This FAQ may be cited as:
McVay, Kenneth N. (1998) "HOLOCAUST FAQ: Operation Reinhard: Layman's Guide to Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka" Usenet news.answers. Available via anonymous ftp from ftp.nizkor.org in pub/camps/aktion.reinhard/reinhard.faq1 (and ~/reinhard.faq2). ~20 pages.
The most current version of this FAQ is posted every 45 days in the Usenet newsgroups alt.revisionism, soc.history, soc.answers, alt.answers and news.answers, and archived as pub/camps/aktion.reinhard/reinhard.faq1 (and ~/reinhard.faq2), on the anonymous ftp archive on ftp.nizkor.org.Operation Reinhard: A Layman's Guide to Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka (Part One of Two)
1.0 Introduction & Editorial Notes............................. 1 1.1 Copyright Notice......................................... 2 1.2 Geographic Location and Background....................... 2 1.2.1 Belzec................................................. 2 1.2.2 Sobibor................................................ 4 1.2.3 Treblinka.............................................. 5 2.0 Gas Chambers............................................... 6 3.0 Crematoria................................................. 9 4.0 Compiling estimates on numbers exterminated....[Part 2]....10 4.1 Deportation Statistics ..................................11 4.1.1 Belzec...................................................11 4.1.2 Sobibor..................................................11 4.1.3 Treblinka................................................12 5.0 Administration.............................................13 5.1 Operation Reinhard Command Staff.........................14 5.1.1 Belzec Staff...........................................14 5.1.2 Sobibor Staff..........................................15 22.214.171.124 Wachman..............................................18 5.1.3 Treblinka Staff........................................18 126.96.36.199 Wachman..............................................18 5.2 Selection................................................19 5.3 Financial Accounting.....................................19 6.0 Research Sources & Other Useful Appendices.................20 6.1 Recommended Reading......................................20 6.2 Abbreviations Used in Citations..........................21 6.3 Glossary.................................................22 6.4 Work Cited...............................................23
[Reinhard] [Page 1] 1.0 Introduction & Editorial Notes
On January 30, 1942, ... Hitler reaffirmed to the German public his prewar prophecy that a world war would result in the destruction of Jewry. Three days later, in private, he told Himmler and other evening guests: "Today we must conduct the same struggle that Pasteur and Koch had to fight. The cause of countless ills is a bacillus: the Jew....We will become healthy if we eliminate the Jew." (Hitler's speech in the Sportplast on 30 Jan. 1942, reprinted in Max Domarus, Hitler, Reden und Proklamationen 1932-1945. Munich, 1965, II, 1,828-29; Adolf Hitler, Monologe im Fu"hrerhauptquartier 1941-1944: Die Aufzeichnungen Heinrich Heims. ed. Werner Jochmann, Hamburg, 1980. 293, 2 Feb. 1942) Two months later Hitler associated himself completely with Himmler's broad plans for Germanization of the East. According to what Gottlob Berger heard from a firsthand source, Hitler told a group of officers whom he decorated with the Iron Cross with oak-leaf cluster:I know exactly how far I have to go, but it is so that the whole East becomes and remains German -- primeval German [urdeutsch]...We don't need to express our ideas about that now, and I will not speak about it. That [task] I have given to my Himmler and he is already accomplishing it. (Berger to Himmler, 10 April 1942, NA RG 242, T-175/R 127/2649922)
Here was the politician calculatingly allowing subordinates to carry out his dirty work.(Breitman, 234-35) ...the nature of which would become clear all too soon...
After the assassination (mid-1942) of Reinhard Heydrich, Hitler's Reich Protector of Bohemia-Moravia, the destruction of the Jews in the Government General (Poland) became formally known as "Operation Reinhard," in a final tribute to the slain Nazi. This document will outline the history and effectiveness of the Reinhard camps.
Arad's preface offers these reflections:BELZEC, SOBIBOR, & TREBLINKA: An integral part of the Nazi killing machine in occupied Poland - these camps served one purpose, and one purpose only - the total destruction of the Jewish people. The Nazi leaders adopted and executed a deliberate and massive campaign of genocide which has been documented beyond dispute and is accepted by an entire world, excepting only those Neo-Nazi elements cloaking their continuing hatred of the Jewish people in pseudo-historical nonsense. The existence of Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz, Maidanek, Chelmno and others is beyond question. The purpose for which these camps were created is also beyond question. (https://www.tarifs.org/)
This article is the result of the combined effort of many, and contains data from myriad sources. I would like to acknowledge the assistance of the subscribers to the Holocaust Research Information List. Without their contributions, this document could not have been written.
[Reinhard] [Page 2] The appearance of a quotation mark within a proper name indicates that the previous letter should be read as an umlaut, although some quoted material appends a trailing 'e' instead. (I.e. Hoess and Ho"ss reference the same name.)
Documents cited in this work which are available from our ftp server are noted in URL format.
This post, as a collection of information, is Copyright 1993-1996 by Ken McVay, as a work of literature. Non-commercial distribution by any electronic means is granted with the understanding that the article not be altered in any way. Permission to distribute in printed form must be obtained in writing. The removal of this copyright notice is forbidden.
1.2 Geographic Location and Background
Preparations for Operation Reinhard began with the appointment of Globocnik and Ho"fle (See Administration, below) to oversee it. Globocnik was given near-unlimited police power in the Lublin district of the General Government area of Poland, and Ho"fle given responsibility for organization and manpower as his Chief of Operations. (http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi//orgs/israeli/yad-vashem/yvs16.01)
Three camps, Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka, were established. They had to be close to railways, and located in isolated areas, as far as possible from population centers, so their grisly work would not attract unwanted attention. In addition, in order to lend a semblence of credance to the cover being used - that the Jews were being transferred to work "somewhere in the east" in occupied Soviet territory - the camps had to be near the eastern border of the Government General.
The first camp, Belzec, was located on the Lublin - Lvov railroad line, and built between November 1941 and March of 1942. The killing, of Jews from Krakow and Lvov districts, began on March 17, 1942. (Note: Breitman states that the first SS men showed up at Belzec in October of 1941, to begin recruitment of laborers for construction. See http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/orgs/israeli/yad-vashem/yvs16.03 for construction details.)
