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March 27, 2012

When did the Holocaust gas chambers become common knowledge?

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:51 am

A reader of my blog, who has his own blog here, wrote a comment which I am quoting below:

At least since the summer of 1942 the Belzec extermination camp was known in far away remote areas of the General Government (German occupied Poland). Although not all the details were reported back to the public, the majority of Poles, Jews and Germans, had been aware of the name of this camp and associated it with a place of Jewish exterminations.

Belzec was the first of the three Operation Reinhard camps which were set up to carry out the Final Solution of the Jewish Question, which was planned at the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942. The other two Operation Reinhard camps were Sobibor and Treblinka. The Belzec camp was located just outside the village of Belzec, on the eastern border of German-occupied Poland.

Jews from the ghettos of southern Poland were sent to Belzec where there were three gas chambers that had been put into operation on March 17, 1942.  This was the start of the gassing of the Jews.

All three of the Operation Reinhard camps were conveniently located near a major Jewish ghetto. Belzec was between the Lublin and the Lvov ghettos. Treblinka was 60 miles from the Warsaw ghetto and Sobibor was near the Lublin ghetto. All three Operation Reinhard camps were near the Bug river, which formed the eastern border of German-occupied Poland.

In other words, the Jews were first rounded up and put into ghettos; they were then transported, as far as trains could go, to the eastern border of Germany territory, where they were killed.  In spite of the secrecy involved, the people in the area knew about the gassing.

Memorial to the Jews who were gassed at Belzec Photo Credit: Bonnie M. Harris

The memorial at the site of the Belzec camp was designed by Andrzej Solyga, Zdzislaw Pidek, and Marcin Roszczyk. It was opened in a solemn ceremony on June 3, 2004 as a joint project of the American Jewish Committee and the Council for the Protection of the Memory of Combat and Martyrdom in Warsaw. The complex at the former death camp consists of a memorial to the 600,000 victims, who were murdered in the camp, and a museum with an exhibition about the history of the Belzec death camp.

The Belzec death camp was only in existence for nine months, after which it was completely dismantled to destroy the evidence of the murder of the 600,000 Jews who were killed in the gas chambers. The bodies, which had been buried, were exhumed and then burned on pyres before the camp was abandoned.

When did people in the rest of the world first know about the gassing of the Jews?  I learned about it in elementary school when I was in the seventh grade.  I was in Catholic school where we studied Catholic history, which was actually world history. We had been learning about how the Jews had been persecuted for centuries, in many different countries, so the story of how the Jews were being gassed by the Nazis fit right in with what we had been learning about past history in Europe.

The first news of the gassing of the Jews had come from the BBC in June 1942.  My family did not have a radio, but our neighbors had a radio that was capable of hearing the BBC broadcasts.  Back then, news spread by word of mouth, so it was very quickly known around the world that the Jews were being gassed.

At the time that I first heard about the gas chambers, I didn’t think that this was anything unusual.  I lived in Missouri where there was a gas chamber in Jefferson City.  I had actually gone on a class trip to see “the Big House,” as the Missouri State Penitentiary was called.  The Missouri gas chamber was a very small stone building that was outside the huge prison.  I only saw it from a distance and didn’t see the inside, which had two chairs where two criminals could be gassed at one time.  I imagined that the Jews were being gassed, two at a time.  I didn’t dwell on this at the time; it never occurred to me that this would have been a very inefficient way to kill millions of people.

The photo below shows the broken concrete which now covers the entire area of the former Belzec camp where 600,000 Jews were gassed to death in only nine months.

Close-up of  Belzec memorial shows field of broken concrete  Photo credit: Bonnie M. Harris

42 Comments »

  1. The German Holocaust

    http://exulanten.com/hell

    Comment by spöke — May 23, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

  2. The first Soviet version about Belzec was that the Jews were killed (and even cremated!) on electrified floors (‘electric plates’), not in gas chambers… ;-)

    Comment by kaz — March 30, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

  3. Anne Frank’s biography tells, that she was transported after some months in Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen,where she died due to typhus.A tiny, slim and ill girl,useless for the military industry in Auschwitz-Monowitz was not gassed immediately after arrival but transported after several months to Bergen-Belsen, to die there due to typhus?Thanks to psychopathic witchlaws people are not too curious and do not have inconvenient questions.

    Comment by gebis — March 28, 2012 @ 7:24 am

    • Anne Frank was not gassed immediately because she was over the age of 15 when she entered Auschwitz. She was sent to Bergen-Belsen on a transport of sick prisoners, which was monitored by the Red Cross. She got typhus after she got to Bergen-Belsen. She did not survive because she was already in a weakened condition after not having proper nutrition in the last months of hiding, and then getting sick at Auschwitz, followed by getting typhus at Bergen-Belsen.

