Chełmno extermination camp
Chełmno extermination camp (German: Vernichtungslager Kulmhof), built
during World War II, was the first of the Nazi German extermination
camps and was situated 50 kilometres (31 miles) north of the
metropolitan city of
Łódź (renamed to Litzmannstadt), near the
Chełmno nad Nerem
Chełmno nad Nerem (Kulmhof an der Nehr in German).
Following the invasion of Poland in 1939 Germany annexed the area into
the new territory of Reichsgau Wartheland, aiming at its complete
"Germanization"; the camp was set up specifically to carry out ethnic
cleansing through mass killings. It operated from December 8, 1941
Operation Reinhard during the most deadly phase of the
Holocaust, and again from June 23, 1944 to January 18, 1945 during the
Polish Jews of the
Łódź Ghetto and the
local inhabitants of
Reichsgau Wartheland (Warthegau) were
exterminated there. In 1943 modifications were made to the
camp's killing methods because the reception building was already
At a very minimum 152,000 people were killed in the camp,
which would make it the fifth most deadly extermination camp, after
Sobibór, Bełżec, Treblinka, and Auschwitz. However, the West German
prosecution, citing Nazi figures during the
Chełmno trials of
1962–65, laid charges for at least 180,000 victims. The
Polish official estimates, in the early postwar period, have suggested
much higher numbers, up to a total of 340,000 men, women, and
children. The Kulmhof Museum of Martyrdom [pl] gives the
figure of around 200,000, the vast majority of whom were
Jews of west-central Poland, along with Romani from the
region, as well as foreign Jews from Hungary, Bohemia, Moravia,
Germany, Luxembourg, and Austria transported to Chełmno via the
Łódź Ghetto, on top of the Soviet prisoners of war. The victims
were killed with the use of gas vans. Chełmno was a place of early
experimentation in the development of Nazi extermination programme,
continued in subsequent phases of the Holocaust throughout occupied
Red army troops captured the town of Chełmno on January 17, 1945.
By then, the Germans had already destroyed evidence of the camp's
existence leaving no prisoners behind. One of the camp
survivors who was fifteen years old at the time testified that only
three Jewish males had escaped successfully from Chełmno.
The Holocaust Encyclopedia counted seven Jews who escaped during the
early 1940s; among them, the author of the
Grojanowski Report written
under an assumed name by Szlama Ber Winer, prisoner from
Sonderkommando who escaped only to perish at Bełżec
during the liquidation of yet another Jewish ghetto in German-occupied
Poland. In June 1945 two survivors testified at the trial
of camp personnel in Łódź. The three best-known survivors testified
about Chełmno at the 1961 trial of
Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Two
survivors testified also at the camp personnel trials conducted in
1962–65 by West Germany.
3 Deportations begin
3.1 Killing process
3.2 Murder of Jews from the
5 Stages of camp operation
5.1 The final extermination phase
6 Chełmno trials
8 See also
10 Further reading
Chełmno was a village in Poland. It was annexed to Germany in 1939
and renamed to Kulmhof. The Germans referred to the camp as Kulmhof,
so the name
Chełmno extermination camp
Chełmno extermination camp is "not historically
accurate", it perhaps comes from its use by the Main Commission for
Investigation of German Crimes in Poland shortly after the
Chełmno (Kulmhof) camp was set up by
Lange, following his gas van experiments in the murder of
1,558 Polish prisoners of the
Soldau concentration camp
Soldau concentration camp northeast of
Chełmno. In October 1941, Lange toured the area looking
for a suitable site for an extermination centre, and chose Chełmno on
the Ner, because of the estate, with a large manor house similar to
Sonnenstein, which could be used for prisoner' admissions with only
minor modifications. Staff for the facility was selected
personally by Ernst Damzog, Commander of Security Police and SD from
headquarters in occupied
Poznań (Posen). Damzog formed
Sonderkommando Lange (special detachment), and
Herbert Lange the first camp commandant because of his
experience in the mass killing of Poles from Wartheland
(Wielkopolska). Lange served with
Einsatzgruppe VI during Operation
Tannenberg. Already by mid-1940, Lange and his men were
responsible for the murder of about 1,100 patients in Owińska, 2,750
patients at Kościan, 1,558 patients and 300 Poles at Działdowo, and
hundreds of Poles at
Fort VII where the mobile gas-chamber
(Einsatzwagen) was invented. Their earlier hospital victims were
usually shot out of town in the back of the neck. The two
so-called Kaisers-Kaffe vans, manufactured by the Gaubschat factory in
Berlin, were delivered in November. Chełmno began mass
gassing operations on December 8, 1941 using vehicles approved by
Reinhard Heydrich from RSHA. Two months
later, on January 20, 1942 Heydrich, who had already confirmed the
effectiveness of industrial killing by exhaust fumes, called a secret
meeting of German officials to undertake the European-wide Final
Solution to the Jewish Question under the pretext of
Arthur Greiser in
Poznań (Posen), 1939
The use of the killing centre at Chełmno for the mass murder of
rapidly growing number of Jews deported to the
Special Handling", the Sonderbehandlung) was initiated by Arthur
Greiser, the Governor of Reichsgau Wartheland. In a letter
to Himmler dated May 30, 1942 Greiser referred to an authorization he
had received from him and Reinhard Heydrich; stating that
the clandestine program of killing 100,000 Polish Jews, about
one-third of the total Jewish population of Wartheland, was expected
to be carried out soon. Greiser's plan was based on the German
government's decision of October 1941 to deport German Jews to the
Łódź Ghetto. Greiser and the SS decided to create space for the
incoming Jews by annihilating the existing Polish-Jewish population in
According to post-war testimony of Wilhelm Koppe, Higher SS and Police
Leader for Reichsgau Wartheland, Koppe received an order from Himmler
to liaise with Greiser regarding the
Sonderbehandlung requested by the
latter. Koppe entrusted the extermination operation to
Ernst Damzog from Security Police in Poznań.