"Belzec was the first pure extermination camp to begin operations in the region. There were only a few hundred worker Jews there (at a time), most used in the killing facilities or in the recovery of clothing and items of value from the dead. The first SS men showed up at Belzec in October 1941 to recruit construction workers to build [Reinhard] [Page 3] the facilities. Himmler's office had reported Globocnik's progress to Oswald Pohl, head of what soon became the SS Economic-Administrative Main Office (WVHA), preparing Pohl for cooperation with Globocnik. Pohl's office had reported to Himmler that it could no longer obtain sufficient clothing or textiles for the Waffen-SS and the concentration camps. Himmler replied that he could make available a large mass of raw materials for clothing, and he gave Globocnik responsibility for delivering them. <On Belzec, see Adalbert Ru"ckerl, ed., "NS Vernichtungslager im Spiegel deutscher Strafprozesse," (Munich, 1978), 132-45; Hilberg, "Destruction," III, 875-76. Brandt's daily log, with telephone calls 15 Oct., to Pohl, report on Globocnik; 17 Oct., to Pohl, report on Globocnik; 20 Oct., to Pohl, work with Globocnik, all NA RG 242, T-581/R 39A. On the nature of the cooperation and the textiles, interrogation of Georg Loener, 20 Sept. 1947, NA RG 238, M-1019/R 42/946. Loener dated these events "approximately 1941." Brandt's log notations (see above) pin this down to Oct. 1941. Arad, "Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka," 24-25.> Their owners were not likely to object. The gassing at Belzec began in March 1942 under the supervision of its first commandant, Christian Wirth. Ninety-one others from the Fu"hrer Chancellery who had worked with him on euthanasia gassings ended up at Belzec, Sobibor, or Treblinka -- all of which were designed to gas Jews and were under Globocnik's supervision. The gassing experts lived separately from the other SS and police, and they were not carried on the list of Globocnik's regular troops. (Arad, "Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka," 24-25, 17. Interrogation of Johann Sporrenberg, 2 Sept. 1945, Globocnik file, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, obtained through Freedom of Information Act.)
Before gas chambers were constructed, there was plenty that Globocnik could do with more traditional methods of killing. In October 1941 Captain Kleinschmidt, the company leader of a transport unit, came to the barracks in Lublin and ordered fifteen men to go with him. Each of the fifteen was given a truck and had to drive it to the concentration camp nearby. There they loaded about thirty on each of the fifteen trucks -- a total of about 450 Jews -- and carried them to an abandoned airport located approximately twenty-five miles from Lublin. The prisoners had to dig ditches six cubic meters in size. After finishing the ditches, ten of the victims took off their clothes and were given corrugated-paper shirts reaching halfway down the thighs. The bottoms of the ditches were lined with straw. The victims were ordered, ten at a time, to lie in the ditches, alternately head to foot. Then Globocnik's men threw hand grenades into the ditches, and heads, arms, and legs quickly filled the air. The troops shot anyone still moving after the explosion. Then they spread lime over the remains, and a new layer of straw was spread on top of the lime. Three or four layers of bodies, ten in each layer, were placed in such a grave. During the executions the other victims had to watch and await their turn. Women were kicked in the stomach and breasts, children smashed against rocks. According to an eyewitness to this particular episode, Globocnik's men killed approximately seventy-five thousand Jews in this general manner. (Commanding General, Eighth Service Command, ASF Dallas, to Provost Marshal, 21 May 1945, account of Willi Kempf, POW, NA RG 153, entry 143, box 571, folder 19-99.) Apart from the sadistic killings by hand, it was about as far as one could go in streamlining the process of mass murder without more advanced technology. (Breitman, 198-201)
[Reinhard] [Page 4] 1.2.2 Sobibor
The second, Sobibor, was established in March of 1942, near the village and rail station of Sobibor, not far from the Chelm-Wlodawa railroad line, in an isolated, wooded and swampy area.
SS-Obersturmfu"hrer Richard Thomalla, a staff member of the SS Construction Office in Lublin, was in charge of construction, but was replaced a month later by the first Camp Commandant, SS-Obersturmfu"hrer Stangl, who was responsible for completing the job. (get pub/orgs/israeli/yad-vashem/yvs16.04 for construction details.)
Sobibor was designed and constructed in the form of a rectangle, 400 by 600 meters in size. It was surrounded by a barbed wire fence 3 meters high, which had tree branches intertwined with it in order to disguise the camp. It was divided into three distinct areas, each independently surrounded by more barbed wire. These areas were:
The Administrative area - it consisted of the Vorlager ("forward camp"; closest to the railroad station), and Camp I, and included the railroad platform, with space for twenty freight cars, and living quarters for the German and Ukrainian staff. Camp I, which was fenced off from the rest, contained housing for Jewish prisoners and the workshops in which some of them worked.
The reception area, or Camp II. This was the place where the Jews from incoming transports were brought. Here they went through various procedures before being killed - removal of clothing, cutting of women's hair, and the confiscation of valuables.
The extermination area, Camp III. It was located in the northwest part of the camp, and the most isolated. It contained the gas chambers, burial trenches, and housing for Jewish prisoners employed there. A path, 3 to 4 meters wide and 150 meters long, led from Camp II to the extermination area. It was enclosed with barbed wire on both sides, and was camouflaged with intertwined branches to conceal the path from view. The path, or "tube", was used to herd the terrified and naked victims into the gas chambers after being processed. There was also a narrow-gauge railroad which ran from the rail platform directly to the burial trenches; it was used to transport those who arrived too ill or too weak to make it on their own, and for those who had died in transit.
The gas chambers were inside a brick building. There were initially three of them, each 16 square meters in size, and each capable of holding from 160 to 180 persons. They were entered through doors on a platform in the front of the brick building, and a second door was used to remove bodies after the killing was finished. The gas, carbon monoxide, was produced by a 200 horsepower engine in a nearby shed.
Burial trenches were nearby, each 50 to 60 meters long, 10 to 15 meters wide, and 5 to 7 meters deep. The initial test of the killing system occurred in mid-April, when 250 Jews, primarily women, from the Krychow labor camp, were killed while the entire SS contingent attended.
[Reinhard] [Page 5] Three additional gas chambers were added during a brief halt in camp operations which occurred in August-September, 1942. During this period, Stangl was sent to Treblinka, and replaced by SS-Obersturmfu"hrer Franz Reichsleitner as Camp Commandant.
At the end of the summer of 1942, the burial trenches were opened, and the bodies burned in huge piles. Subsequent victims were cremated immediately after death, instead of being buried as had been done previously.
On July 5, 1943, Himmler ordered the camp closed as an extermination center, and converted to use as a concentration camp. Camp IV was built in order to store captured Soviet ammunition.
