Operation Reinhard Research Paper

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In early autumn of 1941, Heinrich Himmler, the Reich leader of the SS and chief of German police, instructs SS General Odilo Globocnik to carry out the mass extermination of the Jewish population in the General Government (that part of German-occupied Poland not directly annexed into Germany (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). Himmler’s plan, later known as Akiton Reinhard (Operation Reinhard), consisted of the construction of three mass killing camps – Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka II (USHMM). Belzec, built first to experiment with death by gassing, significantly advanced the mass extermination of the Jews by refining gassing techniques, developing an efficient yet, deceptive and inhumane handling of its victims, and lastly, maintaining secrecy until the aftermath of the…show more content…
In fact, Operation Reinhard officials had to replace the wooden building with a more efficient gas chamber building. A larger building with six gas chambers was erected to replace the wooden one. These chambers began operation in July of 1942 and used carbon monoxide gas powered from the exhaust fumes of a vehicle’s motor engine. Reder’s occupation at Belzec was a stove-setter, who would continuously check on the condition of the gas chamber. He describes the horrible sounds as people were gassed to death. “The calls for help, shrieks, and terrible moans of people locked in and slowly asphyxiated lasted between ten and fifteen minutes” (Polonsky). After Belzec began operation again, Polish underground officials sent a report to the exiled Polish government in London about Belzec’s extermination process. They also sent reports detailing Operation Reinhard to many Jewish and Allied organizations. However, many of the reports were met with distrust and doubt so little action was taken to warn the Jews about the death camp still in ghettos across Europe

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