Damzog supervised the camp's daily operations thereafter.
The killing center consisted of a vacated manorial estate in the
village of Chełmno on the
Ner river, and a large forest clearing
about 4 km (2.5 mi) northwest of Chełmno, off the road to
Koło town with a sizable Jewish population which had been previously
ghettoized. The two sites were known respectively as the
Schlosslager (manor-house camp) and the Waldlager (forest
camp). On the grounds of the estate was a large two-story
brick country house called "the palace." Its rooms were
adapted to use as the reception offices, including space for the
victims to undress and to give up their valuables. The SS and police
staff and guards were housed in other buildings in the town. The
Germans had a high wooden fence built around the manor house and the
grounds. The clearing in the forest camp, which contained large mass
graves, was likewise fenced off. The camp consisted of separate zones:
an administration section with nearby barracks and storage for
plundered goods; and the more distant burial and cremation site to
which victims were delivered in hermetically proofed
A model of Magirus-Deutz gas van used by the Germans for suffocation
at the Chelmno extermination camp; the exhaust fumes were diverted
into the sealed rear compartment where the victims were locked in.
This particular van had not been modified yet, as noted in Nazi
Conspiracy and Aggression (1946), but it demonstrates the
Sonderkommando "Lange" was supplied with two vans initially,
each carrying about 50 Jews gassed en route to the forest.
Later on, Lange was given three gas vans by the
RSHA in Berlin for the
killing of greater numbers of victims. The vehicles had been converted
to mobile gas-chambers by the Gaubschat company in Berlin which, by
June 1942, produced twenty of them in accordance with the SS purchase
order. The sealed compartments (also called superstructures) installed
on the chassis had floor openings – about 60 millimetres
(2.4 in) in diameter – with metal pipes welded below, into
which the engine exhaust was directed. The exhaust gases
causing death by asphyxia were tested by a chemist from T-4 to make
sure they contained large enough amounts of carbon monoxide (or 1%
concentration), to form carboxyhaemoglobin, a deadly blood agent, in
combining with haemoglobin in the cells. The victims were thereby
deprived internally of life-giving oxygen before death.
The SS had first used pure carbon monoxide from steel cylinders to
kill mental patients in extermination hospitals of Action T4, and
therefore had considerable knowledge of its efficacy. For all
practical purposes, the extermination by mobile gas vans proved
equally efficient following
Operation Barbarossa of 1941. In the newly
occupied territories, the gas vans were used to kill mental patients
as well as Jews in the extermination ghettos. By employing just three
vans on the Eastern Front (the Opel-Blitz and the larger Saurerwagen),
without any faults occurring in the vehicles, the
able to "process" 97,000 captives in less than six months between
December 1941 and June 1942. The SS relayed urgent requests to Berlin
for more vans.
The rank and file of the so-called SS
Special Detachment Lange was
made up of Gestapo, Criminal Police, and
Order Police personnel, under
the leadership of Security Police and SD officers.
Herbert Lange was
replaced as camp commandant in March (or April) 1942 by Schultze. He
was succeeded by SS-Captain Hans Bothmann, who formed and led the
Special Detachment Bothmann. The maximum strength of each Special
Detachment was just under 100 men, of whom around 80 belonged to the
Order Police. The local SS also maintained a "paper command" of the
Allgemeine-SS inspectorate, to which most of the Chełmno camp
staff were attached for administrative purposes. Historians do not
believe members of the 120th SS-Standarte office established in
Chełmno performed any duties at the camp.
