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Subject: HOLOCAUST FAQ: Operation Reinhard: A Layman's Guide (2/2)
This article was archived around: NNTP-Posting-Sat, 14 Feb 2009 23:15:01 -0600
Operation Reinhard: A Layman's Guide to Belzec, Sobibor
and Treblinka (Part Two of Two)
4.0 Compiling estimates on numbers exterminated................10
4.1 Deportation Statistics ..................................11
5.1 Operation Reinhard Command Staff.........................14
5.1.1 Belzec Staff...........................................14
5.1.2 Sobibor Staff..........................................15
5.1.3 Treblinka Staff........................................18
5.3 Financial Accounting.....................................19
6.0 Research Sources & Other Useful Appendices.................20
6.1 Recommended Reading......................................20
6.2 Abbreviations Used in Citations..........................21
6.4 Work Cited...............................................23
[Reinhard] [Page 10]
4.0 Compiling Estimates of the Numbers Exterminated
"The exact number of Jews who were deported to the Operation Reinhard
death camps is difficult to determine because of the prevailing
conditions at the time and the method employed by the Nazi
extermination machine in expelling the victims to Belzec, Sobibor and
Treblinka. The number of Jews who lived in the towns and townships
of Poland before the war is known from the population census carried
out there in 1931. Some demographic changes took place during the
years 1931-1939, but these did not basically alter the number of Jews
living there on the eve of the German occupation.
Substantial demographic changes did occur during the war, during the
years 1939-1945, until the onset of the deportations to the death
camps. In these years, tens of thousands of Jews escaped from one
place to seek refuge in another. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were
expelled and resettled, sent to labor camps, or concentrated in larger
ghettos. Thousands of Jews were murdered in shooting Aktionen in the
vicinity of their homes -- before, during, and after the deportations
to the death camps. Thus, on the eve of the expulsions, there were
many small localities in which Jews no longer lived and other
localities in which the number of Jews was much higher than before
The deportation method, as carried out by the German authorities in
the General Government, was 'en masse', without lists of names or
even exact numbers. Usually ghettos were totally liquidated, and
only the killing capacity of the camps and the volume of the trains
dictated the number of people who were deported. In places where
some Jews were temporarily left behind, the Germans counted the few
who remained, while all the others were pushed into the trains.
Documents of the German railway authorities, which were found after
the war, provided some data on the number of trains and freight cars.
If we take into account that each fully packed freight car carried
100-150 people, we can arrive at an approximate indication of the
number of Jews in each transport.
Another source of information was the census of the ghetto
inhabitants carried out by the Judenrats in some of these places. A
census of this type was usually taken by order of the German
authorities for purposes of forced-labor requests or in preparation
for the deportations. Sometimes the Judenrats also took a census for
their own purposes ... food rationing or housing problems.
Documents containing these data and sometimes even the number of Jews
who were deported, as collected by the Judenrat, were found after the
war. Sometimes they were mentioned in diaries written by ghetto
inmates and left behind.
Numerous memoirs written by survivors, as well as the memorial books
(Yizkor books, text from two are available from our server (see
pub/holocaust/poland/wlodawa and ~/ostrow), contain important data
about the deportations, including dates and the number of deported.
Testimonies by survivors, statements by local people who witnessed
the deportations, and evidence given by members of the German
administration at the war crimes trials serve as significant sources
[Reinhard] [Page 11]
Together, all these documents and sources enable us to arrive at an
estimation that comes very close to the actual figures and dates of
the deportations to the Operation Reinhard death camps." (Arad,
4.1 Deportation Statistics
Yitzhak Arad's work (Belzec) has provided an extensive collection of
deportation lists, most of which are available through our Holocaust
archive sites. His comments regarding the sources for these statistics
are found immediately above, in Section 4.0. In addition, German
court findings during post-war trials provides additional
documentation, and we have transcribed the Operation
Reinhard section of the Yad Vashem Studies XVI, and made it available
by anonymous ftp and the World Wide Web. See Part 01, Page 1, for
retrieval comments. Yad Vashem provides extensively documented
material, of great value to researchers.
It is important to note here that the figures provided below, from
Arad (Belzec), do _not_ include Jews from outside the General Government
area, i.e. Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, etc.
