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Belzec Death Camp Memorial and Museum, Poland

History

Belzec was established as one of the first major death camps by German occupation forces and SS for Jews in Eastern Poland during World War II. Along with Sobibor and Treblinka, Belzec was one of the three killing centers referred to as the "Reinhard camps," (Aktion Reinhardt) in memory of Reinhard Heydrich, the assassinated SS commander. The killings at Belzec and Treblinka were the highest in number of the Eastern camps. Belzec opened in March 1942 and the killings continued until spring, 1943, when dismantling of the camp began. An archeological expedition at the site in 1997 and 1998 found 33 mass graves estimated to hold 15,000 unburned bodies. Total victims are estimated to between 430,000 and 500,000 Jews, although some figures are higher. Most of the victims at Belzec were from the Galicia region. Unlike most Nazi camps where name records were kept, victims’ names were not recorded at Belzec, where most victims were shot. However, the SS did use gas vans and three gas chambers at the camp.

Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps By Yitzhak Arad

Memorialization

In the Belzec memorial the names on the wall are first names and family names from Jewish families in the area who disappeared. Around the central monument, which appears to some as volcanic lava field with a "tube" down the center where the visitors actually descends below the ground-level monument, there are the names of all the towns in Poland from which Jews were deported to Belzec. The recently constructed monument was designed by Polish artists Andrzej Solyga, Zdzislaw Pidek, and Marcin Roszczyk and inaugurated during ceremony on June 3, 2004. In the adjacent museum, visitors can view a historical exhibition on Belzec. American scholar Michael Berenbaum was a prime consultant.

Photos

Belzec Death Camp MemorialEntrance to Belzec memorial Belzec Death Camp MemorialInscribed cast iron plate in form of a broken Star of David Belzec Death Camp MemorialInscribed cast plate detail Belzec Death Camp MemorialInscribed cast plate detail
Belzec Death Camp MemorialWall quote in rusted cast iron from Biblical Book of Job Belzec Death Camp MemorialWall quote in rusted cast iron from Biblical Book of Job Belzec Death Camp MemorialWall quote in rusted cast iron from Biblical Book of Job Belzec Death Camp MemorialWall quote in rusted cast iron from Biblical Book of Job
Belzec Death Camp Memorial
View down the center dividing the field of rubble, sometimes called the "tube." A memorial wall is at the end.
Belzec Death Camp MemorialWide view of entrance to memorial Belzec Death Camp MemorialDetails of the monument which has the form of absolute devastation. Belzec Death Camp MemorialDetails of the monument which has the form of absolute devastation.
Belzec Death Camp MemorialDetails of the monument which has the form of absolute devastation Belzec Death Camp MemorialDetails of the monument which has the form of absolute devastation Belzec Death Camp MemorialView while walking through the tube Belzec Death Camp Memorial
View while walking through the tube
Belzec Death Camp MemorialView while walking through the tube Belzec Death Camp MemorialMonument wall of of first names of Jews from region who died at Belzec. Note while some of the names are traditionally Polish-Jews, many suggest are Polish which suggest paths of assimilation before the Holocaust. Belzec Death Camp MemorialMonument wall of of first names of Jews from region who died at Belzec. Belzec Death Camp MemorialMonument wall of of first names of Jews from region who died at Belzec.
Belzec Death Camp MemorialMonument wall of of first names of Jews from region who died at Belzec. Belzec Death Camp MemorialMonument wall of of first names of Jews from region who died at Belzec. Belzec Death Camp MemorialMonument wall of of first names of Jews from region who died at Belzec. Belzec Death Camp MemorialMonument wall of of first names of Jews from region who died at Belzec.
Belzec Death Camp MemorialMonument at the end of the Tube Belzec Death Camp MemorialMonument at the end of the Tube Belzec Death Camp MemorialMonument at the end of the Tube Belzec Death Camp MemorialMonument at the end of the Tube
Belzec Death Camp MemorialDetails of the monument which has the form of absolute devastation. View from end of tube. Belzec Death Camp MemorialNames of towns which lost Jewish communities Belzec Death Camp MemorialTwo of the many towns whose Jewish population was exterminated at Belzec Belzec Death Camp MemorialTwo of the many towns whose Jewish population was exterminated at Belzec
Belzec Death Camp MemorialNames of towns which lost Jewish communities Belzec Death Camp MemorialNames of towns which lost Jewish communities Belzec Death Camp Memorial
Names of towns which lost Jewish communities
Belzec Death Camp MemorialNames of towns which lost Jewish communities
Belzec Death Camp MemorialNames of towns which lost Jewish communities Belzec Death Camp Memorial
Names of towns which lost Jewish communities
Belzec Death Camp Memorial
Names of towns which lost Jewish communities
Belzec Death Camp Memorial
Poem by Dan Pagis found in a boxcar
Belzec Death Camp MemorialRailroad ties and tracks stacked to form a monument Belzec Death Camp MemorialRailroad ties and tracks stacked to form a monument Belzec Death Camp MemorialRailroad ties and tracks stacked to form a monument Belzec Death Camp MemorialOverview of monument after walk around the perimeter
Belzec Death Camp Memorial Dedication plaque includes Wilf Family of Minneapolis Belzec Death Camp Memorial
Belzec Museum: Nazi Racial Policy
Belzec Death Camp Memorial
Belzec Museum: Nazi decision to kill the Jews
Belzec Death Camp Memorial
Belzec Museum:Death rate from March 1942 to Spring 1943
Belzec Death Camp Memorial
Interior Belzec Museum
Belzec Death Camp Memorial
Aktion Reinhard description
Belzec Death Camp Memorial
March 1942 Report about Massacres at Belzec
Belzec Death Camp MemorialDetails about Belzec
Belzec Death Camp MemorialDetails about Sobibor Death Camp Belzec Death Camp MemorialMap of Belzec Belzec Death Camp Memorial
Map of Southern Poland where Belzec's victims came from
Belzec Death Camp MemorialBelzec Museum
Belzec Death Camp Memorial
Nazi order from Krakow about death penalty for aiding Jews
Belzec Death Camp MemorialOriginal Nazi notice regarding undressing Belzec Death Camp MemorialTranslation of the above order Belzec Death Camp Memorial
Details about Bobowa Hasidism, killed at Belzec