Chelmno


Jimmy H.

  • Chelmno was an extermination camp opened on December 8, 1941
  • Was opended in the warthegau part of poland.
  • Located 30 miles northwest of the lodz ghetto, along the Ner river and a tributary of the Warta river.
  • Was the first extermination camp.
  • People were shipped from the lodz ghetto.
  • Tried to annihilate all jews in lodz ghetto.
  • Was a large forest clearing about 2.5 miles
  • the ss wore white coats to make the jews think they were physicians.
  • the jews thought they were going to germany for labor.
  • they went into the reception center and were told they had to be cleansed.
  • they were told to undress and walk down the ramp.
  • once down the ramp they were in the cellar.
  • they went into the back of the gas van(not knowing).
  • Once the back of the van was full they closed and lockd the door.
  • then they put a tube over he exhaust pipe and put the pipe into the van.
  • after they thought everyone was dead the took the pipe out of the van and drove to the mass grave sites(which were already dug)
  • they started unloading the corpeses and if they found anyone still alive they shot them
  • But then they realized that the smell of all those dead bodies was spreading.
  • so they ordered the bodies to be dug up by forced laborers.
  • and they built two open air ovens for the bodies to be cremated in.
  • Another job of the forced laborers was to sort the belongings of the dead people
  • Shoes in one pile
  • Shirts in one pile
  • Pants in one pile
  • Socks in another pile
  • Another job of Sonderkommando was to clean the gas vans.
  • 8-10 skilled craftsman had the job of repairing and producing goods for the officials.
  • Sometimes, members of these special detachments were killed and replaced with new imports.
  • After the annhilation of almost all the jews living in the Wartheland district, the ss decided to stop all transports to Chelmno.
  • They shipped the survivors away.
  • Demolished the manor house.
  • Demolished the open air ovens
  • Shot the last forced laborers
  • Then in 1944, germans renewed deportations to chelmno.
  • They decided to do this because they wanted to make sure the lodz ghetto was jew free.
  • The Bothmann detachment then returned to Chelmno.
  • They supervised renewed killing operations.
  • Camp authorities then had to rebuild two open air ovens and two reception huts.
  • they in September 1944 jews were brought from outside the area to dig up and bury the bodies.
jews.jpgFamilies saying their last goodbyes to each other.external image 33.gifA Jewish man about to be executed at the edge of a mass grave.