After the uprising at Sobibor, Himmler abandoned the idea of a concentration camp and ordered the camp destroyed. The buildings were destroyed, the land plowed under, and crops planted. No trace remained by the end of 1943. The area is now a Polish National Shrine. (Encyclopedia, IV, 1373-1378)
Treblinka, the third Reinhard camp, was located about fifty miles northeast of Warsaw, and was established during June and July, 1942. Killing began on July 23, with the Jews of the Warsaw and Radom districts the victims. The design was similar to that described above, for Sobibor. (See http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/orgs/israeli/yad-vashem/yvs16.05 for construction details) There were three gas chambers initially, each 4 meters by 4 meters in size. Ten more were built between the end of August, 1942, and the beginning of October of the same year. Upon their completion, an entire load of twenty railroad cars could be gassed at the same time - roughly 2400 victims per day. A prisoner describes the beginning of his journey to the camp:"The first transport of 'deportees' left Malkinia on July 23, 1942, in the morning hours. ...It was loaded with Jews from the Warsaw ghetto. ... The train was made up of sixty closed cars, crowded with people. The car doors were locked from the outside and the air apertures barred with barbed wire. ...It was hot, and most of the people in the freight cars were in a faint." (Zabecki, 39-40, as cited in Arad, Belzec)
The killing was about to begin....During this early period, before mid-August, 5,000 to 7,000 Jews arrived in Treblinka every day. Then the situation changed, the pace of transports increased, and there were days when 10,000 to 12,000 deportees arrived, including thousands who had died en route and others in a state of exhaustion. This state of affairs disrupted the "quiet welcome" designed to deceive the deportees into believing they had arrived at a transit station and that before continuing their journey to a labour camp they must be disinfected. Blows and shooting were needed to force those still alive but exhausted to descend from the freight cars and proceed to the square and the undressing barracks.(Arad, Belzec) Abrahman Goldfarb, who arrived at the camp on August 25th., relates:
[Reinhard] [Page 6] When we reached Treblinka and the Germans opened the freight-car doors, the scene was ghastly. The cars were full of corpses. The bodies had been partially consumed by chlorine. The stench from the cars caused those still alive to choke. The Germans ordered everyone to disembark from the cars; those who could were half-dead. SS and Ukrainians waiting nearby beat us and shot at us ... (A. Goldfarb testimony, Yad Vashem Archives 0-3/1846, 12-13, as cited in Arad, Belzec)Oskar Berger, who was brought to Treblinka on August 22, described the scene: As we disembarked we witnessed a horrible sight: hundreds of bodies lying all around. Piles of bundles, clothes, valises, everything mixed together. SS soldiers, Germans, and Ukrainians were standing on the roofs of barracks and firing indiscriminately into the crowd. Men, women, and children fell bleeding. The air was filled with screaming and weeping. Those not wounded by the shooting were forced through an open gate, jumping over the dead and wounded, to a square fenced with barbed wire." (Kogon, 218, as cited in Arad, Belzec)
2.0 The Gas Chambers
All three of the Reinhard camps used carbon monoxide, pumped into sealed rooms, to do their killing.Carbon monoxide worked slower than Zyklon B, but it worked well enough for Himmler to proceed. While he was ... in Lublin, he sent a written order to Kru"ger: the "resettlement" of the entire Jewish population of the Government General was to be completed by December 31, 1942. With the exception of a few collection camps for Jews in some major cities, no Jews were to remain in Poland. All Jewish laborers had to complete their jobs or be transferred to one of the collection camps. These measures were prerequisites for the Nazi "new order" in Europe, since any remaining Jews would stimulate resistance and provide a source of moral and physical pestilence. (Himmler to Kru"ger, 19 July 1942, NA RG 238, NO-5574, quoted by Arad, Belzec, 47)(Breitman, 238)
Those who deny the Holocaust have claimed that fumes from a diesel engine are not toxic enough to kill people. (This claim is made with regard to the death camp of Treblinka - see Section 4.1.3 for the rulings from the German Treblinka trials. In other death camps, gasoline engines were used. The method of killing was simple - people were crammed into the gas chambers, and the exhaust of powerful engines was pumped into them).
In a closed chamber, of course diesel fumes will kill. There was actually a study on this in the British Journal of Industrial Medicine (Prattle, 47-55). The researchers ran a few experiments in which various animals were exposed to diesel fumes, and studied the results. (See http://www.nizkor.org/features/techniques-of-denial/diesel-01.html for additional information relating to diesel exhaust.)
In the experiments, the exhaust of a small diesel engine (568 cc, 6 BHP) was connected to a chamber 10 cubic meters (340 cubic feet) in volume, and the animals were put inside it. In all cases, the animals died. Death was swifter when the intake of air to the engine was restricted, as this causes a large increase in the amount of carbon monoxide (CO) that is emitted. (See, for instance, "Diesel [Reinhard] [Page 8] Engine Reference Book", by Lilly, 1985, p. 18/8, where it is stated that at a high air/fuel ratio the concentration of CO is only a few parts per million but for lower ratios (25:1) the concentration of CO can rise up to 3,000 ppm. It is very easy to restrict the air intake
Even in cases where the CO output was low, the animals still died from other toxic components - mainly, irritants and nitrogen dioxide.
Now, the diesel engines used in Treblinka were much larger - they belonged to captured Soviet T-34 tanks. These tanks weighed 26-31 tons (depending on the model) and had a 500 BHP engine (compared to a mere 6 BHP in the British experiments). The volume of the extermination chambers in Treblinka is, of course, a factor. But the chambers' volume is about 60 cubic meters (2040 cubic feet); this is 6 times more than those in the British experiments, but the difference in the size of the engines is much larger than a factor of 6.
It should be remembered that what matters in CO poisoning is not the concentration of CO, but the ratio of CO to oxygen. In a small, gas-tight room, crammed full of people, oxygen levels drop quickly, thus making death by CO poisoning faster. As noted, other toxic components in the fumes further accelerate mortality.
The SS was aware of the fact that cramming as many people as possible into the gas chamber, thus leaving no empty spaces, would accelerate mortality. This is evident, for instance, from a letter regarding "gassing vans" (used in the Chelmno extermination camp and other locations) sent to SS-Obersturmbannfu"hrer Walter Rauff, 5 June 1942. (Rauff was in charge of the Technical Department of the Reich Security Main Office, and was responsible for developing the mobile gas vans used by the Einsatzgruppen) The letter is quite long, but here is the relevant part:------------------------------------------------------------------ 2) The vans are normally loaded with 9-10 people per square meter. With the large Saurer special vans this is not possible because although they do not become overloaded their maneuverability is much impaired. A reduction in the load area appears desirable. It can be achieved by reducing the size of the van by c. 1 meter. The difficulty referred to cannot be overcome by reducing the size of the load. For a reduction in the numbers will necessitate a longer period of operation because the free spaces will have to be filled with CO. By contrast, a smaller load area which is completely full requires a much shorter period of operation since there are no free spaces."(Just. See http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/r/rauff.walter/rauff.letter.060542) ------------------------------------------------------------------
[Reinhard] [Page 9] On July 22 ...deportations began from the Warsaw ghetto to ... [Treblinka]. The same day, Globocnik wrote to Karl Wolff: "The Reich Fuehrer SS ... has given us so much new work that with it now all our most secret wishes are to be fulfilled. I am so very thankful to him for this, and he can be sure of one thing, that these things he wishes will be fulfilled in the shortest time. (On the start of deportations to Treblinka, Arad, Belzec, 60-61, 392. Quote from Globocnik to Wolff, 22 July 1942, Globocnik SS file, Berlin Document Center.) (Breitman, 238)The Treblinka site is now a Polish National Monument.