      Comment by furtherglory — March 28, 2012 @ 9:15 am

      • Furtherglory, where is the rule the “Nazis” had that said all arrivals under the age of 15 were “gassed upon arrival”? Since we know that is not true, and we have the photographs of young children there, and testimonies from inmates about barracks and activities at Birkenau for children, why do you keep saying that? What about the children’s choir, just for one example. Do you get some pleasure out of repeating the lies rather than refuting them? Especially the most obvious ones.
        I don’t believe there was any such rule, so we should be trying to find out what happened to all the children shown arriving at Auschwitz.

        Comment by Sceptic — March 28, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

        • The age limit of 15 was arbitrarily set by Holocaustians to explain Anne Frank’s miraculous albeit short lived survival upon arriving at Bergen Belsen. Otto Frank however wasn’t exactly of good working age either.

          Comment by Question everything — June 14, 2012 @ 7:10 am

  4. tHE hOLOCAUST IS DOCUMENTED BYMILLIONS OF DICUMENTS, SURVIVOR WITNESSES TESTIMONIES, LIBERATORS TESTIMONY. nO HISTORICAL EVENT HAS BEEN SO LARGELY DOCIMEMNTED. oNLY MENTALLY ILL PERSONS WOULD DENY IT, IN MY VIEW, oBVIOUSLY , THEY ARE SICK.

    Comment by Freddy Lejeune — March 27, 2012 @ 10:58 pm

    • Freddy, was Fred A. Kahn your English & Typing Teacher?

      Comment by Eager for Answers — March 28, 2012 @ 12:47 am

    • To my knowledge, no one who is participating in the comments section on my blog is mentally ill. We’re not crazy — our mothers had us tested. (Reference to the Sheldon Cooper character on the TV show The Big Bang Theory who frequently says that his mother had him tested and he’s not crazy.)

      No one here is “denying the Holocaust.” We are discussing the details of the Holocaust. There are some real experts who comment here and I have learned a lot from them. This is America and it is permissible to discuss the details of the Holocaust without risking a prison sentence of five years.

      Comment by furtherglory — March 28, 2012 @ 8:06 am

  5. Extermination camps
    Bodies are burned in Auschwitz. In the summer of 1944 more than 440,000 Hungarian Jews arrived in Birkenau. The capacity of the ovens did not suffice – as a result the bodies were burned under open sky. (Source: Sterbenbücher von Auschwitz, vol. 1, p. 192).

    In the period of 1941-1945, for the first time in the history of mankind, industrial plants were used to kill people. At the genocide on the Jews, extermination camps were established, where the Nazis in the most terrible way carried out the mass murder of 3 million Jews — half of the 6 million victims of the Holocaust.

    A total of six extermination camps were established with the ghoulish purpose of killing Jews one after the other. Gypsies and other groups from all over Europe were also sent to the extermination camps.
    > Map of the extermination camps in Poland, 1942

    More about:
    Introduction
    The six extermination camps
    Why extermination camps?
    Who controlled the camps?
    The victims
    Killing methods
    From arrival to …
    List of extermination camps
    Literature

    Introduction

    Chelmno was the first extermination camp to be established as part of the ‘Final Solution to the Jewish Question’ — the Nazis’ systematic effort to exterminate the Jews.

    This was quickly followed by the establishment of the three extermination camps Belzec, Treblinka and Sobibor. They were established under the code-name Operation Reinhard — the starting signal to the extermination of the approximately 3 million Jews that lived in the General Government in Poland. In the concentration camps Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek two further extermination camps were established.

    The six extermination camps were all situated in former Poland and had mass murder as their purpose. Outside Poland at least two camps existed that in many ways resembled the six extermination camps in Poland: Jungfernhof (in Latvia) and Maly Trostinets (in Byelorussia).

    All of the extermination camps were thoroughly organised and resembled industrial plants to an alarming degree. However, only Auschwitz-Birkenau, with its advanced gassing facilities and crematoria, was marked by real high technology. In crematoria I and II there were elevators from the gas chambers underground, where the Jews were murdered, to the crematoria, where the bodies were burned.

    The six extermination camps were established within a very short time. From December 1941 to December 1942 Chelmno, Belzec, Treblinka, Sobibor, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek were all became capable of functioning. Their position was chosen primarily from their location in former Poland: they were all situated near railway lines, and they lay undisturbed in rural areas in “far away” Poland. They were all situated far from “core” Germany and outside the spotlight of the German as well as the international public.