Arad (Belzec) lists 246,922 deportees from within the General
Government area alone, and a total of 600,000 killed in all,
primarily Jews, with perhaps a few hundred to a few thousand Gypsies
as well. He adds,
This figure was confirmed by the Glowna Komisja Badania Zbrodni
Hitlerowskich w Polsce (Main Commission for Investigation of
Nazi Crimes in Poland) and was accepted by the judical
authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany. (Encyclopedia,
Vol. I, 178)
Deportations to Belzec ended in December, 1942, and the transports
stopped. Most of the Jews in the General Government were already
dead, and Sobibor and Treblinka would handle any that weren't.
Information about Belzec is scarce, as very few escaped death there.
One who did, Rudolf Reder, who escaped in November, 1942 after four
months in the camp, recorded his testimony in Krakow, in 1946.
(Reder, R. Belzec. Krakow, 1946; See also Tregenza, M. "Belzec
Deathcamp," Wiener Library Bulletin 30, 1979, 8-25)
Yitzhak Arad (Belzec) provides the following information regarding
"...close to 100,000 Jews from the District of Lublin were
deported to Sobibor. Based on the number of Jews who lived in
small townships and villages in these areas before the war, and
considering the thousands of Jews who were expelled or fled from
territories in western Poland, which was annexed to Germany, and
who found refuge in the Lublin area, the actual number of those
who were deported to Sobibor is much higher. We may assume that
the total number of Jews from the District of Lublin who were
exterminated in Sobibor was about 130,000 to 140,000.
About 15,000 to 25,000 Jews were deported from Lvov and the
other ghettos in the District of Galicia to Sobibor in the
period ... after Belzec was closed." (Arad, Belzec)
[Reinhard] [Page 12]
The most accurate figures available regarding the numbers killed at
the Treblinka camp are found in the judgements (URTEILSBEGRUNDUNG)
from the first and second Treblinka trials, held in Dusseldorf in
1965 and 1970:
Passed on September 3, 1965 in the trial of Kurt Franz and nine
others at the court of Assizes in Dusseldorf (First Treblinka
Trial) (AZ-LG Dusseldorf: II 931638, p. 49 ff.), and the trial
of Franz Stangl at the court of Assizes at Dusseldorf (Second
Treblinka Trial) on December 22, 1970 (pp. 111 ff.,AZ-LG
Dusseldorf, XI-148/69 S.)
Number of Persons Killed at the Treblinka Extermination Camp:
At least 700,000 persons, predominantly Jews, but also a number
of Gypsies, were killed at the Treblinka extermination camp.
These findings are based on the expert opinion submitted to the
Court of Assizes by Dr. Helmut Krausnick, director of the
Institute for Contemporary History (Institute fuer
Zeitgeschichte) in Munich. In formulating his opinion, Dr.
Krausnick consulted all the German and foreign archival
material accessible to him and customarily studied in historical
research. Among the documents he examined were the following:
(1) The so-called Stroop report, a report by SS Brigadefuhrer
[Brigadier] Jurgen Stroop, dealing with the destruction of the
Warsaw ghetto. This report consists of three parts: namely, an
introduction, a compilation of daily reports and a collection of
(2) The record of the trial of the major war criminals before
the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg.
(3) The official transportation documents (train schedules,
telegrams, and train inventories) relevant to the transports to
The latter documents, of which only a part were recovered after
the war, were the subject of the trial and were made available
to Dr. Krausnick by the Court of Assizes.
Dr. Krausnick's report includes the following information:
According to the Stroop report a total of approximately 310,000
Jews were transported in freight trains from the Warsaw ghetto
to Treblinka during the period from July 22, 1942 to October 3,
1942. Approximately another 19,000 Jews made the same journey
during the period from January, 1943 to the middle of May, 1943.
During the period from August 21, 1942 to August 23, 1943,
additional transports of Jews arrived at the Treblinka
extermination camp, likewise by freight train, from other Polish
cities, including Kielce, Miedzyrec, Lukow, Wloszczowa,
Sedzizzow, Czestochowa, Szydlowiec, Lochow, Kozienice,
Bialystok, Tomaszow, Grodno and Radom. Other Jews, who lived in
[Reinhard] [Page 13]
the vicinity of Treblinka, arrived at Treblinka in horse-drawn
wagons and in trucks, as did Gypsies, including some from
countries other than Poland. In addition, Jews from Germany and
from other European countries, including Austria,
Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Greece were transported
to Treblinka, predominantly in passenger trains.
