The Action Reinhard Camps

This is a continuation of my earlier article linking food with the deportation and murder of the Jews in the General Government in 1942.  Now I want to talk about the camps that they died in.


There were three Action Reinhard Camp

Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka.  Each came on-line at different times, Belzec in March of 1942, Sobibor in May of 1942 and Treblinka in July of 1942.  Each utilized exhaust fumes from internal combustion engines to murder the Jews sent to them.  These three camps came under the control of Odilo Globocnik, a man previously involved in the T-4 Program, the Nazi Program designated to murder mentally and physically handicapped Germans (later expanded to concentration camp inmates under 14f13).  The Action Reinhard Camps were not under the regular concentration camp system.  


There was a fourth camp, Majdanek, that was included under the Hoefle Telegram but it was ran more along the lines of Auschwitz, a combination concentration/death camp where items looted from Jews were kept and sorted.  Majdanek was a large camp but was never filled to capacity.  Unlike the other  Reinhard Camps it used bottled Carbon Monoxide and Zyclon B in its gas chambers (though from the literature I've read this is controversial.  Majdanek is not particularly well documented or written about, most of what I've learned from this camp comes from others.  There are some books on Majdanek but they are not readily accessible.)






Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 11, 2017 - 3:37pm
Disregard the above link, this is better:öfle_Telegram
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 11, 2017 - 3:46pm
This is the breakdown of the numbers for the Hoefle Telegram:
L (Lublin, i.e. Majdanek)  12,761  24,733
B (Bełżec)  0  434,508
S (Sobibor)  515  101,370
T (Treblinka)  10,335  713,555

The above numbers reflect the numbers deported up to December 31st, 1942.  The middle numbers reflect numbers deported in the month of December 1942, you can see Belzec received no deportations in the month of December.  It essentially closed, it was cleaned up and most of the buildings torn down in the Spring of 1943.  Treblinka remained open until its workers revolted on August 2nd, 1943.  Afterwards the camp was closed for good in the Fall of 1943.
Sobibor remained open until October 14th, 1943 when its workers revolted.  Majdanek remained open until the Soviets captured it on July 22nd, 1944.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 11, 2017 - 3:52pm
In the beginning the camps buried the dead in mass graves but starting in the Fall of 1942 the Germans burned the bodies in an attempt to conceal what they had done.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 11, 2017 - 3:54pm
This is as good of an introduction that I can think of.  I'll add more as requested and clear up any questions.
BTW, I do this on my phone.  I've noticed some issues and I am considering switching to another device.  This is why I list additional information in comments rather than the body of the article.
Peter Corey Added Jun 11, 2017 - 6:21pm
Thanks for this, Jeffrey.
Some time ago, I quizzed WriterBeat Nazi wannabe Thomas Purcell on the purpose of the gas chambers at Treblinka. He replied, "delousing." When I pointed out that the gas chambers were attached to the engine exhaust of a captured Soviet tank, and that lice could not be exterminated by means of carbon monoxide — but that people certainly could be — he could only retort, "Well, unfortunate things occur during war time."
Regarding wannabe Nazis on WriterBeat, you're not dealing with the sharpest tools in the shed.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 11, 2017 - 6:31pm
I'm glad you enjoyed the article.  Perhaps I can teach our resident white nationalists and Holocaust deniers a little about the history they so poorly understand.
Peter Corey Added Jun 11, 2017 - 6:52pm
>Perhaps I can teach our resident white nationalists and Holocaust deniers a little about the history they so poorly understand.
Perhaps. But I doubt it.
Ignorance is one thing. Denial is quite another. In any case, good luck.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 11, 2017 - 7:06pm
If nothing else I hope to help others learn about this time in history.
Autumn Cote Added Jun 12, 2017 - 10:02am
Please note, you can edit and previously submitted article.  Simply click on your name in the upper right hand corner and it should be self-explanatory from there.  Also note, in addition to broken links, this article also has some strange indention/formatting problems.  As always, many thanks for you participation with Writer Beat!
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 12, 2017 - 10:11am
Hi, Autumn.  I'm going to try fixing this on a different device.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 12, 2017 - 11:28am
There, that's better.  There is an issue with doing this on my phone.  I'll have to write my articles on a different device.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 12, 2017 - 2:08pm
"Make fun all you want, lads."
We will.
"I'm not moved by copy/paste from Wikipedia or whichever link one tracks down to support their blind opposition to truth."
I'm offended by that.  I used the Wikipedia link for the Hoefle Telegram because it was the one that worked best.  The rest came from memory.
"Here's a bit more information for you to learn, Jeffrey:"
Do tell.