The SS and police began killing operations at Chełmno on December 8,
1941. The first people transported to the camp were the
Jewish and Romani populations of Koło, Dąbie, Sompolno, Kłodawa,
Babiak, Izbica Kujawska, Bugaj,
Nowiny Brdowskie and Kowale
Pańskie. A total of 3,830 Jews and around
4,000 Romani were killed by gas before February 1942. The
victims were brought from all over Landkreis Warthbrücken to
rail with the last stop in Powiercie. Using whips, the Orpo police
marched them toward the
Warta river near Zawadka, where they were
locked overnight in a mill, without food or water. The next morning,
they were loaded onto lorries and taken to Chełmno. At "the palace"
they were stripped of possessions, transferred to vans, and gassed to
death with the exhaust fumes on the way to the burial pits in the
forest. The daily average for the camp was about six to nine van-loads
of the dead. The drivers used gas-masks. From
January 1942 the transports included hundreds of Poles and Soviet
prisoners of war. In addition, they included over 10,000 Jews from
Germany, Austria, Bohemia,
Moravia and Luxembourg, who had first been
deported to the ghetto in
Łódź and subsided there already for
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soon as the ramp had been erected in the castle, people started
arriving in Kulmhof from Litzmannstadt (Łódź) in lorries... The
people were told that they had to take a bath, that their clothes had
to be disinfected and that they could hand in any valuable items
beforehand to be registered.
When they had undressed they were sent to the cellar of the castle and
then along a passageway onto the ramp and from there into the gas-van.
In the castle, there were signs marked "to the baths". The gas vans
were large vans, about 4–5 metres [13–16 ft] long, 2.2 metres
[7.2 feet] wide and 2 metres [6.6 feet] high. The interior walls were
lined with sheet metal. A wooden grille was set into the floor. The
floor of the van had an opening which could be connected to the
exhaust by means of a removable metal pipe. When the lorries were full
of people, the double doors at the back were closed and the exhaust
connected to the interior of the van. —
Burmeister, The Good Old Days 
In late February 1942, the secretary of the local Polish council in
Chełmno, Stanisław Kaszyński (b. 1903), was arrested for trying to
bring public attention to what was being perpetrated at the camp. He
was interrogated and executed three days later on February 28, 1942,
near a church along with his wife. His secret communiqué was
intercepted by the SS-Sonderkommando. Today, there is an
obelisk to his memory erected at Chełmno on August 7,
1991. Over 4,500, Czech Jews from Prague were sent to the
Łódź Ghetto before May 1942. One of the sisters of author Franz
Kafka, Valeria Pollakova (born 1890), died with them before
Chelmno extermination camp did not have direct rail connections.
Jews were delivered by train to Koło, then to nearby Powiercie, and
in overcrowded lorries to camp. They were forced to abandon their
bundles along the way. At the manor house in Chełmno, they were
compelled to undress for transport to a bath, unaware that it was the
final stage of their lives. In this photo, loading of victims sent
from the ghetto in Łódź
During the first five weeks, the murder victims came only from the
nearby areas. On reaching their final destination before
"transport" to Germany and Austria, the Jews disembarked in the
courtyard of the Schlosslager manor where the SS men wearing white
coats and pretending to be medics waited for them with a translator
released earlier from the
Gestapo prison in Poznań. The
victims were led to a large empty room and ordered to undress; their
clothing stacked for disinfection. They were told that all hidden
banknotes would be destroyed during steaming and needed to be taken
out and handed over for safe-keeping. Occasionally they
were met by a German officer dressed as a local squire with a Tyrolean
hat, announcing that some of them would remain there.
Wearing just underwear, with the women allowed to keep slips
on, the victims were taken to the cellar and across the
ramp into the back of a gas van holding from 50–70 people each (Opel
Blitz) and up to 150 (Magirus). When the van was full, the doors were
shut and the engine started. Surviving witnesses heard
their screams as they were dying of asphyxiation. After about 5–10
minutes, the vans full of corpses were driven 4 km (2.5 mi)
to the forest Waldlager camp. The vans were unloaded to excavated mass
graves, and cleaned by the Waldkommando before returning to the manor
house. Scharführer Walter Burmeister, a gas-van driver,
made sure his own vehicle "would be cleaned of the excretions of the
people that had died in it. Afterwards, it would once again be used
for gassing" at the loading dock.