It has not been possible, of course, to establish the exact
number of people transported to Treblinka in this fashion,
because only a part of the transportation documents,
particularly those relevant to the railroad transports, are
available. Still, assuming that each of the trains consisted of
an average of 60 cars, with each freight car holding an average
total of 100 persons and each passenger car an average total of
50 (i.e., that each freight train might have carried an
approximate total of 6,000, and each passenger train an
approximate total of 3,000 Jews to Treblinka) the total number
of people transported to Treblinka in freight trains and
passenger trains might be estimated at approximately 271,000.
This total would not include the 329,000 from Warsaw. Actually,
however, these figures in many instances were much larger than
the ones cited above. Besides, many additional thousands of
Jews - and also Gypsies - arrived in Treblinka in horse-drawn
wagons and on trucks. Accordingly, it must be assumed that
the total number of Jews from Warsaw, from other parts of
Poland, from Germany and from other European countries, who were
taken to Treblinka, plus the total of at least 1,000 Gypsies who
shared the same fate, amounted to far more than 700,000, even if
one considers that several thousands of people were subsequently
moved from Treblinka to other camps and that several hundred
inmates succeeded in escaping from the camp, especially during
the revolt of August 2, 1943. In view of the foregoing, it
would be scientifically admissible to estimate the total number
of persons killed in Treblinka at a minimum of 700,000.
The court of Assizes sees no reason to question the opinion of
this expert, who is known in the scholarly world for his studies
on the National Socialist persecution of the Jews. The expert
opinion he has submitted is detailed, thorough and, therefore,
In the fall of 1969 another expert, Dr. Scheffler, submitted
for the second Treblinka trial an opinion which was based on
more recent research, estimating the total number of victims at
All men joining Operation Reinhard were required to swear that they
understood they were forbidden to pass on any form of information,
verbally or in writing, on any facet of the work they undertook. The
written form, dated 18 July 1942, that the men were supposed to sign
has survived and has been reprinted. (Arad, Documents, 275-275, as
cited in Breitman) The form used the phrase "..evacuation of the
Jews.." to describe the nature of their work. (Breitman, 237)
"The commanders of Operation Reinhard, Globocnik, Wirth, and the SS
men subordinate to them, succeeded in creating an efficient yet
simple system of mass extermination by using relatively scanty
[Reinhard] [Page 14]
resources. In each of the death camps -- in Belzec, in Sobibor, and
in Treblinka -- a limited number of 20 to 35 Germans were stationed
for purpose of command and supervision, and about 90 to 130
Ukrainians were responsible for guard duties. All the physical work
of the extermination process was imposed on 700 to 1,000 Jewish
prisoners who were kept in each camp." (Arad, Epilog)
For an extensive examination of Reinhard staff, see
Pekka de Groot is gathering an extensive list of concentration
camp staff, which may be viewed at
5.1 Command Staff - Operation Reinhard (Aktion Reinhard & Einsatz Reinhard
Globocnik, Odilo - Appointed by Himmler as SS- und Polizei-fuehrer of
the Lublin District of the General Government, in late (Oct-Nov) of
1941. Commanded Operation Reinhard.
Ho"fle, Hans - (Hauptsturmfuehrer), appointed by Himmler as Globocnik's
Chief of Operations, in charge of organization and manpower.
Himmler assigned the following tasks to his new Reinhard commander:
1. Overall planning of deportations
2. Construction and operation of the death camps
3. Co-ordination of the deportations from each of the five
districts of the General Government (Warsaw, Lublin, Radom,
Krakow, and Lvov.)
Globocnik had a team of 450 Germans at his disposal - at their core
was a group of 92 men, headed by Christian Wirth, who had been
assigned to Globocnik for the euthanasia program.