"David Cole - Auschwitz Expose ."
My, that's an old chestnut.  BTW, Cole now believes that the Reinhard Camps were Death Camps and not transit camps.  Same with Eric Hunt, he has changed from denier documentarian to understanding what a load of crap denial is.
"This piece focuses a lot on Auschwitz"
From memory Cole focused on the gas chamber located at the main camp, not the destroyed gas chambers in Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Cole neglects to tell his viewers that Krema I was converted to an air raid shelter during the war and then reconstructed after the war.  Oh, fun fact:
The detached chimney was ALWAYS detached, blue prints show that the chimney was joined to the crematorium through underground tunnels.
Try a little harder, please.  Probably best to assume I know more than your average internet surfer.
"but it touches on the principles of labor camps in general as well as other camps."
Um, irrelevant.  Not all camps were "death camps" in the sense that they were created to murder their inmates.  
"There was no plan to exterminate any race of people, but only to get them out of Germany and most of Europe."
Except that this failed, Tom.  There was no place to send Jews that wasn't under German control.  This "plan" only worked before the war started when there were countries to send Jews to....and this focused on Austrian, German and Czech Jews.  After the war started and specifically after Germany conquered most of Europe this was no longer an option.
"Of critical importance is the complexities after 1943 that resulted from food shortages and pandemic diseases."
The bombing campaign only began to take its toll in 1944.  What was the excuse before then?
"With labor camps, it was difficult to keep pandemics out and get food in. And when your own Army and civilians are reduced to eating wood pulp and the occasional dry biscuit, the last to get nourishing food would be political prisoners, which is mostly what the camps consisted of"
Oh, please.  Again, shortages only started to occur in 1944.
Also, I've already shown how many Jews were sent to the Reinhard Camps.  Are you saying these were labor camps?
"(many political prisoners were communist Jews)."
Really?  What percentage?

"Benjamin Freedman Speech in 1961 . It's paramount to absorb this speech if you want to connect some of the dots between 1914 and 1948, up until 1961."
Oh, horse crap, Tom.  Let's deal in realities, not some nebulous Jew conspiracy.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 12, 2017 - 2:34pm
@Tom Purcell:
"I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt but you're another lost cause,"
Why?  Because I'm not someone easily fooled by silly denier memes and a conspiracy theory complex?
"Jeffrey Kelly. Isn't 'Kelly' an Irish name"
Yes.  My ancestors were Czech-Irish.  One part stayed neutral in the last war, the other suffered through seven years of Nazi occupation.
"What's in it for you to bend over for Jewry?"
The denier default mode.
I don't know any Jews personally, Tom.  I know some on-line, a couple of them get upset with me when I voice my opinions about Israel and the illegal settlements.  Funny, they certainly wouldn't say I bend over to them.
"Not that I'd be surprised if you were hiding behind an alias."
More conspiracy horse shit, Tom?  That's disappointing.  Funny, you don't seem to have you?

"If the information seems nebulous to you, it's going to take a long time before you get out of bent western history textbook mentality, and straightened out by a balanced view of European history between Napoleon"
I'm well versed in European history, Tom.
"and, well, Eisenhower's anti-German crusade."
Really??????  Was Eisenhower the only person involved in the war?
"Good luck, friend. I don't need another know-it-all regurgitating what he's read in history textbooks"
Is that a concession on your part, Tom?  Sounds like it.  What a pity, I kinda hoped for something more.  
"and viewed in Spielberg"
I've never seen Schindler's List, Tom.  Nor will I, though, let's face it, Raiders of the Lost Arc rules.
"and Polanski films."
Don't get the reference.  Care to explain?
"Hopefully you start using a different device and write thorough, compelling articles about WWII...your posts would be more reader-friendly."
I believe I solved the problem.  Don't worry, Tom.  I'll let you know when I post something new.
The question is:
Can Tom actually prove something?
Peter Corey Added Jun 13, 2017 - 2:52am
>and Polanski films."
>Don't get the reference.  Care to explain?
White Trash Purcell might have been hazarding a reference to Polanski's film, The Pianist, about a Polish concert pianist trapped in the Warsaw ghetto.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 13, 2017 - 7:29am
Ah, thank you.
Won't see that one, either.  No offense to those who watch those films but I have no interest.
John Minehan Added Jun 13, 2017 - 9:07am
"There was no plan to exterminate any race of people, but only to get them out of Germany and most of Europe."
OK, ethnic cleansing is more laudable than genocide.  As Lenny Bruce said of something else, "I dunno. It was one of those parties, got out of hand, you know." 
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 13, 2017 - 11:25am