Murder of Jews from the
Koło railway station
On January 16, 1942, the SS and police began deportations from the
Łódź Ghetto lasting for two weeks. The German officials
with the aid of
Ordnungspolizei rounded up 10,000
Polish Jews based on
selection by the ghetto Judenrat. The victims were transported from
Radegast train station
Radegast train station in Łódź, to
Koło railway station, 10
kilometres (6.2 mi) northwest of Chełmno. There, the SS and
police personnel supervised transfer of prisoners from the freight as
well as passenger trains, to smaller-size cargo trains
running on narrow gauge tracks, which took them from
Koło to a much
Powiercie station, just outside
As round-ups in
Łódź normally took place in the morning, it was
usually late afternoon by the time Jews disembarked from the Holocaust
trains in Powiercie. Therefore, they were marched to a disused mill at
Zawadki some two kilometres distance where they spent the night. The
mill building continued to be used after the railway repairs, if
transports arrived late. The following morning the Jews
were transported from Zawadki by truck, in numbers which could be
easily controlled at their destination. The victims were "processed"
immediately upon arrival at the manor-house. Beginning in
late July 1942, the victims were brought to the camp directly from
Powiercie after the regular railway line linking
Koło with Dąbie was
restored; and the bridge over the Rgilewka River had been
The German SS staff selected young Jewish prisoners from incoming
transports to join the camp Sonderkommando, a special unit of 50 to 60
men deployed at the forest burial camp. They removed corpses from the
gas-vans and placed them in mass graves. The large trenches were
quickly filled, but the smell of decomposing bodies began to permeate
the surrounding countryside including nearby villages. In the spring
of 1942, the SS ordered burning of the bodies in the forest. The
bodies were cremated on open air grids constructed of concrete slabs
and rail tracks; pipes were used for air ducts, and long ash pans were
built below the grid. Later, the Jewish
to exhume the mass graves and burn the previously interred bodies. In
addition, they sorted the clothing of the victims, and cleaned the
excrement and blood from the vans.
A small detachment of about 15 Jews worked at the manor house, sorting
and packing the belongings of the victims. Between eight and ten
skilled craftsmen worked there to produce or repair goods for the SS
Mass grave at the forest Waldlager of the Chełmno extermination
Periodically, the SS executed the members of the Jewish special
detachment and replaced them with workers selected from recent
transports. The SS held jumping contests and races among the
prisoners, who were shackled with chains on their ankles, to deem who
was fit to continue working. The losers of such contests were
Stages of camp operation
The early killing process carried out by the SS from December 8, 1941
until mid January 1942, was intended to kill Jews from all nearby
towns and villages, which were slated for German colonization
(Lebensraum). From mid-January 1942, the SS and
Order Police began
transporting Jews in crowded freight and passenger trains from
Łódź. By then, Jews had also been deported to Łódź
from Germany, Bohemia-Moravia, and Luxembourg, and were included in
the transports at that time. The transports included most of the 5,000
Roma (Gypsies) who had been deported from Austria. Throughout 1942,
the Jews from Wartheland were still being processed; in March 1943 the
SS declared the district judenfrei. Other victims murdered at the
killing center included several hundred Poles, and Soviet prisoners of
During the summer of 1942, the new commandant Bothmann made
substantial changes to the camp's killing methods. The change was
prompted by two incidents in March and April of that year. First, the
gas-van broke down on the highway while full of living
victims. Many passers-by heard their loud cries. Soon
after that, the
Saurer van exploded while the driver was revving its
engine at the loading ramp; the gassing compartment was full of living
Jews. The explosion blew off the locked back door, and badly burned
the victims inside. Drivers were replaced. Bothmann's modifications to
the killing methods included adding poison to gasoline. There is
evidence that some red powder and a fluid were delivered from Germany
by Maks Sado freight company, in order to kill the victims more
quickly. Another major change involved parking the gas vans while
prisoners were killed. They were no longer driven en route to the
forest cremation area with living victims inside.
After having annihilated almost all Jews of Wartheland District, in
March 1943 the Germans closed the Chełmno killing centre, while
Operation Reinhard was still underway elsewhere. Other death camps had
faster methods of killing and incinerating people. Chełmno was not a
part of Reinhard. The SS ordered complete demolition of Schlosslager,
along with the manor house, which was levelled. To hide the evidence
of the SS-committed war crimes, from 1943 onward, the Germans ordered
the exhumation of all remains and burning of bodies in open-air
cremation pits by a unit of Sonderkommando
1005. The bones were crushed on cement with
mallets and added to the ashes. These were transported every night in
sacks made of blankets to river
Warta (or to the
Ner River) on the
other side of Zawadka, where they were dumped into the water from a
bridge and from a flat-bottomed boat. Eventually, the camp
authorities bought a bone-crushing machine (Knochenmühle) from
Schriever and Co. in Hamburg to speed up the process.
The final extermination phase
A remnant of the open-air mass cremation structure at the forest
camp, with memorial plaque
On June 23, 1944, in spite of earlier demolition of the
palace, the SS renewed gassing operations at Chełmno in order to
complete the annihilation of the remaining 70,000 Jewish prisoners of
the ghetto in Łódź, the last ghetto in occupied Poland
to produce war supplies for the Germans. The Special
Detachment "Bothmann" returned to the forest and resumed killing
operations at a smaller camp, consisting of brand new wooden barracks
along with new crematory pyres.
First, the victims were taken to the desecrated church in Chełmno
where they spent the night if necessary, and left their bundles behind
on the way to the reception area. They were driven to the forest,
where the camp authorities had constructed two fenced-out barracks for
undressing before "shower", and two new open-air cremation pits,
further up. The SS and police guarded the victims as they took off
their clothes and gave up valuables before entering gas-vans. In this
final phase of the camp operation, some 25,000 Jews were murdered.
