the SS in April 1940 in the city of Oświęcim (about 30 km from Katowice/ 70 km from Krakow). Initially, it functioned as a concentration camp for Polish prisoners - intelligentsia, enemies of the Nazi system. At its peak, Auschwitz I hosted up to 20,000 prisoners.
TREBLINKA I - Nazi German labor camp operating in the years 1941-1944, in the forests near the town of Treblinka (about 100 km from Warsaw). Treblinka is mainly associated with the place of mass extermination, where in the years 1942-1943, according to estimates, from 800,000 to 1 million people, mainly Jews, were murdered. Few people know, however, that from summer 1941 there was also a penal labor camp.
Chełmno nad Nerem - SS-Sonderkommando Kulmhof was the first Nazi German extermination camp, created in autumn 1941 in Chełmno nad Nerem. It operated until spring 1943 and briefly in 1944/45. The main place of mass extermination of the Jewish population from the Reichsgau Wartheland and prisoners of the Łódź ghetto. The estimated number of victims is around 200,000.
Operation Anthropoid - 78 years ago, the attack on Reinhard Heydrich took place. In my opinion, he was one of the most important people responsible for the Holocaust.
"Arbeitslager Blechhammer" was one of the oldest forced labor camps for Jews. It was situated in Sławęcice in Upper Silesia. In the period from April 1, 1944 to January 26, 1945, it was part of the Auschwitz sub-camps.
Fort VII in Poznań was built in the second half of the 19th century and was part of the Poznań Fortress. During the period of the Second Polish Republic, it served the Polish Army, and when Hitler's army seized Poznań, it was renamed Konzentrationslager Posen. It is worth remembering that for the first time in Poland, here in Poznań, the Germans used the name Konzentrationslager.
Lorenz Hackenholt (born on June 25, 1914 in Gelsenkirchen, date of death unknown) - German Nazi in the rank of SS-Hauptscharführer. He was a member of the crew of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp and the Bełżec extermination camp, in which he was responsible for the operation of the gas chambers. He also designed gas chambers in the camps in Sobibór and Treblinka.
After the war, most SS-Wachmannschaften members were not punished for their crimes. Some emigrated to Anglo-Saxon countries (USA, Canada, Great Britain), where they blended in with the Ukrainian diaspora. Many others, especially those with German roots, lived in West Germany. A lot returned to the USSR after the war. They usually claimed to be forced laborers taken to Germany.
On May 9, 1945, the Stutthof concentration and extermination camp was "liberated". The camp was founded on September 2, 1939, the day after the outbreak of war. Nazi leaders from Pomerania imprisoned and killed many people of Polish nationality in Stutthof, according to plans created years before the war, in which the Germans assumed to Germanize the Pomeranian region.
Amon Göth (born on December 11, 1908 in Vienna, executed on September 13, 1946 in Krakow) - Austrian war criminal, Hauptsturmführer SS, during World War II the commandant of the Płaszow concentration camp and liquidator of the Jewish ghettos in Kraków and Tarnów.
"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" is one of the most famous films about the the Holocaust. However, the film contains a lot of errors and inaccuracies, as well as events that could not have taken place.
Exactly 75 years ago, on May 1, 1945, Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magdalena took their lives, also killing six of their children, whose names began with the letter H, in honor of Adolf Hitler.
An article about the camps written by a special guest will be published from time to time. Today my special guest is my dear friend Joanna Czopowicz, (ssaufseherin.blogspot.com) who will tell us the story of Soviet soldiers in Ravensbrück between 1945-1993 on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Ravensbrück camp.
The SS-Wachmannschaften, informally called Trawnikimänner, in addition to their service as part of Operation Reinhard, also took part in the liquidation of ghettos and mass executions, and also served in concentration and labor camps.
Rudolf Maria Spanner (born April 17, 1895 in Metternich, died August 31, 1960 in Cologne) - member of the NSDAP, pathologist and professor of medicine in Gdańsk, at the Institute of Anatomy of the Medical Academy, associated with the very controversial issue of "human soap".
The “Wachmannschaften des SS- und Polizeiführers in Distrikt Lublin”, informally called Trawnikimänner (as well as Askarysi, Hiwis), was a collaborative formation from World War II. It included Soviet prisoners of war and civilians who had been transferred to the German army and underwent training in the SS camp in Trawniki.
KL Gross-Rosen was located in the administrative area of the German state (Third Reich), near the present-day village of Rogoźnica (post-war name) in the Dolnośląskie Voivodeship. It operated in the years 1940-1945. 125,000 prisoners passed through the camp over the period of 5 years. 40,000 are estimated to have died. The camp had about 120 sub-camps. A large quarry operated in the vicinity of the camp, in which prisoners worked in inhuman conditions.
On April 16, 1947, Rudolf Höss, the first commandant and founder of the Auschwitz camp, was executed.
Stanisława Leszczyńska (born on May 8, 1896 in Łódź, died on March 11, 1974 in Łódź) – a Polish midwife imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp, a volunteer called "Mother" and the Handmaid of the Catholic Church.
55 years ago, on April 11, 1961, the trial of Adolf Eichmann began in Jerusalem. He was the head of the Jewish department at the Reich Main Security Office, "the murderer from behind the desk," responsible for the death of millions of Jews.
Josef Mengele (born on March 16, 1911 in Günzburg, deceased on February 7, 1979 in Bertioga, Brazil), a German scientist and doctor, an SS officer. He is best known for his service in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp as the "Angel of Death".
Yesterday we were in the vicinity of the highest wooden broadcasting tower in the world, located in Gliwice and being a witness to an important historical event, the Gleiwitz incident.
