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. Where were the death camps located and why?. . Chelmno-first death camp December 8, 1941, Jews in Wartheland; near large forest for mass graves Auschwitz-Birkenau-largest; concentration camp/killing center; final destination for JewsLublin/Majdanek-Soviet POWs; November 3, 1943-Harvest Festival

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Why were the death camps established?

By: Kao Zee Xiong, Mai Lou Yang, and Melanie Xiong

Where were the death camps located and why?
  • Chelmno-first death camp December 8, 1941, Jews in Wartheland; near large forest for mass graves
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau-largest; concentration camp/killing center; final destination for Jews
  • Lublin/Majdanek-Soviet POWs; November 3, 1943-Harvest Festival

Operation Reinhard:

  • Belzec-second death camp; formerly labor camp; rail connections; proximity to Jewish populations in Generalgouvernment: Lvov, Krakow & Lublin
  • Treblinka II-located near Polish village near railway; heavily wooded and hidden-trapezoid, barbed wire wrapped in branches
  • Sobibor-railway, swampy, wooded area-rectangle, barbed wire covered in branches, sparsely populated, 50ft mine field perimeter
How did the Nazis economically support the camps?
  • Slave Labor-“rented" laborers
  • Stole money from conquered areas
  • Ties to wealthy businessmen-Hitler’s supporters
  • “Wall Street”-American Businesses sold to Germany: General Electric Company, Standard Oil, General Motors, Ford etc…; world stock exchange-US needed money

Cans of Zyklon B found by Allies after liberation. Made by US industries

How were the death camps created?
  • Was a solution to getting rid of all Jews, decided on January 20, 1942 during the Wannsee Conference called the "Final Solution"
  • The "Final Solution" was created through stages and events: 1) After Nazi Party rose to power, racism was enforced 2) Led to "Aryanization" 3) After the"Night of Broken Glass" pogrom 4) After beginning of WWII anti-Jewish policy evolved into a comprehensive plan to annihilate European Jewry
  • “Final Solution" established:-Deportation of Jews to killing centers-Immediate death for those unable to work, young kids, and the weak-Forced labor-Death eventually for remainders
What were death camps?
  • Death camps were only constructed with one purpose: to mass murder Jews and other “unwanted” vs. Concentration camps and their purposes: used as punishment camps, POW camps, transit camps, etc. and were often referred to as detention or labor camps
  • Death camps worked effectively and efficiently at minimal physical and psychological cost to the Germans -it could kill tens of thousands of prisoners each month

“Another possible solution to the [Jewish] question has now taken the place of emigration, i.e., evacuation to the east.…Practical experience is already being collected which is of the greatest importance in the relation to the future final solution of the Jewish question.” (Britannica Concise Encyclopedia: "Holocaust")[All understood “evacuation to the east” meant deportation to killing centers]

What were the killing methods in death camps?
  • Gas Chambers
  • Gas Trucks
  • Crematoriums
  • Mass Killings
Gas Chambers
  • The Jews were herded into the gas chambers, then the camp personnel closed the doors, and either exhaust gas or poison gas in the form of Zyklon A or B was led into the gas chamber.
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest killing center and an estimated 1 to 2 million were killed. 
  • The first gassing experiments involved 250 Polish and 600 Soviet POWs and they started as early as September 1941.
  • Majdenak began the gassings in October 1942 and functioned the same way as Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Gas Trucks
  • These were vehicles packed with Jews, handicaps, Gypsies etc. and they were gassed with carbon monoxide which resulted in suffocation. Gas trucks were particularly used at Chelmno extermination camp.
  • There were 3 gas trucks used in Chelmno, Poland.
  • Once the victims suffocated, the driver would take them to the forest camp (Waldlager) where the corpses were buried in the graves.This procedure happened on a daily basis from December 8, 1941 to the spring of 1943. 
  • Crematoriums were large furnaces used to kill victims; not only was it used for dead bodies but alive ones also. They would be burnt into ashes and this was an ongoing process to kill non-Aryans.
  • There were a total of 5 crematoriums which operated in Auschwitz-Birkenau and in a 24-hour-period, about 800-1,500 bodies were burnt.
Mass Killings
  • Germans killed a huge number of people at the same time by shooting at them. Mass killings were quite often throughout Holocaust.
  • 1.5 million Jews were shot in the most brutal way by Nazis.
  • In Majdanek, on November 3, 1943 and November 4, between 17,000 and 18,000 Jews were killed in one day as part of a mass shooting. This was known as "harvest feast“
  • Jews were forced to dig their own graves and they would eventually be shot to fall into their grave.

Holocaust Documentation and Education Center. N.p., 19 June 2008. Web. 20 May 2011. .

A Time of Terror: World War II and the Holocaust. N.p., 25 Jan. 2011. Web. 20 May 2011. .

Vogelsang, Peter, and Brian B. M. Larson. The Danish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. N.p., 2002. Web. 27 May 2011. .

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. "Holocaust Encyclopedia." Killing Centers: An Overview. N.p., 6 Jan. 2011. Web. 30 May 2011.      .

Rich, Mark. "The Hidden Evil: Wall Street funded Nazis." The Hidden Evil. N.p.,      17 May 2011. Web. 30 May 2011. .

“The ‘Final Solution.’” A Crybrary of the Holocaust. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2011. .“Hitler’s Final Solution .” Oracle Think Quest . N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2011. .“Holocaust .” Encyclopedia Britannica . N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2011. .“Killing Centers: An overview.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum . N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2011. .