Their bodies were burned immediately after death. From mid-July 1944,
the SS and police began deporting the remaining inhabitants of the
Łódź ghetto to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
In September 1944, the SS brought in a new Commando 1005 of Jewish
prisoners from outside the Wartheland District to exhume and cremate
remaining corpses and to remove evidence of the mass murder
operations. A month later, the SS executed about half of the 80-man
detachment after most of the work was done. The gas vans were sent
back to Berlin. The remaining Jewish workers were executed just before
the German retreat from the Chełmno killing center on
January 18, 1945, as the Soviet army approached (it reached the
camp two days later). The 15-year-old Jewish prisoner Simon Srebnik
was the only one to survive the last executions with a gunshot wound
to the head. Historians estimate that the SS killed at
least 152,000–180,000 people at Chełmno between December 1941 and
March 1943, and from June 23, 1944 until the Soviet
advance. Note: a 1946–47 report by the Central Commission
for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland (IPN) placed the number
closer to 340,000 based on a statistical approach, as the camp
authorities had destroyed all waybills in an effort to hide their
Main article: Chełmno trials
After the war, some
Chełmno extermination camp
Chełmno extermination camp personnel were tried
in Poland as well as in other court cases spanning a period of about
20 years. The first judicial trial of three former members of the
Sonderkommando Kulmhof, including camp's deputy commandant
Oberscharführer Walter Piller, took place in 1945 at the District
Court in Łódź. The examination of evidence during the investigation
was carried out by Judge Władysław Bednarz. The
subsequent four trials, held in Bonn, began in 1962 and concluded
three years later in 1965 in Cologne.
Adolf Eichmann testified about the camp during his 1961 war-crimes
trial in Jerusalem. He visited it once in late 1942. Simon Srebnik,
from the burial Sonderkommando, testified in both the Chelmno Guard
and Eichmann trials. Nicknamed Spinnefix at the camp, Srebnik was
recognised by the Chelmno Guards only by this moniker. Walter
Burmeister, a gas-van driver (not to be confused with the camp's
SS-Unterscharfuehrer Walter Burmeister), testified in
Michał Podchlebnik before or during World War II
According to the Holocaust Encyclopedia, a total of seven Jews from
Sonderkommando escaped from the Waldlager.
Determining the identities of the few survivors of Chełmno had
presented ambiguity because records use different versions of their
names. One survivor may not have been recorded in the early postwar
years because he did not testify at trials of camp personnel. Five
escaped during the winter of 1942, including Mordechaï Podchlebnik,
Milnak Meyer, Abraham Tauber, Abram Roj and
Szlama Ber Winer
Szlama Ber Winer (Szlamek
Bajler) whose identity was recognized also as Yakov or Jacob
Grojanowski. Mordechaï Zurawski and
Simon Srebnik escaped
later. Srebnik was among Jews shot by the Germans two days
before the Russians entered Chełmno, but he survived.
Winer wrote under pseudonym Grojanowski about the operations of the
camp in his Grojanowski Report, but he was rounded up with thousands
of others and murdered in the gas chamber of Bełżec extermination
In June 1945, both Podchlebnik and Srebnik (then age fifteen),
testified at the
Chełmno trials of camp personnel in Łódź, Poland.
In addition to being included in the Holocaust Encyclopedia,
Mordechaï Zurawski is included as survivor in three other
sources, each of which documents
his testifying, along with Srebnik and Podchlebnik about his
experience at Chełmno, at the 1961 trial of
Adolf Eichmann in
Jerusalem. In addition, Srebnik testified in the Chelmno Guard Trials
of 1962–63. The French director
Claude Lanzmann included
interviews with Srebnik and Podchlebnik in his documentary Shoah,
referring to them as the only two Jewish survivors of Chełmno, but he
was in error. Some sources repeat that only
Simon Srebnik and
Mordechaï Podchlebnik survived the war but these are also in
error. Podchlebnik is sometimes referred to as
Michał (or Michael), in Polish and English versions of his
Not all escapees have been identified in the postwar period. In 2002
Sara Roy of
Harvard University wrote that her father, Abraham Roy,
belonged to the aforementioned survivors. She
said that her father was the escapee recognized by the Holocaust
Encyclopedia as Abram Roj, although she was mistaken about their total
number. Two other survivors of Chełmno include Yitzhak
Justman and Yerachmiel Yisrael Widawski who escaped together from the
forest burial commando in the winter of 1942. They arrived at
Piotrków Trybunalski Ghetto
Piotrków Trybunalski Ghetto in March 1942 and deposited their
testimonies with Rabbi Moshe Chaim Lau. Widawski spoke
with Rabbi Lau as well as some members of the prewar Communal Council
before he left the ghetto, robbing them of their peace of mind with
earth-shattering facts about the extermination process.
