Th Chelmno Death Camp

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 extermination camp was Chelmno in Poland, which was established in November, 1941 and opened on December 8th, 1941. It served as a testing ground for experiments in mass murder. Unlike later camps, Chelmno did not have complicated gas chambers. It used the same gas vans that had been established for the Einsatzgruppen (death squads). Though, this process was slow, the staff worked well at killing Jews efficiently. By March 1943, they had murdered at least 145,000 people (Altman 60). Approximately 1,000 Jews were maintained. Chelmno was not the only death camp the Nazi’s planned on creating. Other death camps like Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka were formed later (Shuter 7). In the autumn of 1944 the camp in the wood was completely destroyed, the crematoria being blown up, the huts taken to pieces, and almost every trace of crime being carefully removed (Zamosc 7).

“Hitler had such a fierce hatred for Jewish people that he encouraged everyone in Germany, and the lands taken over by Germany, to share; he wanted to make these places ‘Jew Free’,” (Shuter 34). There were many death camps and many methods of executing Jewish people.   Mobile gassing trucks were the most popular method used in Chelmno. It happened as the Jews were forced into a hermetically sealed...