Chelmno, A Small Village in Europe

Chelmno
£23.25

 

The First Nazi Mass Extermination Camp
Shmuel Krakowski                                            
 
 (2009) ISBN: 965-308-332-5,  Cat. No. 726  256 pp., soft cover, 17X24 cm

 

Chełmno, a small pastoral village in Poland, was transformed by the Nazis into the first extermination camp where mass killings took place in facilities using gas – a method that was replicated in other extermination camps as part of the Nazi program for the Final Solution. The first comprehensive study about the Chełmno death camp, this book fills a lacuna in recounting the history of the Holocaust.

Based on German and Jewish documents and trial records, the author describes the Jewish communities that predated the Holocaust in this region, the deportations to the camp, the extermination methods practiced there, and the Nazis’ efforts to obscure the traces of the mass murder that they had committed in this location.

Among the issues discussed: the Jews of the Warthegau; establishment of the camp and first transports; continuation of transports from the Lodz ghetto; liquidation of the outlying communities of the Warthegau; the respite and the liquidation of the Lodz ghetto; looting of victims’ property; the final months; Chelmno and the trials of Nazi war criminals.

“This is a unique research study in the history of the Holocaust. This is the story of the Chelmno extermination camp, where Jews were first gassed to death… few people know what happened inside this camp. Dr. Krakowski, former head of the Yad Vashem Archives, brings the reader face to face with the cruel reality… This is one of the most serious and important books documenting and commenting on the horrors of the Nazis based on reliable primary sources.” [Prof. Zvi Bacharach, Ma’ariv].