Unlike Auschwitz, the Reinhard camps were not equipped for the cremation of bodies. Until the end of 1942, bodies were buried or burned in huge pits. In early 1943, the SS began using pyres, built above-ground, in an effort to speed up the disposal of the bodies, and to eliminate evidence of the extermination activity.
4.0 Compiling estimates on numbers exterminated................10 4.1 Deportation Statistics ..................................11 4.1.1 Belzec...................................................11 4.1.2 Sobibor..................................................11 4.1.3 Treblinka................................................12 5.0 Administration.............................................13 5.1 Operation Reinhard Command Staff.........................14 5.1.1 Belzec Staff...........................................14 188.8.131.52 Wachmen..............................................14 5.1.2 Sobibor Staff..........................................15 184.108.40.206 Wachmen..............................................18 5.1.3 Treblinka Staff........................................18 220.127.116.11 Wachmen..............................................18 5.2 Selection................................................19 5.3 Financial Accounting.....................................19 6.0 Research Sources & Other Useful Appendices.................20 6.1 Recommended Reading......................................20 6.2 Abbreviations Used in Citations..........................21 6.3 Glossary.................................................22 6.4 Work Cited...............................................23
[Reinhard] [Page 10] 4.0 Compiling Estimates of the Numbers Exterminated
"The exact number of Jews who were deported to the Operation Reinhard death camps is difficult to determine because of the prevailing conditions at the time and the method employed by the Nazi extermination machine in expelling the victims to Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. The number of Jews who lived in the towns and townships of Poland before the war is known from the population census carried out there in 1931. Some demographic changes took place during the years 1931-1939, but these did not basically alter the number of Jews living there on the eve of the German occupation.
Substantial demographic changes did occur during the war, during the years 1939-1945, until the onset of the deportations to the death camps. In these years, tens of thousands of Jews escaped from one place to seek refuge in another. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled and resettled, sent to labor camps, or concentrated in larger ghettos. Thousands of Jews were murdered in shooting Aktionen in the vicinity of their homes -- before, during, and after the deportations to the death camps. Thus, on the eve of the expulsions, there were many small localities in which Jews no longer lived and other localities in which the number of Jews was much higher than before the war.
The deportation method, as carried out by the German authorities in the General Government, was 'en masse', without lists of names or even exact numbers. Usually ghettos were totally liquidated, and only the killing capacity of the camps and the volume of the trains dictated the number of people who were deported. In places where some Jews were temporarily left behind, the Germans counted the few who remained, while all the others were pushed into the trains.
Documents of the German railway authorities, which were found after the war, provided some data on the number of trains and freight cars. If we take into account that each fully packed freight car carried 100-150 people, we can arrive at an approximate indication of the number of Jews in each transport.
Another source of information was the census of the ghetto inhabitants carried out by the Judenrats in some of these places. A census of this type was usually taken by order of the German authorities for purposes of forced-labor requests or in preparation for the deportations. Sometimes the Judenrats also took a census for their own purposes ... food rationing or housing problems. Documents containing these data and sometimes even the number of Jews who were deported, as collected by the Judenrat, were found after the war. Sometimes they were mentioned in diaries written by ghetto inmates and left behind.
Numerous memoirs written by survivors, as well as the memorial books (Yizkor books, text from two are available from our server (see pub/holocaust/poland/wlodawa and ~/ostrow), contain important data about the deportations, including dates and the number of deported. Testimonies by survivors, statements by local people who witnessed the deportations, and evidence given by members of the German administration at the war crimes trials serve as significant sources of information.
[Reinhard] [Page 11] Together, all these documents and sources enable us to arrive at an estimation that comes very close to the actual figures and dates of the deportations to the Operation Reinhard death camps." (Arad, 381-382)
4.1 Deportation Statistics
Yitzhak Arad's work (Belzec) has provided an extensive collection of deportation lists, most of which are available through our Holocaust archive sites. His comments regarding the sources for these statistics are found immediately above, in Section 4.0. In addition, German court findings during post-war trials provides additional documentation, and we have transcribed the Operation Reinhard section of the Yad Vashem Studies XVI, and made it available by anonymous ftp and the World Wide Web. See Part 01, Page 1, for retrieval comments. Yad Vashem provides extensively documented material, of great value to researchers.
It is important to note here that the figures provided below, from Arad (Belzec), do not include Jews from outside the General Government area, i.e. Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, etc.
Arad (Belzec) lists 246,922 deportees from within the General Government area alone, and a total of 600,000 killed in all, primarily Jews, with perhaps a few hundred to a few thousand Gypsies as well. He adds,This figure was confirmed by the Glowna Komisja Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w Polsce (Main Commission for Investigation of Nazi Crimes in Poland) and was accepted by the judical authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany. (Encyclopedia, Vol. I, 178)
Deportations to Belzec ended in December, 1942, and the transports stopped. Most of the Jews in the General Government were already dead, and Sobibor and Treblinka would handle any that weren't.
