THE FINAL SOLUTION
At first plans to send all Jews to Madagascar
was considered. But it was dropped because there was too many of them, by the time they had invaded everywhere, Germany estimated that 11 million Jews would need to be moved.
The camps, ghettos and the Special Action groups were not the answer. Something had to be arranged.
In Auschwitz in 1941, 250 hospital patients
and 600 Russian prisoners were forced into a sealed room and a poison gas called Zyklon-B was used. It was a success in killing
so many in one go. The Death Centre at Auschwitz began and was completed in 1942.
At Chelmno in 1941, the mobile vans were used on a daily basis. The plans
for the Final Solution of the Jewish question had begun. Reinhard Heydrick was mainly responsible for this. He had been thrown
out of the Navy and so joined the SS. He worked his way up to become the man in charge of security in the Third Reich. He
was tall, slim, blond with deep set eyes. He deserved his nickname of the Blond Beast His Gestapo and security were feared
everywhere, even by Germans, Himmler gave him complete authority to carry out Hitlers Final Solution. Hitler himself called
Heydrick The Man with the Iron Heart
His car was bombed in Prague
in May 1942 and he died shortly after. In retaliation, a small town called Lidice was chosen
and men and boys shot, women and children sent to camps. Its name was erased from the German map. In honor of Heydrick, the
extermination of the Jews in Poland was
given the name Operation Reinhard
Any group they found inferior to them were treated with the greatest
brutality. Only Jews were to be wiped off the face of the earth but 4 other groups were also marked for Special treatment
The sick, gypsies, Polish leading classes and Russian
for the start of operation T4 on September 1st 1939, incurably sick were to be killed calling them life unworthy
of life It was carried out as follows:-
All Jews in mental
Anyone in hospital
or mental asylums for 5 years.
that stopped work.
For the purity of Aryan blood these had to die. Some were starved others
given lethal injections. But also the mobile gas vans were used. After the patient had died a letter was sent to their families
saying that they had died of heart failure. The bodies were cremated. But because of protest from people and eventually from
the church, Hitler ordered it stopped in 1941. 90,000 had been killed and evidence states that it would have begun again after
Germany had won the war.
These were considered a menace and they were forced with same restrictions
as the Jews. They were also settled in ghettos like the Jews. Thousands were sent to the gas chambers. Between 300,000 and
500,000 were killed by the nazis.
Nazis believed that some people were beneath the true human level. They
called them untermenschen-sub human. They would be allowed to live but only as slave labour. All Slavic people were included:-
poles, Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, Ukrainians, and Russians,
Poland was the biggest land mass and they thought that after Germany
had won the war, Russia and other countries would follow
in what they controlled. All the creative and educated were rounded up, sent to the concentration camps and either died of
camp conditions or were shot. Over 3 million non-Jewish people were killed and over 1 million were educated.
These were selected for two reasons 1) They were sub-human and 2) They
came from a communist country and this was a synonym for Judaism to the Nazis, In May 1944, the German army estimated that
it had captured 5-16 million Russian prisoners. Only 1,871,000 were still alive, 473,000 were killed and 67,000 escaped. That
yields about 3 million as dead. Most were kept in large cages, open pens, surrounded by fences and barbed wire, they were
also used as guinea pigs for medical experiments.
On August 11th, 1942, the SS, SD and Mounted Police fell like
a pack of savages on the Jewish quarter. At the time about 10,000 people lived in this Zamosc area. In a winkling of an eye,
3000 men, women and children were picked up and deported to an unknown destination. They were all sorts of lies and tricks
to mislead people and get them to go peacefully. The nazis called it resettlement to the east. Conditions would be better,
more food, improved housing and doctors. The lies and deception took an endless variations. But it did not all go smoothly,
some Jews did not believe the lies and hid from the nazis. The only way round this was to mount surprise attacks. One Zamosc
resident recalled The spectacle the ghetto presented after the attack drove the survivors mad, bodies everywhere, in the streets,
in the courtyards, inside the houses, babies thrown from third and fourth floors lay crushed on the sidewalks. The Jews themselves
had to bury the dead.
Himmler considered the trains carrying the deportees more important than other trains. This involved the co-ordination of hundreds of
thousands of miles of railway track, thousands of railway cars, tight schedules and manpower. Himmler wanted to be informed
of every movement, how many Jews have been removed and how many are left at that point. They travelled in freight cars, officially
they held 8 horses or 40 soldiers, 120 to 130 Jews were packed into each one. Doors were shut and sealed, there was no room
to sit down or lie down. There was no food, no water and no heat if it was cold. Many froze to death before they arrived at
the camps. In summer heat and suffocating ended lives, trains came from all over Europe, one after another.