It was this group from which key staff were selected for Reinhard,
including the camp commanders. Each camp was allotted 20-30 German
staff. [Arad, who wrote the Reinhard section of the Encyclopedia,
which is paraphrased here, used '20 to 35' in the epilog to his book
on the subject, quoted earlier in this document. knm]
Also recruited was a special auxillary unit, consisting of Ukrainian
volunteers, most of them Soviet POW's. They were billetted in an SS
training camp (Trawniki) where they were issued black uniforms and
weapons. They were organized into platoons and companies, and
received brief training. Their unit commanders were German. Each
camp was allotted from 90 - 120 of these "Trawniki's," who were also
used in deportation and escort capacities. (Encyclopedia, I, 14-15)
5.1.1 Command Staff - Belzec
Wirth, SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Christian (Camp Commandant)
188.8.131.52 Ukrainian & Russian Wachmans, Belzec
for Soviet interrogation record of Nikolai Pavli.
[Reinhard] [Page 15]
5.1.2 Command Staff - Sobibor
Bolander, Karl (Kurt Balender? -
Some confusion exists in my mind about Bolander - or Balender -
since both names have appeared, they may be one and the same, or
there may have been two men with similar names.. I do not know
Bredov, SS Sgt. Paul
Frenzel, SS Sgt. Karl
When the Germans learned of a planned revolt, they chose 72 men
and sent them to the crematorium - Frenzel supervised this action,
and "Returning from the scene of the murder he ordered the quick
erection of a temporary stage out of some planks, called for the
orchestra, gathered the women and told them to sing and
dance."(Testimony from the Sobibor Trials, as related in
Wlodawa.016) During the trials, Frenzel has also accused of
shooting a young boy for the crime of eating sardines...
Gomerski, SS Sgt. Hubert
Groth, Paul (Sgt)
Hering, SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Gottlied - Replaced Wirth as Camp
Commandant after Wirth appointed Inspector of the Reinhard death
camps in August, 1942.
Michel, SS Sgt. Hermann ("The Preacher")
Neiman, Oberltnt. Designated as deputy commander by Razgonayev.
for Soviet interrogation of same.
Poul, ? SS Obersturmfuehrer (1st. Lt.)
Rashke's work (Escape from Sobibor) provides some insight into the
mentality of the German staff regarding their attitude towards their
victims. He notes that the flow of transports into the camp during
the winter of 1942 had slowed to a trickle, primarily because most of
the Polish Jews were already dead, and because the trains were needed
to support the crumbling Eastern Front. This, he comments, along
with the isolation of the nearly snowbound camp, made them edgy and
They took it out on the Jews.
Sergeant Paul Groth made up little games. He'd order four Jews
to carry him around the yard like a king while he'd drop burning
paper on their heads. Or he'd make prisoners jump from roofs
with umbrellas, or scale roof beams until they fell to the
floor. Those who sprained ankles and broke legs were shot in
Camp III. Or he'd organize a flogging party, forcing Jews to
run the gauntlet past Ukrainians with whips. Or he'd order a
thin prisoner to gulp vodka and eat two pounds of sausage within
minutes. They he'd force open the Jew's mouth and urinate in
it, roaring with laughter as the prisoner retched in the snow.
[Reinhard] [Page 16]
Groth softened briefly. Three beautiful girls came to Sobibor
on a transport from Vienna. Groth took Ruth as his servant and
mistress. Seageant Poul, the drunk, smuggled the other two into
the Merry Flea. Groth fell in love with the dark-eyed teen-ager
and, almost as a favor to her, or so it seemed, stopped beating
the other Jews. But the truce was short-lived. It was against
SS regulations to molest Jewesses - an insult to the master
race. Himmler was quite adamant on that point. So while Groth
and Poul were on leave, Kommandant Reichleitner transferred both
of them. Groth ended up at Belzec.
The Sobibor Jews were delighted to see the two Nazis go, but
Groth and Poul were easily replaced, and life went on as usual.
The empty winter days also got to Kurt Bolander and Erich Bauer.
Because there was little to do in Camp III without Jews to gas,
Bauer turned to vodka. He kept a private bar in his room in the
Swallow's Nest, and there Jews would come to mix drinks or make
eggnog. The short Nazi - he was under five feet six inches -
would sit in his armchair, facing a photograph of his wife and
children and a portrait of the Fuehrer ... and drink himself
into oblivion. If a prisoner spilled any liquor or broke a
bottle, the former street-car conductor would make him wipe the
floor with his tongue.