Information about Belzec is scarce, as very few escaped death there. One who did, Rudolf Reder, who escaped in November, 1942 after four months in the camp, recorded his testimony in Krakow, in 1946. (Reder, R. Belzec. Krakow, 1946; See also Tregenza, M. "Belzec Deathcamp," Wiener Library Bulletin 30, 1979, 8-25)
Yitzhak Arad (Belzec) provides the following information regarding Sobibor:"...close to 100,000 Jews from the District of Lublin were deported to Sobibor. Based on the number of Jews who lived in small townships and villages in these areas before the war, and considering the thousands of Jews who were expelled or fled from territories in western Poland, which was annexed to Germany, and who found refuge in the Lublin area, the actual number of those who were deported to Sobibor is much higher. We may assume that the total number of Jews from the District of Lublin who were exterminated in Sobibor was about 130,000 to 140,000. About 15,000 to 25,000 Jews were deported from Lvov and the other ghettos in the District of Galicia to Sobibor in the period ... after Belzec was closed." (Arad, Belzec)
[Reinhard] [Page 12] 4.1.3 Treblinka
The most accurate figures available regarding the numbers killed at the Treblinka camp are found in the judgements (URTEILSBEGRUNDUNG) from the first and second Treblinka trials, held in Dusseldorf in 1965 and 1970:Passed on September 3, 1965 in the trial of Kurt Franz and nine others at the court of Assizes in Dusseldorf (First Treblinka Trial) (AZ-LG Dusseldorf: II 931638, p. 49 ff.), and the trial of Franz Stangl at the court of Assizes at Dusseldorf (Second Treblinka Trial) on December 22, 1970 (pp. 111 ff.,AZ-LG Dusseldorf, XI-148/69 S.) Number of Persons Killed at the Treblinka Extermination Camp: ------------------------------------------------------------- At least 700,000 persons, predominantly Jews, but also a number of Gypsies, were killed at the Treblinka extermination camp. These findings are based on the expert opinion submitted to the Court of Assizes by Dr. Helmut Krausnick, director of the Institute for Contemporary History (Institute fuer Zeitgeschichte) in Munich. In formulating his opinion, Dr. Krausnick consulted all the German and foreign archival material accessible to him and customarily studied in historical research. Among the documents he examined were the following: (1) The so-called Stroop report, a report by SS Brigadefuhrer [Brigadier] Jurgen Stroop, dealing with the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. This report consists of three parts: namely, an introduction, a compilation of daily reports and a collection of photographs. (2) The record of the trial of the major war criminals before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg. (3) The official transportation documents (train schedules, telegrams, and train inventories) relevant to the transports to Treblinka. The latter documents, of which only a part were recovered after the war, were the subject of the trial and were made available to Dr. Krausnick by the Court of Assizes. Dr. Krausnick's report includes the following information: According to the Stroop report a total of approximately 310,000 Jews were transported in freight trains from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka during the period from July 22, 1942 to October 3, 1942. Approximately another 19,000 Jews made the same journey during the period from January, 1943 to the middle of May, 1943. During the period from August 21, 1942 to August 23, 1943, additional transports of Jews arrived at the Treblinka extermination camp, likewise by freight train, from other Polish cities, including Kielce, Miedzyrec, Lukow, Wloszczowa, Sedzizzow, Czestochowa, Szydlowiec, Lochow, Kozienice, Bialystok, Tomaszow, Grodno and Radom. Other Jews, who lived in
[Reinhard] [Page 13] the vicinity of Treblinka, arrived at Treblinka in horse-drawn wagons and in trucks, as did Gypsies, including some from countries other than Poland. In addition, Jews from Germany and from other European countries, including Austria, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Greece were transported to Treblinka, predominantly in passenger trains.It has not been possible, of course, to establish the exact number of people transported to Treblinka in this fashion, because only a part of the transportation documents, particularly those relevant to the railroad transports, are available. Still, assuming that each of the trains consisted of an average of 60 cars, with each freight car holding an average total of 100 persons and each passenger car an average total of 50 (i.e., that each freight train might have carried an approximate total of 6,000, and each passenger train an approximate total of 3,000 Jews to Treblinka) the total number of people transported to Treblinka in freight trains and passenger trains might be estimated at approximately 271,000. This total would not include the 329,000 from Warsaw. Actually, however, these figures in many instances were much larger than the ones cited above. Besides, many additional thousands of Jews - and also Gypsies - arrived in Treblinka in horse-drawn wagons and on trucks. Accordingly, it must be assumed that the total number of Jews from Warsaw, from other parts of Poland, from Germany and from other European countries, who were taken to Treblinka, plus the total of at least 1,000 Gypsies who shared the same fate, amounted to far more than 700,000, even if one considers that several thousands of people were subsequently moved from Treblinka to other camps and that several hundred inmates succeeded in escaping from the camp, especially during the revolt of August 2, 1943. In view of the foregoing, it would be scientifically admissible to estimate the total number of persons killed in Treblinka at a minimum of 700,000. The court of Assizes sees no reason to question the opinion of this expert, who is known in the scholarly world for his studies on the National Socialist persecution of the Jews. The expert opinion he has submitted is detailed, thorough and, therefore, convincing. In the fall of 1969 another expert, Dr. Scheffler, submitted for the second Treblinka trial an opinion which was based on more recent research, estimating the total number of victims at about 900,000.
All men joining Operation Reinhard were required to swear that they understood they were forbidden to pass on any form of information, verbally or in writing, on any facet of the work they undertook. The written form, dated 18 July 1942, that the men were supposed to sign has survived and has been reprinted. (Arad, Documents, 275-275, as cited in Breitman) The form used the phrase "..evacuation of the Jews.." to describe the nature of their work. (Breitman, 237)
"The commanders of Operation Reinhard, Globocnik, Wirth, and the SS men subordinate to them, succeeded in creating an efficient yet simple system of mass extermination by using relatively scanty [Reinhard] [Page 14] resources. In each of the death camps -- in Belzec, in Sobibor, and in Treblinka -- a limited number of 20 to 35 Germans were stationed for purpose of command and supervision, and about 90 to 130 Ukrainians were responsible for guard duties. All the physical work of the extermination process was imposed on 700 to 1,000 Jewish prisoners who were kept in each camp." (Arad, Epilog)
For an extensive examination of Reinhard staff, see http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/orgs/israeli/yad-vashem/yvs16.02. Pekka de Groot is gathering an extensive list of concentration camp staff, which may be viewed at http://www.helsinki.fi/~degroot/reinhard_personnel.htm.
5.1 Command Staff - Operation Reinhard (Aktion Reinhard & Einsatz Reinhard also used)
Globocnik, Odilo - Appointed by Himmler as SS- und Polizei-fuehrer of the Lublin District of the General Government, in late (Oct-Nov) of 1941. Commanded Operation Reinhard.
Ho"fle, Hans - (Hauptsturmfuehrer), appointed by Himmler as Globocnik's Chief of Operations, in charge of organization and manpower.
Himmler assigned the following tasks to his new Reinhard commander:1. Overall planning of deportations 2. Construction and operation of the death camps 3. Co-ordination of the deportations from each of the five districts of the General Government (Warsaw, Lublin, Radom, Krakow, and Lvov.)
Globocnik had a team of 450 Germans at his disposal - at their core was a group of 92 men, headed by Christian Wirth, who had been assigned to Globocnik for the euthanasia program.
It was this group from which key staff were selected for Reinhard, including the camp commanders. Each camp was allotted 20-30 German staff. [Arad, who wrote the Reinhard section of the Encyclopedia, which is paraphrased here, used '20 to 35' in the epilog to his book on the subject, quoted earlier in this document. knm]
Also recruited was a special auxillary unit, consisting of Ukrainian volunteers, most of them Soviet POW's. They were billetted in an SS training camp (Trawniki) where they were issued black uniforms and weapons. They were organized into platoons and companies, and received brief training. Their unit commanders were German. Each camp was allotted from 90 - 120 of these "Trawniki's," who were also used in deportation and escort capacities. (Encyclopedia, I, 14-15)
5.1.1 Command Staff - Belzec
Oberhauser, Josef Schluch, SS-Unterscharfuehrer Wirth, SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Christian (Camp Commandant)
18.104.22.168 Ukrainian & Russian Wachmans, Belzec
Pavli, Nikolai. See http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/p/pavli.nikolai.antonevitch for Soviet interrogation record of Nikolai Pavli.