Rudolf Höß (Höss, Hoess) - the first commandant and founder of the Auschwitz camp, was sentenced to death. The sentence was carried out on April 16, 1947 by hanging in the Auschwitz camp, next to the building of the former headquarters and crematorium.
With great sadness, I hereby publish the information that on Wednesday a former prisoner of Auschwitz, Dario Gabbai, passed away at the age of 97. He was probably the last of the living members of the Sonderkommando.
Judenrampe – the place where trains with deported prisoners destined for Auschwitz stopped, active in the years 1942-1944. Although the ramp was quite an important place for the extermination machine, it is a "forgotten" and rarely visited place.
Odilo Lotario Globocnik (born 21.04.1904, died 31.05.1945) – an Austrian Nazi, high rank SS and NSDAP officer. A war criminal, one of the main organizers and executors of the extermination of Jews as part of the Reinhardt opetation.
Szymon Srebrnik, Mordechaj Żurawski, and Mordechaj Podchlebnik were three prisoners of the German extermination camp in Chełmno nad Nerem who survived the camp.The estimated number of victims is around 200,000 people died in the camp and only 6 survived!
There is lot of movies about World War II, the Third Reich and the Holocaust. Unfortunately, they often have factual and historical errors which are not always caused by ignorance or neglect. Below, I will cite two films on various subjects, produced in different countries.
“Lazaret”, a fake infirmary, was a place of execution in the Treblinka II extermination camp, which at first glance looked like a field hospital on the outside. People who could not reach the gas chambers on their own, as well as prisoners unable to work or sentenced to death for various offenses, were directed to the so-called "Lazaret", which literally means “infirmary”.
I. G. Farbenindustrie - a German chemical company founded in 1925, dissolved in 2012. During World War II, it was notorious because of its close cooperation with the SS, as well as the production of cyclone B and other chemicals.
The Thule Society was a secret racist and occult organization that was founded in Munich at the turn of 1917 and 1918. Its members, Karl Harrer and Anton Drexler, founded the German Workers' Party, later renamed the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP).
Adolf Eichmann (born March 19, 1906 in Solingen, died May 31, 1962 in Ramla) - SS officer in the rank of lieutenant colonel of Austrian origin, one of the key figures of the "Final Solution" and one of the main coordinators of Operation Reinhardt.
The Dachau camp was the first concentration camp established by the Germans after Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP rose to power. It was founded by order of H. Himmler in the spring of 1933, in Dachau near Munich. The main purpose of the camp was to isolate political opponents of the Nazi regime, clergy and Jews. It became a "model" for all other camps. From 1938, the camp was a kind of "training ground" for managers and watchmen of other facilities of this kind founded later.
Nikolaus “Klaus” Barbie (born on 25.10.1913, deceased on 25.09.1991) – also known as the “Butcher of Lyon”, head of the Gestapo in Lyon and officer in the SS-Hauptsturmführer rank, responsible for deportation of 7,500 Jews to extermination camps and directly responsible for about 4,300 deaths.
Irma Grese (born on October 7, 1923 in Wrechen, Mecklenburg, died on December 13, 1945 in Hamelin), best known as a supervisor (SS-Aufseherin) in German concentration camps and a member of the SS support staff. One of the most cruel, ruthless and bestial overseers in the camps.
Block 11 is one of the buildings located at the Auschwitz I camp. It is referred to as the "death block". First, it was marked as block number 13, later renamed to 11. The building housed the camp Gestapo headquarters and the arrest for prisoners suspected of, among others, activity in the resistance movement, contacts with civilians or an attempt to escape.
Action 1005 – code name of the action carried out by the Germans during World War II, aimed at blurring the crimes committed by SS/WH/SD units, including the Einsatzgruppen mainly in eastern and central-eastern Europe. After the mass crimes, the bodies of the victims were buried in the ground. A decision was made to exhumate and cremate the bodies in the field crematoria, grates for burning the corpses, and in pits and furnace piles. The operation covered both the sites of mass executions and the sites of already liquidated concentration and extermination camps.
A question may arise: why were extermination camps created? What forced Nazi authorities to take action in order to create mass extermination centers? One of the reasons was, among others, the activity of Einsatzgruppen (units separated from SIPO and SD), i.e. special operational groups moving behind the front line.
Franz Stangl (born on March 26, 1908 in Altmünster, died on June 28, 1971 in Düsseldorf) – SS man with the rank of SS-Hauptsturmführer of Austrian origin. Commander of the death camps in Sobibór and Treblinka. "White Death", as prisoners called him, was also a veteran of Action T4 mentioned in previous posts.
I recommend the movie "The Grey Zone". It tells the story of the armed uprising of the twelfth Sonderkomando in the Fourth Crematorium which took place on October 7, 1944 (exactly on H. Himmler's birthday). I will not summarize it, paying more attention to two important people who appear in this film, namely: Erich Muhsfeldt and Miklós Nyiszli.
Below I would like to show you a unique photo from the so-called "Höcker's album", in which we see Richard Baer (the first on the left), the last commandant of Auschwitz.The photo was taken shortly after he took up this position.
Before the Germans began the extermination with the agent known as Zyklon B, they used gas chambers powered by carbon monoxide from the exhaust of a diesel / petrol engine. The procedure took place as part of the "Einsatz Reinhardt" campaign and the resolutions that were made at the Wansee conference.
Reinhard Heydrich (born March 7, 1904 in Halle, died June 4, 1942 in Prague) - Obergruppenführer SS, one of Adolf Hitler’s most trusted and ruthless people. Founder of SD (SS intelligence) and Einsatzgruppen.