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the Final Solution & the Massacres of the Jews

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Sarah
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« on: February 09, 2007, 10:39:34 pm »

Nazi extermination camp

Extermination camp (German: Vernichtungslager) or Death Camp was the term applied to a group of facilities set up by Nazi Germany during World War II for the express purpose of killing the Jews of Europe, although members of some other groups whom the Nazis wished to exterminate, such as Roma (Gypsies), Soviet prisoners of war, Poles and many others, were also killed in these camps. Prisoners at these camps were not expected to live more than 24 hours beyond arrival. This was part of what has become known as the Holocaust.

The camps
 
Major deportation routes to the extermination camps in Europe.Most accounts of the Holocaust recognise six extermination camps, all located in occupied Poland. These were:

Auschwitz II (Auschwitz-Birkenau) (Auschwitz I was a concentration camp and Auschwitz III a labor camp)
Belzec
Chelmno (German: Kulmhof an der Nehr, Polish: Chelmno nad Nerem)
Majdanek
Sobibór
Treblinka

Of these, Auschwitz II and Chelmno were located within areas of western Poland annexed by Germany - the other four were located within the General Government area.

A seventh camp, much less known than these six, was located at Maly Trostenets, in present-day Belarus. The Croatian Ustaše puppet regime also operated an extermination camp at Jasenovac.

Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibór were constructed during Operation Reinhard, the codename for the systematic killing of the Jews of Europe, widely known under the euphemism, the "final solution of the Jewish question" (Endlösung der Judenfrage). The operation was decided at the Wannsee Conference of January 1942 and carried out under the administrative control of Adolf Eichmann.

While Auschwitz II was part of a labour camp complex, and Majdanek also had a labour camp, the Reinhard camps and Chelmno were pure extermination camps, built solely to kill vast numbers of Jews within hours of arrival – the only prisoners sent to these camps not immediately murdered were those used as slave labour directly concerning the extermination process (e.g. to remove the corpses from the gas chambers). These camps were small in size – only several hundred meters on each side – as only minimal housing and support facilities were required. Arriving persons were told that they were merely at a transit stop for relocation east.

In addition, many non-Jews were also killed in these camps, mostly (non-Jewish) Poles and Soviet prisoners of war.

The number of people killed at the seven major camps has been estimated as follows:

Auschwitz II: about 1,100,000
Belzec: 436,000
Chelmno: 340,000
Majdanek: 78,000 [1] - 235,000
Sobibór: 260,000
Treblinka: at least 700,000, possibly over 1,000,000
Maly Trostenets: at least 200,000, possibly over 500,000
This gives a total of at least 3,100,000, and possibly 3,800,000. Of these, over 90% were Jews. These seven camps thus accounted for about half the total number of Jews killed in the entire Nazi Holocaust, including almost the whole Jewish population of Poland.


  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_extermination_camp
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