Werdenik, Ivan. See http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/p/pavli.nikolai.antonevitch
[Reinhard] [Page 15] 5.1.2 Command Staff - Sobibor
Bauer, Erich Bolander, Karl (Kurt Balender? - Get http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/places/poland/wlodawa/wlodawa.015) Some confusion exists in my mind about Bolander - or Balender - since both names have appeared, they may be one and the same, or there may have been two men with similar names.. I do not know yet. Bredov, SS Sgt. Paul Frenzel, SS Sgt. Karl When the Germans learned of a planned revolt, they chose 72 men and sent them to the crematorium - Frenzel supervised this action, and "Returning from the scene of the murder he ordered the quick erection of a temporary stage out of some planks, called for the orchestra, gathered the women and told them to sing and dance."(Testimony from the Sobibor Trials, as related in Wlodawa.016) During the trials, Frenzel has also accused of shooting a young boy for the crime of eating sardines...
Gomerski, SS Sgt. Hubert Groth, Paul (Sgt) Hering, SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Gottlied - Replaced Wirth as Camp Commandant after Wirth appointed Inspector of the Reinhard death camps in August, 1942. Lampert, Erwin Michel, SS Sgt. Hermann ("The Preacher") Neiman, Oberltnt. Designated as deputy commander by Razgonayev. See http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/r/razgonayev.mikhail.a for Soviet interrogation of same. Poul, ? SS Obersturmfuehrer (1st. Lt.)
Rashke's work (Escape from Sobibor) provides some insight into the mentality of the German staff regarding their attitude towards their victims. He notes that the flow of transports into the camp during the winter of 1942 had slowed to a trickle, primarily because most of the Polish Jews were already dead, and because the trains were needed to support the crumbling Eastern Front. This, he comments, along with the isolation of the nearly snowbound camp, made them edgy and bored:They took it out on the Jews. Sergeant Paul Groth made up little games. He'd order four Jews to carry him around the yard like a king while he'd drop burning paper on their heads. Or he'd make prisoners jump from roofs with umbrellas, or scale roof beams until they fell to the floor. Those who sprained ankles and broke legs were shot in Camp III. Or he'd organize a flogging party, forcing Jews to run the gauntlet past Ukrainians with whips. Or he'd order a thin prisoner to gulp vodka and eat two pounds of sausage within minutes. They he'd force open the Jew's mouth and urinate in it, roaring with laughter as the prisoner retched in the snow.
[Reinhard] [Page 16] Groth softened briefly. Three beautiful girls came to Sobibor on a transport from Vienna. Groth took Ruth as his servant and mistress. Seageant Poul, the drunk, smuggled the other two into the Merry Flea. Groth fell in love with the dark-eyed teen-ager and, almost as a favor to her, or so it seemed, stopped beating the other Jews. But the truce was short-lived. It was against SS regulations to molest Jewesses - an insult to the master race. Himmler was quite adamant on that point. So while Groth and Poul were on leave, Kommandant Reichleitner transferred both of them. Groth ended up at Belzec.The Sobibor Jews were delighted to see the two Nazis go, but Groth and Poul were easily replaced, and life went on as usual. The empty winter days also got to Kurt Bolander and Erich Bauer. Because there was little to do in Camp III without Jews to gas, Bauer turned to vodka. He kept a private bar in his room in the Swallow's Nest, and there Jews would come to mix drinks or make eggnog. The short Nazi - he was under five feet six inches - would sit in his armchair, facing a photograph of his wife and children and a portrait of the Fuehrer ... and drink himself into oblivion. If a prisoner spilled any liquor or broke a bottle, the former street-car conductor would make him wipe the floor with his tongue. Bolander took out his frustration on the ten Jews who carried the swill buckets from Camp I to the gate to Camp III. Bolander would make them run, and if, as sometimes happened, the Jews in Camp III opened the gate before the Jews from Camp I had left, Bolander would shoot the swill carriers. Somehow, the Nazis had deluded themselves into believing that the Camp I Jews didn't know what went on in Camp III. And they wanted to keep it that way. (Rashke, 101-102)
Reichsleitner, SS-Obersturmfuehrer Franz. Replaced Stangl as commander at the end of August, 1942. Stangl was transferred to Treblinka.
Stangl, Franz, Oberleutnant (Camp Commandant)Franz Stangl, the commander of Sobibor and Treblinka, was stationed in northern Italy, in the areas of Fiume and Udine, from the autumn of 1943 and engaged in actions against partisans and local Jews. After the war he escaped to Brazil; in 1967 he was discovered there, arrested, and extradited to the Federal Republic of Germany. He was tried in Dusseldorf in 1970 and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He died in prison a few months after the end of the trial. (Arad, Belzec)
Stangl was sent to command Sobibor after construction fell behind schedule in the Spring of 1942. His commanding officer sent him to meet with Wirtz at Belzec, and he described his visit thus:"I went there by car. As one arrived, one first reached Belzec railway station... Oh, God, the smell! It was everywhere. Wirth wasn't in his office. I remember they took me to him... he was standing on a hill next to the pits... the pits.... full...they were full. I cannot tell you; not hundreds, thousands, thousands, thousands of corpses... that's where Wirth told --- he said that was what Sobibor was for...
[Reinhard] [Page 17] Wirth told me I should definitely become the commander of Sobibor. I answered that I was not qualified for such a mission.... I received from Globocnik the task to erect the camp. That it was not to be an ammunition camp but a camp for killing Jews I learned finally from Wirth. ... Actually, I was not relieved [of my post]. I stayed in Sobibor. Transports arrived and were liquidated..."When asked during his trial how many people could be murdered in one day, Stangl answered: "Regarding the question of what was the optimum amount of people gassed in one day, I can state: according to my estimation a transport of thirty freight cars with 3,000 people was liquidated in three hours. When the work lasted for about fourteen hours, 12,000 to 15,000 people were annihilated. There were many days that the work lasted from the early morning until the evening." (Arad, Belzec)
Thomalla, SS-Obersturmfuehrer Richard. SS Construction Office, Lublin Wagner, Gustav (Quartermaster-Sergeant) - the man who supervised the daily life at Sobibor. Moshe Bahir described him thus:He was a handsome man, tall and blonde -- a pure Aryan. In civilian life he was, no doubt, a well-mannered man; at Sobibor he was a wild beast. His lust to kill knew no bounds. I saw such terrible scenes that they give me nightmares to this day. He would snatch babies from their mothers' arms and tear them to pieces in his hands. I saw him beat two men to death with a rifle, because they did not carry out his instructions properly, since they did not understand German. I remember that one night a group of youths aged fifteen or sixteen arrived in the camp. The head of this group was one Abraham. After a long and arduous work day, this young man collapsed on his pallet and fell asleep. Suddenly Wagner came into our barrack, and Abraham did not hear him call to stand up at once before him. Furious, he pulled Abraham naked off his bed and began to beat him all over his body. When Wagner grew weary of the blows, he took out his revolver and killed him on the spot. This atrocious spectacle was carried out before all of us, including Abraham's younger brother. (Museum, 37, as cited in Arad, Belzec)
Wagner's ruthless behavior toward the Jews is mentioned in some other testimonies of Sobibor survivors. Ada Lichtman writes that on the fast day of Yom Kippur, Wagner appeared at the roll call, took out some prisoners, gave them bread and ordered them to eat. As the prisoners ate the bread, he laughed loudly; he enjoyed his joke because he knew the Jews he had forced to eat were pious. (Lichtman, 36-37, as cited in Arad, Belzec)
Gustav Wagner escaped after the war to Brazil, where he lived openly. The Brazilian Supreme Court refused to extradite him. In October 1980 his attorney announced that Wagner had committed suicide. (Arad, Belzec)
[Reinhard] [Page 18]
22.214.171.124 Ukrainian & Russian Wachmans - Sobibor
Danil'chenko, Ignat Terent'yevich (See http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/d/danilchenko.ignat.t/ for Soviet interrogation extracts)
Dem'yanyuk, Ivan - (Demjanjuk) placed in service at Sobibor by Danil'chenko and others. See above.
