Bełżec extermination camp

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Bełżec (pronounced [ˈbɛu̯ʐɛt͡s], in German: Belzec), was the first of the World War II Nazi German extermination camps created under Operation Reinhard. This was a key part of Hitler's "Final Solution". Hitler wanted to kill all of Europe's 11 million Jews.[1] The camp operated from 17 March 1942 to the end of December 1942.[2] Bełżec concentration camp was about 0.5 km (0.31 mi) south of the local railroad station of Bełżec in German-occupied Poland. Between 430,000 and 500,000 Jews are believed to have been murdered by the German SS at Bełżec. There were also an unknown number of Christian Poles and Roma people killed there.[2][3] Only seven Jews working as slave labor with the camp's Sonderkommando survived World War II. Only one of them became known from his own postwar testimony submitted officially.[4] The lack of witnesses who could testify about the camp's operation is the primary reason why so little is known about Bełżec.[4]

Notable people[change | change source]

  • Elsa Binder (c. 1920 – c. 1942), a Polish-born Jewish diarist, may have lived and died here.

References[change | change source]

  1. Michael Bryant, Eyewitness to Genocide: The Operation Reinhard Death Camp Trials, 1955-1966 (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2014), pp. 1—4
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Holocaust Encyclopedia. "Belzec". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. "Belzec Death Camp Memorial, Poland". Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies : University of Minnesota. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Belzec Death Camp: Remember Me". Alphabetical Listing. Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team. 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2015.