Bolander took out his frustration on the ten Jews who carried
the swill buckets from Camp I to the gate to Camp III. Bolander
would make them run, and if, as sometimes happened, the Jews in
Camp III opened the gate before the Jews from Camp I had left,
Bolander would shoot the swill carriers. Somehow, the Nazis had
deluded themselves into believing that the Camp I Jews didn't
know what went on in Camp III. And they wanted to keep it that
way. (Rashke, 101-102)
Reichsleitner, SS-Obersturmfuehrer Franz. Replaced Stangl as commander
at the end of August, 1942. Stangl was transferred to Treblinka.
Stangl, Franz, Oberleutnant (Camp Commandant)
Franz Stangl, the commander of Sobibor and Treblinka, was
stationed in northern Italy, in the areas of Fiume and Udine,
from the autumn of 1943 and engaged in actions against partisans
and local Jews. After the war he escaped to Brazil; in 1967 he
was discovered there, arrested, and extradited to the Federal
Republic of Germany. He was tried in Dusseldorf in 1970 and was
sentenced to life imprisonment. He died in prison a few months
after the end of the trial. (Arad, Belzec)
Stangl was sent to command Sobibor after construction fell behind
schedule in the Spring of 1942. His commanding officer sent him to
meet with Wirtz at Belzec, and he described his visit thus:
"I went there by car. As one arrived, one first reached Belzec
railway station... Oh, God, the smell! It was everywhere.
Wirth wasn't in his office. I remember they took me to him...
he was standing on a hill next to the pits... the pits....
full...they were full. I cannot tell you; not hundreds,
thousands, thousands, thousands of corpses... that's where
Wirth told --- he said that was what Sobibor was for...
[Reinhard] [Page 17]
Wirth told me I should definitely become the commander of
Sobibor. I answered that I was not qualified for such a
mission.... I received from Globocnik the task to erect the
camp. That it was not to be an ammunition camp but a camp for
killing Jews I learned finally from Wirth. ... Actually, I was
not relieved [of my post]. I stayed in Sobibor. Transports
arrived and were liquidated..."
When asked during his trial how many people could be murdered in
one day, Stangl answered:
"Regarding the question of what was the optimum amount of people
gassed in one day, I can state: according to my estimation a
transport of thirty freight cars with 3,000 people was
liquidated in three hours. When the work lasted for about
fourteen hours, 12,000 to 15,000 people were annihilated. There
were many days that the work lasted from the early morning until
the evening." (Arad, Belzec)
Thomalla, SS-Obersturmfuehrer Richard. SS Construction Office, Lublin
Wagner, Gustav (Quartermaster-Sergeant) - the man who supervised
the daily life at Sobibor. Moshe Bahir described him thus:
He was a handsome man, tall and blonde -- a pure Aryan. In
civilian life he was, no doubt, a well-mannered man; at Sobibor
he was a wild beast. His lust to kill knew no bounds. I saw
such terrible scenes that they give me nightmares to this day.
He would snatch babies from their mothers' arms and tear them to
pieces in his hands. I saw him beat two men to death with a
rifle, because they did not carry out his instructions properly,
since they did not understand German. I remember that one night
a group of youths aged fifteen or sixteen arrived in the camp.
The head of this group was one Abraham. After a long and
arduous work day, this young man collapsed on his pallet and
fell asleep. Suddenly Wagner came into our barrack, and Abraham
did not hear him call to stand up at once before him. Furious,
he pulled Abraham naked off his bed and began to beat him all
over his body. When Wagner grew weary of the blows, he took out
his revolver and killed him on the spot. This atrocious
spectacle was carried out before all of us, including Abraham's
younger brother. (Museum, 37, as cited in Arad, Belzec)
Wagner's ruthless behavior toward the Jews is mentioned in some other
testimonies of Sobibor survivors. Ada Lichtman writes that on the
fast day of Yom Kippur, Wagner appeared at the roll call, took out
some prisoners, gave them bread and ordered them to eat. As the
prisoners ate the bread, he laughed loudly; he enjoyed his joke
because he knew the Jews he had forced to eat were pious. (Lichtman,
36-37, as cited in Arad, Belzec)
Gustav Wagner escaped after the war to Brazil, where he lived openly.
