Experience: Death Camps

Nettie Adelsberg
Sonia Aisner
Irving Altus
Ella Baker
Leo Beals
Edith Berman
Ella Berman
Ludwig Berman
Rose Bernbaum
Sally Biederman
Bela Bienenstock
Simon Binke
Rose Bohm
Magda Budaj
Bella Camhi
Ibolya Centeri
"Uncle" Sam Chesla
Simon Cieck
Henia Ciesla
Albert Cimmer
Harry Cymerint
Ann Eisenberg
Luba Elbaum
Irena Erlich
Joseph Farkas
Golda Feingold
Leon Feld
Sylvia Feld
Sophie Fischel
Ben Fisk
Aaron Friedman
Pearl Friedman
Mike Gluck
Ilona Goldman
Leon Greenbaum
Anna Greenberger
Sol Gringlas
Emery Grosinger
Aron Gross
Lena Gross
Rachel Growe
Rose Guttman
Abraham Holcman
Motek Holcman
Sam Hornung
Franka Iglewicz
Regina Jablonka
Viola Kappy
Alex Karp
Livia Katan
Ruth Kent
Magda Kessler
Zelda Klaiman
Anna Klein
Bernard Klein
Emery Klein
Frida Klein
Viola Klein
Bernard Klisman
Sophie Klisman
Helen Kosuch
Edith Kozlowski
Marvin Kozlowski
Alexander Kuhn
Nathan Lachman
Aron Lankin
Helena Lebovic
Mayer Lebovic
Miriam Lengel
Manuel Levi
Bendet Lewkowicz
Esther Lewkowicz
Jack Lipton
Elias Magnus
Freda Magnus
Herman Marczak
Henry Martin
Bernard Mond
Diane Neuman
Steve Oliwek
Yetta Opatowski
Ted Pilcowitz
Phyllis Potach
Esther Praw
Harry Praw
Saul Raimi
Fay Rotberg
Edith Roth
Hershel Roth
Tobi Roth
Simon Rozencweig
Agata (Agi) Rubin
Helen Solarz Sadik
Mania Salinger
Jane Salzberg
Katherine "Kathy" Sattler
Julius Schaumberg
Rosa Schaumberg
David Scherman
Lola Schonberger
Margit Schwartz
Sandra (Sunny) Segal
Sam Seltzer
Sam Seltzer
Roman Shloss
Sara Silow
Brandla Small
Samuel Small
Irene Snitchler
Erna Staub
Charles Strassberg
Lola Taubman
Sala Teitelman
Magdalene Thirman
Harry Tuchklaper
Sally Tuchklaper
Morris Tugman
George Vine
Rose Wagner
Melanie Wallis
Sabina Water
Jack Wayne
Larry Wayne
Ruth Webber
Zita Weber
Harry Weinstein
Clara Weis
Elena Weiss
Erna Weiss
Eva Weiss
Gabriella Weiss
Lilly Weiss
Michael Weiss
Shari Weiss
Eva Wimmer
Abram Winogron
Rella Wizenberg
Lillian Wohl
Sarah York
“The Nazis established killing centers for efficient mass murder. Unlike concentration camps, which served primarily as detention and labor centers, killing centers (also referred to as "extermination camps" or "death camps") were almost exclusively "death factories." German SS and police murdered nearly 2,700,000 Jews in the killing centers either by asphyxiation with poison gas or by shooting.

“The first killing center was Chelmno, which opened in the Warthegau (part of Poland annexed to Germany) in December 1941. Mostly Jews, but also Roma (Gypsies), were gassed in mobile gas vans there. In 1942, in the Generalgouvernement (a territory in the interior of occupied Poland), the Nazis opened the Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka killing centers (known collectively as the Operation Reinhard camps) to systematically murder the Jews of Poland. In the Operation Reinhard killing centers, the SS and their auxiliaries killed approximately 1,526,500 Jews between March 1942 and November 1943.

“Almost all of the deportees who arrived at the camps were sent immediately to death in the gas chambers (with the exception of very small numbers chosen for special work teams known as Sonderkommandos). The largest killing center was Auschwitz-Birkenau, which by spring 1943 had four gas chambers (using Zyklon B poison gas) in operation. At the height of the deportations, up to 6,000 Jews were gassed each day at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. Over a million Jews and tens of thousands of Roma, Poles, and Soviet prisoners of war were killed there by November 1944.

“Though many scholars have traditionally counted the Majdanek camp as a sixth killing center, recent research had shed more light on the functions and operations at Lublin/Majdanek. Within the framework of Operation Reinhard, Majdanek primarily served to concentrate Jews whom the Germans spared temporarily for forced labor. It occasionally functioned as a killing site to murder victims who could not be killed at the Operation Reinhard killing centers: Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka II. It also contained a storage depot for property and valuables taken from the Jewish victims at the killing centers.

“The SS considered the killing centers top secret. To obliterate all traces of gassing operations, special prisoner units (the Sonderkommandos) were forced to remove corpses from the gas chambers and cremate them. The grounds of some killing centers were re-landscaped or camouflaged to disguise the murder of millions.”  

Hairbrushes of victims, found soon after the liberation of Auschwitz. Poland, after January 27, 1945.

— Dokumentationsarchiv des Oesterreichischen Widerstandes
Accessed on July 19, 2011