- Title: Chelmno Barracks 0001
Chełmno extermination camp, built during World War II, was the first of the Nazi camps and was situated 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of the city of Lódź, near the Polish village of Chełmno nad Nerem. Following the invasion of Poland in 1939 Germany annexed the area into the new territory of Reichsgau Wartheland, aiming at its complete "Germanization"; the camp was set up specifically to carry out ethnic cleansing through mass killings.
At a very minimum 152,000 people were killed in the camp, which would make it the fifth worst extermination camp, after Sobibór, Bełżec, Treblinka, and Auschwitz. However, the West German prosecution, citing Nazi figures during the Chełmno trials of 1962–65, laid charges for at least 180,000 victims.The Polish official estimates, in the early postwar period, have suggested much higher numbers, up to a total of 340,000 men, women, and children. The victims were killed with the use of gas vans. Chełmno was a place of early experimentation in the development of Nazi extermination programme, continued in subsequent phases of the Holocaust throughout occupied Poland.
Russian troops captured the town of Chełmno on 1945. By then, the Nazis had already destroyed evidence of the camp's existence leaving no prisoners behind. One of the camp survivors who was fifteen years old at the time testified that only three Jewish males had escaped successfully from Chełmno.
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- Keywords: chelmno
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