The Brazilian Supreme Court refused to extradite him. In October
1980 his attorney announced that Wagner had committed suicide. (Arad,
[Reinhard] [Page 18]
184.108.40.206 Ukrainian & Russian Wachmans - Sobibor
Danil'chenko, Ignat Terent'yevich (See
for Soviet interrogation extracts)
Dem'yanyuk, Ivan - (Demjanjuk) placed in service at Sobibor by
Danil'chenko and others. See above.
Ivchenko, Ivan - named as cook by Danil'chenko
Pankov, Vassily Nikolaievitch (See
for Soviet interrogation records)
Razgonayev, Mikahil Affanaseiwitch. See
Soviet interrogation of same.
Werdenik, Ivan. See
5.1.3 Command Staff - Treblinka
Eberl, SS-Obersturmfuehrer Imfried - Commandant until replaced by Stangl
Franz, Kurt (Deputy Commandant) - held command from September, 1942.
Kuettner, Kurt - SS sergeant - shot by prisoners during escape attempt
in which 750 participated and about 70 survived.
Stangl - see Sobibor
220.127.116.11 Russian and Ukrainian Wachmans - Treblinka
Broft (or) Brovt - see MALAGON
Dem'yanyuk, Ivan (Demjanjuk). Placed at Treblinka by Malagon.
See Malagon interrogations, and
for a collection of citations and articles dealing with Demjanjuk's
deportation from the United States and subsequent trials in Israel.
See also DEMJANJUK.6COA, for the United States Court of Appeals for
the Sixth Circuit, which disputes this claim.
Fedorenko - See
for testimony placing Fedorenko at Treblinka. Received police
training at the SS Trawniki camp. Malagon is not certain if
Fedorenko was assigned to Treblinka, or was simply there after
escorting a train from somewhere else.
See pub/people/m/malagon.nikolai.petrovich for the Malagon
http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/s/shevchenko.ivan.semenovich/shevchenko.001, also in the Nizkor archives.
Goncharov, Pyotr Nazarovich - Places Marchenko in Treblinka
during his Soviet interrogations. See GONCHAROV.001 for details.
Malagon, Nikolai Petrovich - see
interrogation excerpts of Malagon. Trained at Trawniki.
Marchenko, Nikolai. Named as working "near the diesels" at
Treblinka, Marchenko was one of the men running the engines.
See Malagon interrogations and Demjanuk Appeal judgement noted
above, which names Marchenko as one of two operators of the gas
[Reinhard] [Page 19]
Rebeka - see Malagon interrogations.
Shalayev, Nikolai. Identified by multiple sources (including his
own 1950 statement) as one of two gas chamber operators (along
with Ivan Marchenko. See also Demjanjuk.6coa.
Shevchenko, Ivan Semenovich. See SHEVCHENKO.001 in the TREBLINKA
archives for Soviet interrogation records.
Yeger, Aleksandr Ivanovich - See YEGER.001/002 in the TREBLINKA
archives for Soviet interrogation records. Platoon commander.
The extermination process at all three camps was similar, and
reflected the reality that the camps existed for the sole purpose of
exterminating the Jews of the General Government.
Transports would arrive, and those who had survived the journey were
herded into a "reception area," where they were told to remove their
clothing and surrender their valuables. A few, a very few, were
sorted out if they claimed experience in trades needed to maintain
the camp, and others survived for a time as workers in the
After cutting the hair off the women (it was reportedly utilized to
manufacture felt boots for the Wehrmacht), the prisoners were told
that they would be fed and assigned to work camps, but that they had
to shower first. They were then driven (with whips and clubs) through
the "tubes", which were enclosed pathways which led from the
reception area directly to the gas chambers, where they were
Those too weak to make the trek from the rail platform to the
reception area were taken directly to the extermination camp by
narrow-gauge railroad, and shot. (This proceedure varied at the three
camps, but the result was always the same.)
