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Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/aktion.reinhard/yvs16.01

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Yad Vashem Studies XVI:  Operation Reinhard (1/11)
Summary: Background & Introduction
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project -
Keywords: Yad Vashem,treblinka,sobibor,belzec

Archive/File: orgs/israeli/yad-vashem/yvs16.01
Last-modified: 1993/03/29
XRef: yad_vashem index

                       YAD VASHEM STUDIES
                     Edited by Aharon Weiss

                          YAD VASHEM
                        JERUSALEM 1984

                    "Operation Reinhard": 
       Extermination Camps of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka

                         Yitzhak Arad 

   SOON AFTER THE task forces had began their campaign of extermination
   in the occupied areas of the Soviet Union, the deputy of the Governor
   General Hans Frank, Secretary of State Dr.  Bu"hler, remarked at the
   Wannsee Conference 

      ...that the General Government would welcome it if a start were to
      be made on the final solution of this question in the General
      Government, because here transportation does not pose a real
      problem nor would the deployment of a labor force interfere with
      the process of this operation Jews should be removed from the area
      of the General Government as quickly as possible, because it is
      here that the Jew represents a serious danger as a carrier of
      epidemics, and in addition his incessant black marketeering
      constantly upsets the country's economic structure.  Of the
      approximately 2.5 million Jews in question, the majority are
      anyway unfit for work.  

      Secretary of State Dr. Bu"hler furthermore stated that the
      solution of the Jewish question in the General Government is under
      the control of the Chief of the Security Police and the SD and
      that his activities are supported by the authorities in the
      General Government.  He [Bu"hler] has only one request: that the
      Jewish question in this region be solved as quickly as possible.
      (The so-called "Wannsee Protokoll," original in the Archives of
      the Foreign Office, Bonn.)

   Dr.  Bu"hler's request was given a positive response.  The General
   Government consisted of the districts of Warsaw, Cracow, Lublin,
   Radom, and Lvov.  According to the estimate of the German
   authorities, they were inhabited by approximately 2,284,000 Jews.  A
   special organization was set up in Lublin to prepare for their
   extermination.  The actual killing was to be carried out in three
   death camps -- Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka, at the eastern border
   of the General Government.  

   The geographical location of the extermination sites also served as a
   pretext for the claim that the Jews were to be deported to ghettos in
   the East.  Their disappearance could thus be explained in terms of
   their transportation to labor camps in the huge areas then occupied
   by the German armed forces in the Soviet Union.  

   SS-Brigadefu"hrer Otto Globocnik was entrusted with conducting
   Operation Reinhard -- named after Reinhard Heydrich who had been
   assassinated on May 2, 1942.  In this office he was Himmler's
   immediate subordinate; as the commandant of SS and Police in the
   Lublin district he was subordinate to the Supreme SS- and
   Polizeifu"hrer of the General Government, Obergruppenfu"hrer
   Friedrich Kruger.  

   The principal tasks of Globocnik and his staff in Operation Reinhard
   were: the overall planning of the deportations and of the
   extermination operations; the construction of extermination camps; to
   coordinate the deportation of Jews from the different administrative
   districts to the extermination camps; the killing of the Jews in the
   camps; to secure their belongings and valuables and transfer them to
   the appropriate German authority.  

   Headquarters of Operation Reinhard was responsible for coordinating
   the timing of the transports with the absorption capacity of the

   The organization and supervision of the respective transports from
   the entire area of the General Government and later on also from
   other European countries was the task of the RSHA and its departments
   as well as of the supreme commandant of the SS and Police and his
   subordinate departments.

   To date no written orders by Himmler to Globocnik concerning
   Operation Reinhard have been discovered.  A reason for this may be
   that either Himmler issued no written statement on this subject, or
   that any orders and directives were destroyed.  (Nuremberg Document
   4024-PS .)

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