Widawski saw the bodies of thirteen relatives murdered in gas vans
including his own fiancée. Both fugitives, Justman and
Widawski, arrived also at the
Częstochowa Ghetto and met with Rabbi
Chanoch Gad Justman. They headed in various directions and made a
tremendous effort to inform and warn the Jewish communities about the
fate that awaited them, however, many people refused to believe their
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^ a b Kulmhof 1941-1945. The German Death Camp in Chełmno on the Ner,
Chełmno Muzeum of Martyrdom, Poland (Muzeum byłego niemieckiego
Obozu Zagłady Kulmhof w Chełmnie nad Nerem), 2015, archived from the
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^ a b c d e JVL (2013). "Chelmno (Kulmhof)". The Forgotten Camps.
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^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m USHMM (May 11, 2012). "Chelmno"
(permission granted to be reused, in whole or in part, on;
OTRS ticket no. 2007071910012533 confirmed). Holocaust Encyclopedia.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC. Retrieved May
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website can offer no guarantee that the information is correct in each
^ a b c Main Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland,
German Crimes in Poland (Warsaw: 1946, 1947), Archive of Jewish Gombin
Genealogy, with introduction by Leon Zamosc. Note: The Main (or
Central) Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland
(Polish: Główna Komisja Badania Zbrodni Niemieckich w Polsce,
GKBZNwP) founded in 1945 was the predecessor of the Institute of
National Remembrance (see also the "Archived copy". Archived from the
original on February 12, 1997. Retrieved 1997-02-12. Check date values
in: |accessdate= (help)CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)).
Quote: "The Main Commission for the Investigation of Crimes Against
the Polish Nation - The Institute of National Memory... has a fifty
years long history (1995). The creation of the Main Commission... was
preceded by work done in London since 1943 by the Polish Government in
^ a b c Claude Lanzmann, Shoah (1985) documentary.
^ JTA (January 22, 1963). "Jewish Survivors of Chelmno Camp Testify at
Trial of Guards". JTA Archive. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Archived
from the original on 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
^ a b c A secret memorandum of June 5, 1942 written by one Willy Just,
to the Director of section II D SS-Obersturmbannführer Walter Rauff
Reich Main Security Office
Reich Main Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt in
Berlin), contained five pages of numbered paragraphs, suggesting
mechanical improvements to gas vans. In the opening line, the letter
stated: "ninety-seven thousand have been processed, using three vans,
without any defects showing up in the vehicles" (see attached
photocopies at HolocaustHistory.org) In his postwar testimony
Obersturmbannführer August Becker, the gas van inspector, claimed
that the letter was sent by himself on June 5, 1942 to
Walter Rauff in
RSHA. See: Ernst Klee, Willi Dressen, Volker Riess (1991). The
gas-vans: A new and better method of killing had to be found. The Good
The Holocaust As Seen by Its Perpetrators and Bystanders.
Konecky Konecky. pp. 69–70. ISBN 1568521332. Retrieved
June 29, 2015.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) Nevertheless,
Christopher Browning confirmed in his Evidence for the Implementation
Final Solution (2000) that the letter was sent by Just, not by
Becker, as shown through the archives of RSHA: Just an Rauff, 5.6.42;
BA, R 58/871.
^ Alpha History textbook; resource centre. "Liberation of the camps".
Resources. Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada, Great
Britain: Alpha History. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
^ a b c d Lefkovits, Etgar (September 18, 2006). "The last survivor".
Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13.
Retrieved February 11, 2011.
^ a b Jon E. Lewis, Voices from the Holocaust Archived 2014-03-10 at
Wayback Machine pages 101–102 (Google Books).
^ Patrick Montague (2012). Chełmno and the Holocaust: The History of
Hitler's First Death Camp. University of North Carolina Press.
pp. 5–6. ISBN 0807835277.
^ a b
Christopher R. Browning (2011). Remembering Survival: Inside a
Nazi Slave-Labor Camp. b. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 54, 65.
ISBN 0393338878. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
^ a b Holocaust Research Project.org (2007). "Lange, Herbert;
SS-Hauptsturmführer". Chelmno Death Camp Dramatis Personae. Holocaust
Education & Archive Research Team. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
^ a b c Catherine Epstein (2010).
Ernst Damzog (Sipo and SD, Posen).
Arthur Greiser and the Occupation of Western Poland.
Oxford University Press. p. 182. ISBN 0191613843. Retrieved
8 November 2015.
^ Artur Hojan, Cameron Munro (2015). "Nazi Euthanasia Programme in
Occupied Poland 1939-1945". Overview of the liquidation of the
mentally ill during actions on the Polish territory (1939-1945). The
Tiergartenstrasse 4 Association, international centre for the
documentation, study and interpretation of Nazi crimes. Nazi
Euthanasia in European Perspective conference, Berlin, Kleisthaus,
Feb. 28-30, 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2015.CS1 maint: Uses authors
^ a b c d e f Mathias Beer (translated from the German) (2015). "The
Development of the Gas-Van in the Murdering of the Jews". The Final
Solution. Jewish Virtual Library. "Die Entwicklung der Gaswagen beim
Mord an den Juden," Miszelle. Vierteljahrshefte fuer Zeitgeschichte,
37 (3), pp. 403-417. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
^ Ian Kershaw (2013). Hitler 1936-1945. Penguin UK. pp. vi.