(For a comprehensive list of documentation regarding the killing
process, see pub/camps/aktion.reinhard, and
http://www.nizkor.org/hweb//orgs/israeli/yad-vashem. Although our
Yad Vashem material is limited, it offers extensive commentary on
both Operation Reinhard, and the prisoner revolts as well. It is
based upon personal and court testimonies for the most part, and
5.3 Financial Accounting
Arad's Encyclopedia article ends with the following, somewhat
chilling information about the monies and valuables collected from
the Reinhard victims:
[Reinhard] [Page 20]
On December 15, 1943, the Aktion Reinhard headquarters submitted
an account of the moneys, gold, and valuables taken from the
Jews in the extermination camps for which the Reinhard
headquarters was responsible. The figures were quoted in German
marks (the rate of exchange of the reichsmark against the United
States dollar at the time was 2.5 to 1). The report contains the
particulars of the various catagories: United States currency,
about $1,100,000 in cash and $250,000 in gold coins; other
foreign currency, from forty-eight countries; other gold coins,
from thirty-four countries; 2910 kilograms (6,415 pounds) of
gold bars; 18,734 kilograms (41,301 pounds) of silver bars;
diamonds totalling 16,000 carats. The report ends with the sum
totals of the value of all the Jewish possessions collected.
Cash in Polish zlotys and German marks RM 73,852,080.74
Precious metals 8,273,651.60
Foreign currency, in cash 4,521,224.13
Foreign gold coins 1,736,554.12
Precious stones and other valuables 43,662,450.00
Total RM 178,645,960.59
6.0 Research Materials & Sources
Vera Laska provided an extensive list of assets for those interested
in Holocaust research, which was included in the Auschwitz FAQ. I
recommend it as an excellent starting point for anyone wishing to do
serious research into the Reinhard camps.
We also recommend Yad Vashem Studies, and have the 1991 English
Publications list available by mail-based server, along with a
The information is a bit dated, but it's helpful nonetheless. (We have
no interest in the sale or distribution of these materials, we
simply recommend them as one of the best sources for accurate
for a list of major Holocaust research centres worldwide.
6.1 Recommended Reading
We have transcribed memorial books for inclusion in our archives, and
call your attention to the Wlodawa series - the first to be included.
Many of the stories deal with Sobibor. For a list of the Wlodawa
Yizkor files, try anonymous ftp via ftp.nizkor.org, in the
Donat, A., ed. The Death Camp Treblinka. New York, 1979
Wiernik, Y.A. A Year in Treblinka. New York, 1945
[Reinhard] [Page 21]
Yad Vashem Studies IV. Proceedings of the Fourth Yad Vashem International
Historical Conference, Jerusalem, January, 1980. In particular, see
"Jewish Prisoner Uprisings in the Treblinka and Sobibor Extermination
Camps." An index of Yad Vashem Studies XVI, shown below, lists additional
Yad Vashem material of interest to Operation Reinhard researchers:
YAD VASHEM STUDIES
Edited by Aharon Weiss
MARTYR'S AND HEROES' REMEMBRANCE AUTHORITY
Extermination Camps of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka
yvs16.01: Background & Introduction
yvs16.02: The Personnel of Operation Reinhard
yvs16.03: The Construction of Belzec
yvs16.04: The Construction of Sobibor
yvs16.05: The Construction of Treblinka
yvs16.06: Belzec, from March 17 til June 1942
yvs16.07: Sobibor - from May to July 1942
yvs16.08: Treblinka - from July 23 to August 28, 1942
yvs16.09: The Construction of Larger Gas Chambers
yvs16.10: The Attempt to Remove Traces
yvs16.11: The Liquidation of the Camps
The Fascism and Holocaust archives may be obtained via anonymous
ftp from: ftp.nizkor.org, in the directory /pub, and from the
World Wide Web (http://www.nizkor.org).
Yad Vashem now maintains its own site on the World Wide Web.
The URL is http://yvs.shani.net.
