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Th Chelmno Death Camp Essay

881 words - 4 pages

Death of Jewish people in Chelmno during WWII

“By the end of 1941, the extermination camps began to appear. They did not produce equipment for the war. They produced death. Their job was to kill as many ‘undesirable’ people as they could,” (Altman 59). Jewish people were the most hated people in WWII. They were treated more inhumanely than any other race in human history. The Nazi’s felt that they were “undesirables,” so they had to be executed.

Death camps were set up in 1941 to kill as many Jewish people as possible, as soon as possible. The first ...view middle of the document...

It happened as the Jews were forced into a hermetically sealed truck, and then exhaust gas from the engine was led into the truck. The Jews were thus suffocated to death (“Methods of Mass Murder” 2). The method was first used in the Soviet Union by the four Einsatzgruppen, in an effort to make their killing operations more effective (rather than by using mass shootings). Gassing trucks were also used to murder Jews in Poland (Lublin) and in Serbia (Belgrade) (“Methods of Mass Murder” 3). One of the most effective killing methods was by forcing Jews into gas chambers, where they were gassed to death using exhaust fumes or Zyklon B. In five of the six death camps, gas chambers were constructed with the single purpose of killing Jews, gypsies and other “undesirables”. In Chelmno, gassing trucks were used. The gas vans could hold 50-70 people (Zamosc 6).

Before being executed the Jews had to strip down. After undressing, the people were brought downstairs to a door with large signs that said “to the bath” and “to the doctor”. There the SS told the Jews that they enter a lorry which would take them to baths. Given to people were pieces of soap, this was done to fool them. After this, the guards would then lead them into the gas vans (Altman 14). The Jews were surprised and frightened for their life. The guards would hit the Jews with whips if they weren’t getting into the vans fast enough. The victims entered the vans and the driver switched on the motor, but allowed the vehicle to remain stationary (Downing 9). The driver connected the van’s exhaust to the gas chamber with a tube, so that the exhaust fumes could be cleared into the loading...

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