    Comment by Fred A. Kahn — March 27, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

  6. tHE DEPORTATION FROM THE ROUND UP AND DEPORTATION FROM fRANKFURT TO sOBIBOT ON jUNE 12, 1942 IS WELL DOCIMENTED. i HAVE A PERSONAL INTEREST SINCE MY AUNT AND INCLE WERE ON THAT TRANSPORT AND THE gERMAN fEDERAL aARCHIVES IN bONN HAVE CONFIRMED THEIR DEATH. mY AUNT rODA kAHN nASSAUER IS CONFIRMED OFFICIALLY DEAD IN sOBIBOR.

    Comment by Fred A. Kahn — March 27, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

    • I have searched and searched on the Internet to find the documentation of the transport from Frankfurt to Sobibor on June 12, 1942 and I have not been able to find it. I did find documentation that a transport from the Podrad ghetto in Slovakia went to Sobibor on June 12, 1942. The plan was to send the Jews to ghettos, from which they were then sent to the extermination camps. Were your aunt and uncle sent from Frankfurt am Main to the Podrad ghetto and from there transported to Sobibor?

      It seems strange to me that Jews living in Frankfurt would have been sent to a ghetto in Slovakia. It is more likely that they were sent to Theresienstadt which was a concentration camp for the prominent Jews, but it was also called a ghetto.

      Yad Vashem has no record of a transport from Frankfurt to Sobibor on June 12, 1942. You should send your documentation to Yad Vashem.

      Comment by furtherglory — March 28, 2012 @ 7:59 am

  7. Nazi Mass Murder
    A Documentary History of the Use of Poison Gas

    Editor’s Notes and Foreword by Pierre Serge Choumoff; Edited by Eugen Kogon and Hermann Langbein; Translated by Caroline Lloyd-Morris; Edited by Adalbert Rückerl; Translated by Mary Scott

    MAIN BOOK PAGE

    Reviews

    “The eyewitness accounts are particularly riveting in their depiction of the monstrous evil of the Nazi regime and the horrendous consequences for its victims. The book richly deserves to be added to the English-language literature on the Holocaust.”—Henry Ashby Turner, Yale University

    “In its terse, objective, and comprehensive form, this book is without equal in its field.”—Roderich Reifenrath, Frankfurter Rundschau

    “This is a book of which we are in dire need. . . . For the first time, we have a clear and comprehensive reconstruction of the poison-gas murders.”—Rudolf Burger, Forum

    “The careful reconstruction of the history of gassing . . . provides unimpeachable evidence of the chambers. . . . Nazi Mass Murder is a difficult book to read. But it serves its purpose well. . . . If books deserved Oscars, this is surely one.”—Richard Overy, Observer Review

    “A must for all academic libraries.”—Choice

    “A totally professional product which can and should be relied upon by anyone seriously engaged in the study of such aspects of the Nazi Third Reich.”—John P. Fox, Slavonic Review

    Comment by Fred A. Kahn — March 27, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

    • From page 178/9 from your source:

      “If a gassing was due to take place, … Roth gave orders to one of the prisoners of the crematorium work detail, who were his subordinates, usually to the witness Kanduth, to heat a brick in the crematory oven. Roth took the burning-hot brick in a shovel and placed it inside the apparatus for admitting the gas. The apparatus consisted of a metal chest with a removable cover, which could be hermetically sealed by means of wing screws and airtight packing. By giving off heat, the brick led to the quick release of the poison gas, which was fixed to shreds of paper.”

      A brick eh?

      Comment by The Black Rabbit of Inlé — March 28, 2012 @ 7:26 am

      • the apparatus for admitting the gas was hermetically sealed by means of wing screws and airtight packing.

        How then was the gas delivered?

        the poison gas, which was fixed to shreds of paper.
        ? ? ? ? ? ?

        Comment by Eager for Answers — March 28, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

        • From Barbara Kulaszka’s book on the Zundel trials:

          “In Historical Fact No. 24, Walendy published an article by Ingrid Weckert entitled “Mass Killings or Disinformation?.” Weckert analysed the book Nationalsozialistische Massentötungen durch Giftgas (National Socialist Mass Killings by Poison Gas) [ edited by Kogon, Langbein and Rückerl] and determined that it contained much false information, contradictions and technical impossibilities. …

          Walendy testified that the gas chambers as described in the book were so large that several hundred people were placed in them. The introduction of one brick into one of
          these large chambers would have had no effect in terms of the intended purpose. Furthermore, Zyklon B was produced as a pest control substance. It was delivered in
          closed containers in the form of grains. It had nothing to do with scraps of paper. (28-7694)”

          Of another ridiculous claim in Fred A. Khan’s favourite source:

          “Walendy testified that this account was so absurd, that one shouldn’t have to give any explanations at all with respect to it.”

          p.591/2

          http://www.vho.org/aaargh/fran/livres3/KULA.pdf

          Comment by The Black Rabbit of Inlé — March 29, 2012 @ 9:56 am

  8. Even Anne Frank in her hideout, cut off from the outside world, knew that millions were gassed to death as soon as October 1942.