It's all in the spin, right John? Use phrases like "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing" and the propaganda advantage sways your way. Once you blame and demonize that generation with such terms, perhaps you feel sense of moral superiority, that you can package and stamp the Germans as unforgivable."
Who says I believe the Germans are "unforgivable?"
What does this have to do with present day Germans?
Or, for that matter, all Germans during the war?  Not all Germans committed terrible acts.  It's unfortunate that Germans at that time were all lumped together with those that committed crimes.
"It's just not that simple and you guys oughta know that. You're smart men."
I've never said this was simple, it's why I put a lot of time in it.

"Of course there were exceptions, especially as the eastern front began to close all the way in on Germany and reprisals were the norm, but as a rule the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS behaved more rationally and chivalrously than any of the WWII powers."
No, this is simply not correct.
Both the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS committed war crimes in all theaters (with the possible exception of North Africa).
"Don't forget who the refugees of war followed. They followed the Wehrmacht because...why?"
Well, if you are talking about German refugees I think the answer is self-explanatory.
"Because they were the noble ones, the forces of light united against bolshevism and communism."
I'm sure the Jews, Soviet, Yugoslavian and Polish citizens all felt different about that.
"The Germans protected civilians as best they could from degenerate Red Army rapists and killers."
German civilians?  Is that who you are talking about?
"Civilian refugees didn't follow the Russians or Americans anywhere. Where they had to choose, nearly all of them stuck as close to the Wehrmacht as possible, putting additional strain on the overwhelmed landsers.  It's important to ask yourselves why hungry refugees would follow the Germans. I'm not making this up and y'all know it! It's complicated and convoluted, this history. Don't tell me the starving refugees stuck to the Wehrmacht because they were collectively psychotic and under Hitler's spell."
Again, are you talking German refugees?  
John Minehan Added Jun 13, 2017 - 11:46am
Tom, I sometimes think you are deliberately trying to be Franz Liebkind from The Producers,  "Not many people know it, but the Fuhrer was a terrific dancer." 
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 13, 2017 - 12:23pm
@Tom Purcell:
"Now you're just throwing dead fish, Jeffrey. Don't reach so hard, man!"
That's an unusual phrase but OK.
"Russian, Ukrainian, German, Hungarian, Dutch, Austrian, Finnish and others followed the Wehrmacht for food and protection."
They did?
There were multiple nationalities serving in auxiliary units in the Waffen SS and elsewhere. I assume you are talking about these people?
"The Red Army raped and mutilated any living thing of any living age, generally speaking."
That's a very general statement. This got worse when the Red Army reached German territory, that's undeniable. The Red Army did commit rapes in Poland, Yugoslavia, Hungary, etc.
What's generally acknowledged in the literature that I read is that front-line troops, the professional soldiers, generally treated civilians better. It was the newly conscripted, the stragglers and deserters that committed the bulk of the atrocities. There are eyewitnesses who attest to this, even German women who suffered multiple rapes often stated that first contact with Red Army did not include rapes.
Naturally, if the troops found alcohol this behavior escalated. Victims stated that alcohol led to savage behavior but this wasn't limited to Soviet troops.
"I'm sure there were some Russian and Mongolian souls not damned by their personal behavior. You ought to know this stuff, really."
I do.
"In fact, there weren't many German refugees because if not already murdered by U.S. and British bombs,"
How many do you think died during the bombing??????
About 500,000 German citizens died during the Allied bombing campaign.