6.2 Abbreviations Used in Citations
The following abbreviations may be used throughout this document:
IFZ.........Institut fuer Zeitgeschichte, Munich
IRR.........Investigative Repository Records
NA..........United States National Archives
RG 59.......NA Diplomatic Records
RG 84.......Washington National Records Center, Diplomatic Post Records
RG 153......Washington National Records Center, Records of the
Office of the (Army) Judge Advocate
RG 165......Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs,
Washington National Records Center
RG 208......Office of War Information Records, Washington National
[Reinhard] [Page 22]
RG 226......Office of Strategic Services Records
RG 238......War Crimes
RG 242......NA Record Group 242 - Captured German Records
RG 319......Records of the Army Staff
T...........NA Microfilm Series
If you note any that are not explained above, please let me know,
and I will try to run them down for you.
Einsatzgruppen: Battalion-sized, mobile, armed units of police,
primarily Security Police and SD officials, which were used
to attack and execute perceived enemies in conquered territories.
Einsatzkommando: Company-sized component of the Einsatzgruppen
Gauleiter: Supreme territorial or regional party authority(-ies)
(The term is both singular and plural). The Nazi Party divided
Germany and some annexed territories into geographical units
called Gaue, headed by a Gauleiter. (Breitman, 311)
General Government: The Nazi-ruled state in central and eastern
Poland. Headed by Governor Hans Frank. (Breitman, 311)
Final Solution: Euphemism for the extermination of European Jewry
Judenrat: Jewish community authority, appointed by the Nazis for
ghetto and village administration.
Trawniki: Labor camp, established in the Fall of 1941, in Trawniki,
S.E. of Lublin, Poland. Trawniki was part of a network of labor
camps and death camps controlled by Globocnik. Trawniki was
destroyed when Himmler ordered the death camps closed, and the
ground plowed and converted to farm use. See Encyclopedia, Vol.
IV, pp 1480-1481.
SD (Sicherheitsdienst): The SS Security Service
Sonderkommandos: Division of Einsatzgruppen, generally smaller than
Einsatzkommando, but also a more general term for special
commando units assigned particular functions. (Breitman, 311)
[Reinhard] [Page 23]
Military rank - here's a list from Breitman (314) which shows SS
ranks and the Western military equivalent:
Obergruppenfuehrer Lt. General
Gruppenfuehrer Major General
Brigadefuehrer Brigadier General
Oberfuehrer between Brigadier & Colonel
Obersturmbannfuehrer Lt. Colonel
Obersturmfuehrer 1st. Lieutenant
Rottenfuehrer Private, First Class
SS-Mann no equivalent
6.4 Works Cited
Arad, Yitzhak. Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka - the Operation Reinhard
Death Camps. Indiana University Press, 1987. ISBN 0-253-3429-7
Arad, Yitzhak, Yisrael Gutman, and Abraham Margaliot, eds. Documents
on the Holocaust: Selected Sources on the Destruction of the Jews of
Germany, Austria, Poland, and the Soviet Union. (Jerusalem, 1981)
Breitman, Richard. The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final
Solution. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991
Encyclopedia - See Gutman
Gutman, Israel, ed. in Chief, et al. Encyclopedia of the
Holocaust. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1990. ISBN 0-02-
896090-4 (set) (Referenced in this FAQ as "Encyclopedia")
Just, Willy. "Letter to SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Walter Rauff, June
5, 1942." in: Nazism: A History in Documents and Eye Witness
Accounts, 191-1945, vol. 2, document 913
Kogon,Eugen. "Der SS-Staat" Bonn, 1974
Lichtman, Ada. Yad Vashem Archives, L-11/5, testimony of Ada Lichtman,
as cited in Arad.
Lochner, Louis P., ed. The Goebbels Diaries. New York, 1948
Museum. Publication of the Museum of the Combatants and Partisans,
Tel Aviv, April, 1973, as cited in Arad
Prattle et al. "The Toxicity of Fumes from a diesel Engine Under Four
Different Running Conditions," British Journal of Industrial Medicine,
1957, Vol 14
[Reinhard] [Page 24]
Rashke, Richard. Escape From Sobibor (Boston: Houghton
Mifflin Company, 1982).
Zabecki, Franziszek. Wspomnienia dawne i nowe. Warszawa,
1977, as cited in Arad, Belzec
The Nizkor Project - An electronic Holocaust educational resource
The Nizkor Project - An electronic Holocaust educational resource
David Irving vrs. Deborah Lipstadt & Penguin Books Ltd: Judgment