Ivchenko, Ivan - named as cook by Danil'chenko
Pankov, Vassily Nikolaievitch (See http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/p/pankov.vassily.n/pankov.001 for Soviet interrogation records)
Razgonayev, Mikahil Affanaseiwitch. See http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/r/razgonayev.mikhail.a for Soviet interrogation of same.
Werdenik, Ivan. See http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/p/pavli.nikolai.antonevitch/
5.1.3 Command Staff - Treblinka
Eberl, SS-Obersturmfuehrer Imfried - Commandant until replaced by Stangl
Franz, Kurt (Deputy Commandant) - held command from September, 1942.
Kuettner, Kurt - SS sergeant - shot by prisoners during escape attempt in which 750 participated and about 70 survived. Lampert, Erwin Stangl - see Sobibor
126.96.36.199 Russian and Ukrainian Wachmans - Treblinka
Broft (or) Brovt - see MALAGON
Dem'yanyuk, Ivan (Demjanjuk). Placed at Treblinka by Malagon. See Malagon interrogations, and http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/d/demjanjuk-john for a collection of citations and articles dealing with Demjanjuk's deportation from the United States and subsequent trials in Israel. See also DEMJANJUK.6COA, for the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which disputes this claim.
Fedorenko - See http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/k/korotkikh.yevstigneyev/korotkikh.001 for testimony placing Fedorenko at Treblinka. Received police training at the SS Trawniki camp. Malagon is not certain if Fedorenko was assigned to Treblinka, or was simply there after escorting a train from somewhere else. See pub/people/m/malagon.nikolai.petrovich for the Malagon interrogations, and http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/s/shevchenko.ivan.semenovich/shevchenko.001, also in the Nizkor archives.
Goncharov, Pyotr Nazarovich - Places Marchenko in Treblinka during his Soviet interrogations. See GONCHAROV.001 for details.
Malagon, Nikolai Petrovich - see http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/m/malagon-nikolai/ interrogation excerpts of Malagon. Trained at Trawniki.
Marchenko, Nikolai. Named as working "near the diesels" at Treblinka, Marchenko was one of the men running the engines. See Malagon interrogations and Demjanuk Appeal judgement noted above, which names Marchenko as one of two operators of the gas chambers.
[Reinhard] [Page 19]
Rebeka - see Malagon interrogations.
Shalayev, Nikolai. Identified by multiple sources (including his own 1950 statement) as one of two gas chamber operators (along with Ivan Marchenko. See also Demjanjuk.6coa.
Shevchenko, Ivan Semenovich. See SHEVCHENKO.001 in the TREBLINKA archives for Soviet interrogation records.
Yeger, Aleksandr Ivanovich - See YEGER.001/002 in the TREBLINKA archives for Soviet interrogation records. Platoon commander.
The extermination process at all three camps was similar, and reflected the reality that the camps existed for the sole purpose of exterminating the Jews of the General Government.
Transports would arrive, and those who had survived the journey were herded into a "reception area," where they were told to remove their clothing and surrender their valuables. A few, a very few, were sorted out if they claimed experience in trades needed to maintain the camp, and others survived for a time as workers in the extermination area.
After cutting the hair off the women (it was reportedly utilized to manufacture felt boots for the Wehrmacht), the prisoners were told that they would be fed and assigned to work camps, but that they had to shower first. They were then driven (with whips and clubs) through the "tubes", which were enclosed pathways which led from the reception area directly to the gas chambers, where they were murdered.
Those too weak to make the trek from the rail platform to the reception area were taken directly to the extermination camp by narrow-gauge railroad, and shot. (This proceedure varied at the three camps, but the result was always the same.)
(For a comprehensive list of documentation regarding the killing process, see pub/camps/aktion.reinhard, and http://www.nizkor.org/hweb//orgs/israeli/yad-vashem. Although our Yad Vashem material is limited, it offers extensive commentary on both Operation Reinhard, and the prisoner revolts as well. It is based upon personal and court testimonies for the most part, and extensively documented.)
5.3 Financial Accounting
Arad's Encyclopedia article ends with the following, somewhat chilling information about the monies and valuables collected from the Reinhard victims:
[Reinhard] [Page 20]On December 15, 1943, the Aktion Reinhard headquarters submitted an account of the moneys, gold, and valuables taken from the Jews in the extermination camps for which the Reinhard headquarters was responsible. The figures were quoted in German marks (the rate of exchange of the reichsmark against the United States dollar at the time was 2.5 to 1). The report contains the particulars of the various catagories: United States currency, about $1,100,000 in cash and $250,000 in gold coins; other foreign currency, from forty-eight countries; other gold coins, from thirty-four countries; 2910 kilograms (6,415 pounds) of gold bars; 18,734 kilograms (41,301 pounds) of silver bars; diamonds totalling 16,000 carats. The report ends with the sum totals of the value of all the Jewish possessions collected. Cash in Polish zlotys and German marks RM 73,852,080.74 Precious metals 8,273,651.60 Foreign currency, in cash 4,521,224.13 Foreign gold coins 1,736,554.12 Precious stones and other valuables 43,662,450.00 Textiles 46,000,000.00 Total RM 178,645,960.59
6.0 Research Materials & Sources
Vera Laska provided an extensive list of assets for those interested in Holocaust research, which was included in the Auschwitz FAQ. I recommend it as an excellent starting point for anyone wishing to do serious research into the Reinhard camps.