Tom, there were refugees BECAUSE of the bombing. Also, there were Prussians and other German citizens fleeing from the Red you not know this?
"they were under a total war invasion and were forced to fight."
Not women, children or the elderly. That made up a large percentage of those fleeing from the Red Army.
"It wasn't smart to hang out near a Wehrmacht or Waffen SS battalion if you were German. Not after '42, because if you refused to fight they'd consider you a traitor of the Reich."
Michael B. Added Jun 13, 2017 - 1:47pm
What many people overlook is that the Waffen-SS, outside of several core divisions, was in many ways the Nazi equivalent of the French Foreign Legion. The Wehrmacht (Army, Navy, and Air Force) kept tight control over conscription laws and no provisions were made for the Waffen-SS, which compelled them to seek out volunteers wherever they could find them, both inside and outside of Germany. Initially they focused, not surprisingly, on getting volunteers from Germany and Western Europe, but as the war went on, they raised units from such places as Bosnia, Ukraine, and even Russia itself. Such units were usually used in rear areas against partisans, to whom no quarter was given, and vice-versa. The Soviets wanted to get their hands on those people as eagerly as they wanted the Nazis, and very, very few of them survived. After the July 20th, 1944 coup attempt was crushed, Himmler was given command of the Home or Replacement Army, and of course allocated as much personnel as he could to his own SS units, in that capacity having control over conscription he and the SS had hitherto lacked.
I thought it was kind of ironic that after WW2, a lot of former German soldiers wound up joining the French Foreign Legion, and many of them fought in Indochina, but when economic conditions in West Germany started to improve, they went back home after their enlistments were up.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 13, 2017 - 1:50pm
Great post, Michael.
Michael B. Added Jun 13, 2017 - 2:21pm
Thanks Jeffry. It's actually pretty astounding how many non-Germans fought in German uniforms, and the number of collaborators they had in all of the areas they occupied. The Nazis seem to have gained most of their non-German recruits under the general heading of anti-Communism, but many of them were simply brutes, criminals, and savages who didn't need much guidance or prompting in going about their various tasks; most of the Eastern European and Baltic units in general, and the Kaminski and Dirlewanger Brigades in particular, were bad even by usual Nazi standards.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 13, 2017 - 2:40pm
Many of the Russian and Ukrainians recruited came from the German POW camps where Red Army soldiers were dying by the thousands a day.  I can't blame them for wanting to leave those hell-holes.
Michael B. Added Jun 13, 2017 - 2:52pm
Yes they did, and whether they served the Germans or not, Soviet POWs were still regarded as traitors by the Soviets, at least the relative few that were eventually repatriated. Not too many of them went on to lead a happy life. I've had a few Russians tell me that the West really didn't have much to fear from Stalin after WW2, as he was more preoccupied with resuming his war against his own citizens. In the leadup to Stalin's death, it was said that he was preparing for another great purge like he did in the late 30's.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 13, 2017 - 2:57pm
Michael, my next post will be on the Red Army POW camps, specifically the conditions in 1941-1942 and how these men (and women) were treated after the war.
It'll probably be this weekend, I've got to pull up some research on, I have to work.
John Minehan Added Jun 13, 2017 - 4:36pm
The people in the Ukraine, as you might expect, were not greatly enthused about the Soviet Government and it was not uncommon for Ukrainian conscripts to try to join the Germans, at least early on.  Also, early on, there are accounts of German forces being greeted as liberators in the Ukraine. 
Needless to say, neither phenomenon lasted.     
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 13, 2017 - 4:37pm
Jeff Michka Added Jun 13, 2017 - 4:42pm
Nazi Tom Purcell goes back to his "usual:" In fact, there weren't many German refugees because if not already murdered by U.S. and British bombs-Back to those "good white Germans" slauhtered by Arthur Harris, and then the 8th Air Force.  Aren't going to use the "Time Machine" crap on Kelly?  But you and your other component of the TuetonBoy Twins, Michael B, are gonna keep praising Nazi anythings, over all else.  Michael B gets all up and "patriotic,"  but only heaps praise on Nazis.  Once again, tell us about the uprisings in Dresden and Hamburg where they ran all the Nazis out of town on a rail, and how that should have spared them from being bombed.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 13, 2017 - 4:47pm
"Once again, tell us about the uprisings in Dresden and Hamburg where they ran all the Nazis out of town on a rail, and how that should have spared them from being bombed."
Jeff Michka Added Jun 13, 2017 - 4:52pm
John Minehan writes: you are deliberately trying to be target="_blank">Franz Liebkind from The Producers- Wasn't that same character responisible for another good line: Not many people know this, but the fuhrer was descended from a long line of English queens?  The Producers, wow...and never thought of Nazi Tom as a Franzian poltergeist, just another crap wannabe Nazi.
Jeff Michka Added Jun 13, 2017 - 9:20pm
Jeffrey Kelly asks: where they ran all the Nazis out of town on a rail, and how that should have spared them from being bombed." I....what? - Just a bit of "Tom logic"  I contend bombing Dresden and Hamburg were acts of war against enemy civilians.  OTOH, the London Blitz and V* weapon deaths in UK and Rotterdam were okay for these folks as "Acts of War, only horrible when it's "good, white Germans" getting killed.  As far as that goes, god bless Arthur Harris and US 8th air corp.  And I don't believe n god, but bless 'em anyway.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Jun 13, 2017 - 9:40pm