Death camps during the holocaust also known as extermination camps began to be built and established in 1942 by Heinrich Himmler a high ranking official in the Nazi Party.
There were 6 main death camps all in Poland:
- Auschwitz II (Auschwitz-Birkenau)
Death Camps during the holocaust differed from the concentration camps. Concentration camps were considered labor camps but the conditions were so extreme that many prisoners died from starvation, dehydration, disease and execution.
Death camps were exactly what they were called and served the purpose of annihilation or mass murder of mainly the Jews.
These extermination camps were a part of a plan crafted by Heinrich Himmler and named by Hitler as The Final Solution of the Jewish Question. This would be genocide like no one had ever seen even to this day.
Why were the extermination camps in Poland? Because that is where the greatest number of European Jews resided. Approximately 3,000,000 Jews resided in Poland.
The first method of mass extermination of the Jews began with shooting the victims in massive graves or burial pits but this process was not quick and efficient enough to murder the millions of Jews in Europe.
The Nazis reprobate minds knew there had to be a better way to expose of the Jews and their corpses by the masses.
Zyklon B was a cyanide-based pesticide. This poisonous as interfered with cellular respiration and once inhaled victims were expelled within minutes.
This was proven to work because the Nazis had put this gas through a test on about 250 Gypsy children and other unfortunate victims.
Now the proven method needed to be implemented in full force within all the death camps.
How would the Nazis coerce thousands of Jews to undress then enter a large room and not panic or cause a revolt?
Seduce and Lie
Yes, that is exactly what they did.
The environment in the camps was so unclean that there were many diseases easily passed along among the prisoners. One common, dreaded and tormenting disease was head lice.
Head lice are tiny insects that live on the scalp an cause intense continuous itching. Lice was easily spread among prisoners because of the cramped living conditions.
How refreshing is a nice hot shower after a hard working long day?
In the case of these enslaved Jews weeks and months would pass with no shower then add the potential of being infected with head lice.
The Nazis would use their Sonderkommando to help with the scam of a delousing shower.
Sonderkommandos were Jewish Nazi prisoners in the death camps during the holocaust that were forced to dispose of corpses or they would become a corpse and many times they did just that.
The “special unit” or sonderkommando would speak smooth sayings to his Jewish brothers and sisters to make them believe all is well and would often go right into the gas chamber with them.
Once all the victims were in the chamber the “special unit” would vacate just before the door closed.
When the door was closed and sealed the Zyklon B pellets were poured into chimney-like holes in the roofs of the gas chambers.
The cyanide gas was vented into the room killing masses of people in minutes. Inhalation of the gas caused the lungs of the victims to stop.
You would think that such a heinous death would be enough but not for the Nazis. The wickedness went beyond the ordinary.
Once the victims were expelled and the chamber door was opened the sonderkommando would remove gold teeth and fillings from the corpses prior to taking them to be burned in the crematorium.
Very close to 3,000,000 people were murdered in the death camps during the holocaust.
The camp most remembered and known as the top death camps during the holocaust was Auschwitz–Birkenau.
Approximately 1.1 million people were killed at Auschwitz. Treblinka death camp murdered close to 800,000.