ISBN 0141909595. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
^ a b "
Special treatment" (Sonderbehandlung)".
The Holocaust History
Project. Archived from the original on May 28, 2013. Retrieved May 13,
^ Edward Victor (2006). "Kolo (Muhlental in German), Poland". The
Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust (2001), p.
647. Judaica Philatelic Resources. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
^ Alan Heath (Sep 16, 2007), The Nazi Death Camp at Chełmno nad Nerem
YouTube (about razed manor house). Narration by the author.
Retrieved May 9, 2013. Alan Heath Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback
Machine is a British publisher, writer and Holocaust historian
specialising in Nazi death camps. He is the author of a series of
video essays about the German killing factories in Chelmno, Belzec,
Treblinka, Sobibor, Majdanek and Auschwitz. In March 2007, Heath
accompanied Holocaust denier
David Irving on a tour of the death camps
^ H.E.A.R.T (2013). "Chelmno palace - pre war". Chelmno Period Photos.
Holocaust Research Project.org. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
^ Alan Heath (Sep 20, 2007), Chelmno, the route of death on YouTube
(the road through town to forest). Narration by Alan Heath.
^ a b "SS use of mobile gassing vans". A damaged Magirus-Deutz van
found in 1945 in Kolno, Poland. World War II Today. 2011. Retrieved
April 21, 2013. Source: Office of the United States Chief Counsel for
Prosecution of Axis Criminality: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression –
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Office, 1946, Vol III, p. 418.
^ a b c WUW (2013). Ringelblum Archives of the Holocaust. Introduction
(PDF file, direct download). Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego.
p. 20 (xx). Retrieved May 13, 2013.
^ a b Gilbert, Martin (2002). The Routledge Atlas of the Holocaust.
Psychology Press. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-415-28145-4.
^ a b H. Waser; Oneg Szabat Group (2013). "Obóz zagłady w Chełmnie
nad Nerem". Chełmno nad Nerem. Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich
Virtual Shtetl. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
^ a b E. Klee; W. Dressen; V. Riess (1988). "Testimony of gas-van
driver Walter Burmeister". The Good Old Days (print). New York: The
Free Press. pp. 219–220. Retrieved 2013-05-14 – via
Jewish Virtual Library.
^ UMD (2013). "Stanisław Kaszyński". Niemiecki Oboz Zagłady w
Chełmnie nad Nerem (German death camp in Chełmno). Urząd Miejski w
Dąbiu (Dąbie town council). Retrieved 2013-05-09.
^ a b Łucja Pawlicka Nowak, The History of Chełmno Commemoration,
Arkadiusz Kamiński (trans.), Museum of the former Extermination Camp
in Chełmno on the Ner, archived from the original on 2012-09-03,
^ Grzegorz Gazda, The final journey of Franz Kafka's sisters.
^ ARC (August 26, 2006). "Chelmno". Occupation of the East, including
photos and list of external sources. ARC (www.deathcamps.org).
^ Shirley Rotbein Flaum (2007). "Lodz Ghetto Deportations and
Statistics". Timeline. JewishGen Home Page. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
Source: Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (1990), Baranowski, Dobroszycki,
Yad Vashem Timeline of the Holocaust, others.
^ a b Archive.is (2013). "Jews at Kolo station - bound for Chelmno"
(JPG file, direct download 788x557 pixels). Historical image.
Holocaust Research Project.org. Retrieved 2013-05-11.
^ Alan Heath, "Unloading the Victims" on
YouTube (deportation photo, 1
minute). Narration by Alan Heath.
^ a b Alan Heath, "Bridge over Rgilewka" on YouTube. Narration by Alan
^ Alan Heath, "Route to Zawadka" on YouTube. Narration by Alan Heath.
^ Alan Heath, "The
Warta at Zawadki" on YouTube, Narration by Alan
^ Alan Heath, "The Destruction of Corpses at Chelmno nad Nerem"
YouTube video. Narration by Alan Heath.
^ See also:
Pauline Kael (30 December 1985). "The Current Cinema,
"Sacred Monsters": Review of Claude Lanzmann's Shoah". The New Yorker.
pp. 1 of 3. Archived from the original (Archived by WebCite) on
10 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-10. Archived page 2 and page 3 of 1985
article by Kael. Also (in): Michael Meng. "Rethinking Polish-Jewish
Relations..." (PDF file, direct download 145 KB). Department of
History. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. pp. 1–10.