    However, she was unaware of the horrible genocide by mass-squeezing taking place in the East by hand-holding SS companies.

    Maybe later she found herself in the same cattle car than this 9 year-old boy and foolishly stayed inside with all other jews, while he escaped with his family, a mere 100 yards from Auschwitz.

    Comment by Eager for Answers — March 27, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

    • “All of a sudden we felt that we were squeezed together. The Germans were holding hands around us, what was left …about 3,000 people were left, and they were squeezing us until one fell on top of the other, like a pyramid.”

      That’s a good one.

      Comment by The Black Rabbit of Inlé — March 28, 2012 @ 7:53 am

      • ;-)

        Comment by Eager for Answers — March 28, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

      • I am still shuddering with horror after reading your posting about this gruesome massacre.

        You should warn readers about the graphic picture of this tragic event.

        Comment by Eager for Answers — March 28, 2012 @ 8:25 pm

        • I do have an “adult content” warning, but perhaps in this instance it’s insufficient.

          Thanks for posting it, it’s a great piece of holocrap.

          Comment by The Black Rabbit of Inlé — March 29, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  9. nOT A SINFNGLE nAZI LEADER EVER DENIED THE hOLOCAUST AFTER THE WAR. hOLOCAUST DENIAL DID NOT OCCUR YBN YNRIL THE 1970A WHEN ANTI SEMITES STARTED THAT PROPAGANDA AGAINST iSRAEL. tHAT IS THOSE WHO SPREAD THE LIES ARE STOOGES OF THE aRAB TERRORIST ORGANIZATION, tHAT IS THE REASON iRAN LEADERS DENY THE hOLOCAUST BECAUSE IT IS POLITICAL TO THEM, tHOSE WHO WRITE THE NONSENSE HERE ARE EITHER CRAZY OR NEED MEDUCAL CARE BECAUSE THEYARE ANGRY ABOUT THEIR LIVES AND OF COURSE ALWAYS BLAME THE JEWS. tHEY HATE THEMSELVES REALLY. tHEY WILL BESOON DEAD LIKE ANY HUMAN BEINGS. iN THE MEANTIME, MAT THEY BE CURSED.

    Comment by Fred A. Kahn — March 27, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

  10. My aunt who had reared me was deported with over 1,000 other jEWS FROM FRANKFURT , gERMANY TO sOBIBOR EXTERMINATION CAMP. nOT A SINGLE jEW SENT THERE EVER CAME BACK. tHISE WHO SPREAD LIES AROUND HERE AS IF THE hOLOCAUST WAS A PROPAGANDA, ARE EITHER CRAZU, ANTI SEMITES, OR NEED TO BE MADE EXTINCT. iT IS BLASPHEMY TO DENY THE DEATH OF PEOPLE. cURSE ON THE BLASPHEMERS.

    Comment by Fred A. Kahn — March 27, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

    • You should send this information to Yad Vashem about your aunt and over 1,000 other Jews from Frankfurt being sent to Sobibor. Yad Vashem has this information about the Jews in Frankfurt am Main:

      “In 1933, more than 26,000 Jews lived in Frankfurt, making the city the second largest Jewish community in Germany. [...]
      …by May 1939, only about 14,000 Jews were left in Frankfurt. [...]

      In March 1941 Jews were made to do forced labor, and in October, the first Jews were deported to Lodz. On November 11, 1,052 Jews were sent to Minsk, and another 902 were deported to Riga on November 22. During 1942, 2,952 Jews from Frankfurt were sent to Theresienstadt. More Jews were deported eastward in late 1942 and throughout 1943. The last transport of Jews from Frankfurt was transferred to Theresienstadt in January 1944.”