We also recommend Yad Vashem Studies, and have the 1991 English Publications list available by mail-based server, along with a pricelist. (http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/bibliographies/biblio.05) The information is a bit dated, but it's helpful nonetheless. (We have no interest in the sale or distribution of these materials, we simply recommend them as one of the best sources for accurate information.)
See http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/miscellany/curriculum/research-centers for a list of major Holocaust research centres worldwide.
6.1 Recommended Reading
We have transcribed memorial books for inclusion in our archives, and call your attention to the Wlodawa series - the first to be included. Many of the stories deal with Sobibor. For a list of the Wlodawa Yizkor files, try anonymous ftp via ftp.nizkor.org, in the directory pub/places/poland/wlodawa.
Donat, A., ed. The Death Camp Treblinka. New York, 1979
Wiernik, Y.A. A Year in Treblinka. New York, 1945
[Reinhard] [Page 21]
Yad Vashem Studies IV. Proceedings of the Fourth Yad Vashem International Historical Conference, Jerusalem, January, 1980. In particular, see "Jewish Prisoner Uprisings in the Treblinka and Sobibor Extermination Camps." An index of Yad Vashem Studies XVI, shown below, lists additional Yad Vashem material of interest to Operation Reinhard researchers:YAD VASHEM STUDIES XVI Edited by Aharon Weiss YAD VASHEM MARTYR'S AND HEROES' REMEMBRANCE AUTHORITY JERUSALEM 1984 "Operation Reinhard": Extermination Camps of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka
yvs16.01: Background & Introduction yvs16.02: The Personnel of Operation Reinhard yvs16.03: The Construction of Belzec yvs16.04: The Construction of Sobibor yvs16.05: The Construction of Treblinka yvs16.06: Belzec, from March 17 til June 1942 yvs16.07: Sobibor - from May to July 1942 yvs16.08: Treblinka - from July 23 to August 28, 1942 yvs16.09: The Construction of Larger Gas Chambers yvs16.10: The Attempt to Remove Traces yvs16.11: The Liquidation of the Camps
The Fascism and Holocaust archives may be obtained via anonymous ftp from: ftp.nizkor.org, in the directory /pub, and from the World Wide Web (http://www.nizkor.org/).
Yad Vashem now maintains its own site on the World Wide Web. The URL is http://yvs.shani.net/.
6.2 Abbreviations Used in Citations
The following abbreviations may be used throughout this document:
IFZ.........Institut fuer Zeitgeschichte, Munich IRR.........Investigative Repository Records NA..........United States National Archives RG 59.......NA Diplomatic Records RG 84.......Washington National Records Center, Diplomatic Post Records RG 153......Washington National Records Center, Records of the Office of the (Army) Judge Advocate RG 165......Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs, Washington National Records Center RG 208......Office of War Information Records, Washington National Records Center
[Reinhard] [Page 22]
RG 226......Office of Strategic Services Records RG 238......War Crimes EC Series NG........Microfilm T-1139 NI........Microfilm T-301 NO Series NOKW Series PS Series RG 242......NA Record Group 242 - Captured German Records RG 319......Records of the Army Staff T...........NA Microfilm Series
If you note any that are not explained above, please let me know, and I will try to run them down for you.
Einsatzgruppen: Battalion-sized, mobile, armed units of police, primarily Security Police and SD officials, which were used to attack and execute perceived enemies in conquered territories. (Breitman, 311)
Einsatzkommando: Company-sized component of the Einsatzgruppen (Breitman, 311)
Gauleiter: Supreme territorial or regional party authority(-ies) (The term is both singular and plural). The Nazi Party divided Germany and some annexed territories into geographical units called Gaue, headed by a Gauleiter. (Breitman, 311)
General Government: The Nazi-ruled state in central and eastern Poland. Headed by Governor Hans Frank. (Breitman, 311)
Final Solution: Euphemism for the extermination of European Jewry
Judenrat: Jewish community authority, appointed by the Nazis for ghetto and village administration.
Trawniki: Labor camp, established in the Fall of 1941, in Trawniki, S.E. of Lublin, Poland. Trawniki was part of a network of labor camps and death camps controlled by Globocnik. Trawniki was destroyed when Himmler ordered the death camps closed, and the ground plowed and converted to farm use. See Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, pp 1480-1481.
SD (Sicherheitsdienst): The SS Security Service
Sonderkommandos: Division of Einsatzgruppen, generally smaller than Einsatzkommando, but also a more general term for special commando units assigned particular functions. (Breitman, 311)
[Reinhard] [Page 23]
Military rank - here's a list from Breitman (314) which shows SS ranks and the Western military equivalent:
Oberstgruppenfuehrer General Obergruppenfuehrer Lt. General Gruppenfuehrer Major General Brigadefuehrer Brigadier General Oberfuehrer between Brigadier & Colonel Standartenfuehrer Colonel Obersturmbannfuehrer Lt. Colonel Sturmbannfuehrer Major Hauptsturmfuehrer Captain Obersturmfuehrer 1st. Lieutenant Unterscharfuehrer Corporal Rottenfuehrer Private, First Class Sturmann Private SS-Mann no equivalent
6.4 Works Cited
Arad, Yitzhak. Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka - the Operation Reinhard Death Camps. Indiana University Press, 1987. ISBN 0-253-3429-7
Arad, Yitzhak, Yisrael Gutman, and Abraham Margaliot, eds. Documents on the Holocaust: Selected Sources on the Destruction of the Jews of Germany, Austria, Poland, and the Soviet Union. (Jerusalem, 1981)
Breitman, Richard. The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991
Encyclopedia - See Gutman
Gutman, Israel, ed. in Chief, et al. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1990. ISBN 0-02- 896090-4 (set) (Referenced in this FAQ as "Encyclopedia")
Just, Willy. "Letter to SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Walter Rauff, June 5, 1942." in: Nazism: A History in Documents and Eye Witness Accounts, 191-1945, vol. 2, document 913
Kogon,Eugen. "Der SS-Staat" Bonn, 1974
Lichtman, Ada. Yad Vashem Archives, L-11/5, testimony of Ada Lichtman, as cited in Arad.
Lochner, Louis P., ed. The Goebbels Diaries. New York, 1948
Museum. Publication of the Museum of the Combatants and Partisans, Tel Aviv, April, 1973, as cited in Arad
Prattle et al. "The Toxicity of Fumes from a diesel Engine Under Four Different Running Conditions," British Journal of Industrial Medicine, 1957, Vol 14
[Reinhard] [Page 24]
Rashke, Richard. Escape From Sobibor (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1982).
Zabecki, Franziszek. Wspomnienia dawne i nowe. Warszawa, 1977, as cited in Arad, Belzec
> The Nizkor Project - An electronic Holocaust educational resource http://www.nizkor.org/faqs