^ a b "SS Sonderkommando". Obóz zagłady w Chełmnie n/Nerem. Obozy
zagłady. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
^ a b c Patrick Montague (2012). The Gas Vans (Appendix I):
Testimonies. Chełmno and the Holocaust: The History of Hitler's First
Death Camp. Univ of North Carolina Press. pp. 206–209.
ISBN 0807835277. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
^ Patrick Montague (2012). "The Gas Vans (Appendix I)". Chełmno and
the Holocaust: The History of Hitler's First Death Camp. Univ of North
Carolina Press. p. 206. ISBN 0807835277. Retrieved
^ H.E.A.R.T (2007). "Chelmno Death Camp". Holocaust Education &
Archive Research Team. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
^ Michael Berenbaum (2013). "Chelmno (concentration camp, Poland)".
Encyclopædia Britannica. pp. 1 of 3. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
^ Jewish Virtual Library, Łódź. Overview of the Litzmannstadt
Ghetto History. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Online
Exhibition: "Give Me Your Children." Voices from the Lodz Ghetto.
Retrieved June 30, 2015.
^ a b Golden, Juliet (2006). "Remembering Chelmno". In Vitelli, Karen
D.; Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Chip (eds.). Archeological Ethics (2nd ed.).
AltaMira Press. p. 189. ISBN 075910963X. Retrieved
^ Ernst Klee, W. Dressen, V. Riess. The Good Old Days. The Free Press,
NY, 1988., pp. 219-220.
^ Stuart Jeffries, "
Claude Lanzmann on why Holocaust documentary Shoah
still matters", The Guardian, 9 June 2011, accessed 22 May 2013
^ Gouri, Haim. Facing the Glass Booth: The
Jerusalem Trial of Adolf
Eichmann. Wayne State University Press, 2004. p. 122.
^ The Trial of Adolf Eichmann: Record of Proceedings in the District
Court of Jerusalem. Trust for the Publication of the Proceedings of
the Eichmann Trial, with the Israel State Archives and Yad Vashem, the
Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, 1992.
^ Patrick Montague (March 15, 2012). Epilogue (Judge Władysław
Bednarz). Chelmno and the Holocaust: The History of Hitler's First
Death Camp. Univ of North Carolina Press. p. 177.
ISBN 0807869414. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
^ Rubenstein, Richard L. Approaches to Auschwitz:
The Holocaust and
Its Legacy. Westminster John Knox Press, 1987. p. 197.
^ a b Epstein, Julia. Shaping Losses: Cultural Memory and the
Holocaust. University of Illinois Press, 2001. p. 58.
^ Sara Roy, "Living with the Holocaust: The Journey of a Child of
Holocaust Survivors", Journal of Palestine Studies (32):1, 2002
^ a b
Sara Roy (2008). "The Journey of a Child of Holocaust Survivors"
(PDF). Social Questions Bulletin. Methodist Federation for Social
Action. 98 (1): 1–2, 14–16. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
^ Lau-Lavie, Naphtali (1998). Balaam's Prophecy: Eyewitness to
History, 1939-1989. pp. 66–68. ISBN 0845348604.
^ a b Farbstein, Esther (2007). Hidden In Thunder: Perspectives on
Faith, Halachah, and Leadership during the Holocaust. Feldheim.
pp. 27–28. ISBN 978-9657265055.
^ Giladi, Ban (1991). A Tale of one city: Piotrków Trybunalski.
pp. 181–182. ISBN 9780884001539. Google Books snippet
.mw-parser-output .refbegin font-size:90%;margin-bottom:0.5em
.mw-parser-output .refbegin-100 font-size:100%
This article incorporates data from the United States Holocaust
Memorial Museum, and has been released under the GFDL. OTRS
ticket no. 2007071910012533 confirmed.
Holocaust Encyclopedia. "Chełmno" (permission granted to be reused,
in whole or in part, on;
OTRS ticket no. 2007071910012533
confirmed). United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Archived from the
original on 5 August 2007. Retrieved 26 July 2007. Text from USHMM has
been released under the GFDL. The website can offer no guarantee that
the information is correct in each circumstance.
Alan Heath, The death camp at
Chełmno nad Nerem
Chełmno nad Nerem (video essays)
Montague, Patrick (2012). Chelmno and the Holocaust: A History of
Hitler's First Death Camp. London: I.B.Tauris.
Yad Vashem, Resources about Chełmno
Briar Rose, Jane Yolen's interweaving of the fairy tale of Sleeping
Beauty with a young girl's grandmother's memories of Chelmno
Chełmno Witnesses Speak, 2004, Council for the Protection of Memory
of Combat and Martyrdom in Warsaw & District Museum in Konin,
The Holocaust in Poland
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Coordinates: 52°09′14″N 18°43′23″E /
52.154011°N 18.722978°E / 52.154011; 18.722978
WorldCat Identities (via VIAF): 138438082
German extermination camp in Chelmno nad Nerem in Poland dur