      Yad Vashem does not mention that more than 1,000 Jews were sent to Sobibor. You can read the full article at
      www1.yadvashem.org/odot…/Microsoft%20Word%20-%205861.pdf

      Comment by furtherglory — March 27, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

      • The information about the deportation and murder of the Jews deported from Frankfurt was rwswaeched by the reporters of the newspaper Wiesbadener Tagblatt, I was born in Wiesbaden. The entire operation of rounding up Jews from the ateas and villaghes such as from Wejhen are documented If you wish to seriously research the death of the people go to the archives of the German Federal Republic in Bonn. There is further much on Sobibor extermination camp because there was a revilt there in October 1943, with 300 escapees, 50 of them survived to testify. The Holocaust is documented by millions of documents, Only a fool would deny it/ Unless you are dpoing that for political reason engineered vby the Arab terrorit orgabnization against Isreal, As i have written, no Nazis ever denied the Holocaust, Some who deny it may be in addition for polutucal reason, antisemites, nuts or simply to gain attention to themselves by angry utterances due to their own suffering in their personal lives, That is people who hate their parents may tAKE IT OUT ON OTHERS tHEY ARE DISTRUBED PEOPLE WHO WOULKD REQUIRE MEDICAL TREATMENT, bEST TO REFER THEM TO TREATMENT.

        Comment by Fred A. Kahn — March 27, 2012 @ 10:34 pm

  11. i heard about the extermination of Jews over the Bririshh Broadcast Corporation (BBC) in June1942. Thereafter my family and I went into hiding in the Belgian Ardennes.

    Comment by Fred A. Kahn — March 27, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

  12. Hollywood screenwriter Ben Hecht was a Bergson Boy who wrote German (false) atrocity propaganda for the Readers Digest during the war. From the Bergson Boys book blurb:

    “Having energized politicians, gangsters, Hollywood moguls, and ultra- Orthodox rabbis, the handful of young men taught other Zionist and American- Jewish groups not only how the media was the message but how it could and should be used. A guiding force behind the creation of the War Refugee Board, the group served as a beacon for contemporary Zionist militancy while ultimately laying the groundwork for other organizations to utilize the media in future political campaigns.”

    The “Bergson Boys” And the Origins of Contemporary Zionist Militancy (Modern Jewish History) [Hardcover]
    Judith Tydor Baumel (Author), Dena Ordan (Translator) http://www.amazon.com/Bergson-Origins-Contemporary-Zionist-Militancy/dp/0815630638

    There was also a group of German Jewish refugees trained in psychological warfare at Fort Ritchie, MD called the “The Ritchie Boys.” At the end of the movie made about them by German director Christian Bauer two of these avuncular old interrogators (ie torturers) cum disinfo agents cackle over the success of a fake story about Hitler’s one gonad they planted in a post-war Berlin newspaper. http://www.ritchieboys.com/EN/home.html

    The Bergson Boys and the Ritchey Boys helped the the Nazi gassing story grow its legs. They were assisted by the Polish Government in Exile, the Political Warfare Executive, British War Office, The World Jewish Congress, The American Jewish Committee, the OSS and OWI, The War Refugee Board, The Joint Distribution Committee and, last but not least, the self-abnegating German blogger Herb Stolpeman.

    Comment by who dares wings — March 27, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

    • I just wonder, what am I denying myself, perhaps you can enlighten me so I can learn from your philosophy. I am always open to receive advice

      Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — March 28, 2012 @ 12:08 am

      • tHE DOCUMENTATION ABOUT THE hOLOCAUST IS ENORMOUS. aNEUONE WHO WOULD DENY IT, IS SICK, IN MY VIEW, fURTHER, MANY OF THE POSTINGS ON THIS BLOG ARE TOTALLY FALSE. i HAVE NO IDEA WHY PEOPLE WOULD WRITE FALSEHOODS. tHE bERGSONS WERE FOLKS WHO TRIED TO RESCUE JEWS AND tHOMAS mANN WAS ANTI nAZI gERMAN nOBEL pROZE IN lITERATURE, hE WAS NOT JEWISH AND NONEVER WROTE ABOUT JEWS AS FAR AS i KNOW. hE SPENT HIS S TIME AT THE llIBRART OF cONGRESS WHILE IN THE us.

        Comment by Freddy Lejeune — March 28, 2012 @ 12:17 am

  13. In January 1942, Thomas Mann, a German exile with a Jewish wife, and Jewish children, in his regular broadcasts in German, which the BBC broadcasted for the German people to hear, said:

    “The news sounds unbelievable, but my sources are good. According to reports I have received, there is terrible grief in numerous Dutch Jewish families, in Amsterdam and other cities, where they mourn their sons who have met a horrifying death. Four hundred young Dutch Jews have been deported to Germany, to be used as guinea-pigs in experiments with poison gas.”

    http://winstonsmithministryoftruth.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/jan-1942-bbc-informs-germans-that.html

    Comment by The Black Rabbit of Inlé — March 27, 2012 @ 12:12 pm


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