When the doors were open, SS men with whips and wild Alsatians swarmed.
Families were torn apart, they formed two columns, men on one side, women and children on the other. One by one filed past
two doctors. Those who were fit were sent to the camp, the others were sent to the extermination plants. Dr Mengele didnt
flicker an eyelash but just pointed his finger this way and that. Life or death determined by the point of a finger. But how
lucky were the ones who lived. Their first sight of Auschwitz were corpses strewn all over the road, bodies were hanging from
barbed wire fences. Shots sounded, blazing flames shot into the sky, starving skeletons fell down in front of them.
It is basically impossible to write about the camps, only one who has
been and survived can tell. Hunger, cold, fear, pain are only words used by freemen in a normal world. In the camps it had
a new meaning. To toil in a wind all day, temperatures below freezing, only wearing a shirt, underpants, cloth trousers, the
hunger being a day, an hour closer to death.
Not only did they kill by gas, working them to death, torture and starvation but in the filth they were surrounded by sickness and disease.
Surviving another day was only by chance, an accident. They may be one of the days quota to be shot or beaten to death for
no reason, used as target practise or collapse that meant instant death. What happened in the camps is beyond the human imagination,
But they were real, they did exist. Millions died in them, others barely
The first concentration camps just held prisoners from all races. Each
inmate was given a number and a color-coded triangle was worn. Political prisoners wore red, socials-black, homosexuals-pink,
Jehovahs witnesses-purple, habitual-green, Jews-yellow.
As the camps overflowed, new ones had to be built. Many of the main camps
had smaller ones attached to them, some even worse than the larger camps. Dachau had 108, Buchenwald had 133, by 1942 there
were 16 main camps and hundreds of smaller ones.
People werent just gassed, there were mass shootings, sadism and brutality
alone that took lives. There were 400 deaths a day in Auschwitz one December and January.
The Final Solution drawn up in 42 but it had started way back in December
41. With the advice of Christian Wirth and Victor Brack, six camps became killing centres. All used gas, either piped in by
vans or Zyklon_B. They went into operation, all in Poland, in this order:-
CHELMNO DEC 1941
AUSCHWITZ FEB 1942
MAIDENAK SEPT 1942
ARRIVAL TO DISPOSAL
Arrival platforms were set up so no-one knew what was going to happen.
They were hidden by trees and people were given the impression that they were at a transit camp. In the gas chambers it resembled
shower units with dummy shower heads, the sequence of events were short, simple and quick. The trains were emptied, baggage
put in piles and the selection made. Sometimes no selections were made and all were gassed. The victims were moved on, told
to undress. Willingly or not, they were put in the chambers, sealed in and gassed.
The Jews that did live, had to take the bodies from the rooms, remove
any jewellery or gold teeth, cut off womens hair, then with their bare hands remove them to the pits. At first they were buried,
later they were burnt. In Auschwitz and Buchenwald, large ovens were designed to cremate them. Then these Jews were killed
and others took their place.
TRUCKS TO DECEIVE
Signs were put up in different languages. At Chelmno, they read To the
Physician and To the Washroom At Belzac they said Washing and Inhalation Equipment Numbered hooks were fixed to the wall in
At Treblinka, there were the most complex devises of deception. The arrival
point looked like a train station complete with dock, waiting room, ticket counter. The cripples, old, invalid were sent to
a building with a Red Cross flag flying and a sign Infirmary They entered a waiting room with chairs, went through another
door to the outside, were shot in the neck and thrown in a ditch.
A star of David was painted on the first wall housing the gas chambers.
The heavy curtain bore the Hebrew inscription This is the Gate through which the righteous shall enter They even gave the victims towels and soap. The guards would call them Sir or madam
and tell them it was a health measure. When they had finished there would be a bowl of soup and a drink for them all. Deceived
they all walked calmly to their deaths.
Jew of Poland and east Europe were handled differently. They were violently rushed from trains, beaten, whipped, shouted at and a lot knew and suspected death. But
the result was the same. Death and it took about 45 minutes to work.
The exact numbers killed at each camp will never be known. The SS did
not record the individuals who went straight from the train to the gas chambers. The approximate number killed at each camp
is given in the following:-
(IT WAS AN ORDINARY
CAMP AS WELL)