Belzec was the first killing center made by Adolf Hitler. Over tens of thousands of Jews and Gypsies were killed in Belzec.gas chambers


Jessica Roarabaugh

  • Extermination camps were established for mass murderings.
  • The frist extermination camp was Belzec.
  • Belzec was a slave labor camp originally in 1940.
  • It was established as a extermiantion camp in March 1942.
  • About 600,000 Jews and Gypsies were killed there.
  • This extermination camp was known as a Aktion Reinhard Camp.
  • The only two know people who survived from Belzec were Rudolf Reder and Chaim Herszman.
  • Sonderkommandos were people that were chosen to do the manual work of the killing process.
  • Originally the camp had only 3 gas chambers disguised as barracks and showers of a labor camp.
  • The 3 gas chambers were insufficent and needed to be replaced.
  • 6 new concrete, 4 x 5 meter, chambers were put in place of the 3 old wooden ones.
  • The new chambers were able to hold at least 1,000 people at a time.
  • These new more efficent chambers were imiated by the chambers of Sobibor and Treblinka.
  • When the Jews arrived at Belzec by train, the men were separted fromt the women and children,then they were force to run through the "Tube" and then into different parts of the camp where they were undressed and sorted out into the different gas chambers.
  • This whole process was done as quickly as possible so that none of the Jews could figure out their fate fast enough to start a revolt or run away.
  • By the end of the war two out of every three Jews in Europe had been killed.
  • Sonderkommandos that were there at the end of the war were kept until the camp was destroyed.
  • At the end of the war the Nazis tried to cover everything up and act like nothing happened.
  • Bodies were dug up out of the mass graves, than crushed and/or cremated.
  • The whole camp had to be systemically dismantled.
  • The sonderkommandos that were still there were shot in Belzec or deproted to the Sobibor killing center to be gassed.
  • After that, the ground was poughed over by the Germans.
  • A manor house was built for a former auxiliary police guard.
  • Trees and crops were planted and the camp was now a farm.
  • The Nazis tried to make it look as though Belzec was never even there.

A group of Gypsies waiting just before they were supposed to go into a gas chamber.

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Jews being loaded on a train headed for their way to Belzec.

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Here is where you will find a lot of important
information on the extermination camp Belzec.

Belzec Extermination Camp
By: Josh B.

  • The first transport of jews reached Belzec on May 29,1940.
  • Was the first of the Nazi German Camps created
  • 11 Thousand atended the camp and thousands die of starvation, overwork, execution, or brutal living conditions.
  • First victims were killed in cells filled with diesel fumes.
  • Then they move to Zyklon-B
  • 600,000 people died at Belzec including 2,000 non-jews
  • Only 2 people were known to survive (Rudolf Reder and Chaim Herszman)
  • Handicapped people were the first people to test out the T-4 test gasing
  • The wooden chambers were diguised as the barraks and showers of the camp
  • The Nazis tried to hide bodies but they were dug up and cremated
  • They also found remains of the building and 33 mass graves
  • In the mass graves they found 15,000 unburned bodies

Roll call at the camp

Belzec Extermination Camp
By: Josh H.
  • Belzec was established on Nov. 1st 1941
  • Was a hard labor camp then within 2 yrs. it became a extermination camp
  • Belzec divided into 2 camps into 3 parts: Administration Section, Barracks and storage for goods and extermination
  • Started killing March 17th 1942 and Dec. 1942
  • 3 gas chambers later 6 gas chambers
  • 30 min. killing process
  • Used Zyklon B
  • Killing center screened off from eachother
  • "The Tube" was a narrow path that connected the killing centers
  • Belzec was small and surrounded by watch towers
  • Men, women, children forced to undress and then went to the gas chambers which were disguised as showers
  • 2 phrases of operations
  • Located in SE Poland
  • Bodies were crushed when died
  • Nazi covered up Belzec as a Farm
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SS Guards patroling Belzec

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By:Kira G

  • Belzec was divided into three parts: administration section, barracks and storage for plundered goods, and extermination.
  • They had double boarded sides on the walls.
  • Inside the walls of this barracks there were double sided walls of boards and a vacant space full of sand.
  • Women had their hair shaved off.
  • The building was set up to kill up to 1,200 Jews at one time.
  • During the early months of 1943, the corpses of the murdered Jews were disinterred and burned in open air pits.
  • The camp was then closed.
  • A narrow path called "the tube" connected the two sections of the killing center.
  • Rail tracks ran from the gas chambers to the burial pits.
  • Fine boughs woven into the barb-wire fence and trees planted around the perimeter served as camouflage to prevent curious outsiders from seeing operations inside the camp.
  • The gassing operations at the Belzec began in mid-march 1942.
  • Trains of 40 to 60 freight cars, with 80 to100 people crowded into each car, arrived at Belzec railway station.

  • Commanders of the camps: Christian Wirth and Gottlieb Hering.

Christian Wirth:

  • He was a senior SS officer during the program to exterminate the Jewish people to occupy Poland, during the second World War.
  • Wirth was the chief of the Criminal Police in Stuttgart befroe being transferred to the head T-4 program.
  • In one case, a suspect who was known to be responsible for a crime but who would not confess was left alone for a time with Wirth. Not only did get a full confession to this crime, he also obtained confessions to six others.
  • In August 1941, he was transferred out of T-4 and in September 1941 was sent to Chelmno to start gassing Jews and Gypsies there.
  • During the construction of Sobibor, the second Aktion Reinhard death camp, Wirth visited the incomplete site, and conducted an experimental gassing of twenty-five Jewish slave-labourers.
  • He liked to carry a whip, and he used it on both Jewish victims and guards.
  • Wirth took a direct role in reorganizing it when the first commandant, Dr. Irmfried Eberl, was replaced by Franz Stangl.
  • After Aktion Reinhard (in which 1.4 million Jews and thousands of Gypsies were murdered) was terminated, Wirth was sent to Trieste in Italy with other former Aktion Reinhard staff to kill partisans in the area.
  • Wirth was killed by Slovenian partisans in Trieste and Fiume in May 1944.

  • The wooden gas chambers were disguised as the barracks and showers of a labor camp, so that the victims would not realize the true purpose of the site, and the process was conducted as quickly as possible: people were forced to run from the trains to the gas chambers, leaving them no time to absorb where they were or to plan a revolt.
  • A member of the staff testified that the Jewish office girls were murdered in this car on the very last day of Belzec.
  • The bodies often swelled in the heat as a result of putrefaction and the escape of gases, and the covering of earth split.
  • This latter problem was corrected in other death camps with the introduction of crematoria.


  • Gerstein was born in M√ľnster in Westphalia.
  • He completed his first degree, in Engineering, in 1931.
  • While studying he was, like all male members of the Gerstein family, a member of the Corps Teutonia Marburg.
  • In 1933 he became a mining inspector for the Nazi government and joined the Nazi Party.
  • A semi-fictional movie about his emotional search for Christian values and ultimate decision to betray the SS by attempting to expose the Holocaust through informing the Catholic Church, Amen, was released in 2002, starring Ulrich Tukur as Kurt Gerstein and directed by Costa-Gavras. - The story of Kurt Gerstein


  • There are still signs of at least one of the camp sites, but they are not in use for anything.
  • Sometimes people that are just learning about the Holocaust, go there to see it, but there are gates up so that people cannot get in.
  • These sites are in Poland, where they were obviously used.