Gesher Galicia SIG #Galicia Getting the Word Out About Belzec Death Camp #galicia
Robinn Magid <RobinnM@...>
Caroline Curvan posted a question on May 5, about Belzec Holocaust
Belzec Death Camp was quite close to the Russian border and the Nazis
completely dismantled it and even planted a forest of small saplings over
it to try to conceal it. They also murdered almost every Pole who was
forced to help build it, and there is only one known survivor of the camp
(Rudolf Reder, and a book about him is coming out soon. Contact me for
Much is known about the calendar of dates that towns were sent to
Belzec, but the information about who exactly was on the trains is
practically non-existent. In my experience, historians know the order in
which ghetto streets in large places like Lublin, Poland were cleared, but
there is no documentation about who exactly was a prisoner on each train.
Lublin and Lwow were liquidated on the first day that Belzec operated,
and it operated for only 9 months before it was dismantled and hidden. It
is now thought that Belzec destroyed between 600,000 and 800,000 lives
in those nine months.
Belzec is too often forgotten. My husband recently returned >from a
guided tour of Yad Vashem. The Israeli guide asked the group if they
could name a death camp and my husband mentioned Belzec, which we
had visited last summer. The guide told him that in all his years of being
a tour guide, my husband was the first person to mention Belzec. Most
people mention concentration and work camps when asked this question.
Belzec was a killing machine and should be more prominent in our
Today there is a sensitive and important memorial museum on the site.
It is done in a way that is artistic and the modern, interactive displays
made the tragedy accessible, even to children.
The museum attempts to show in pictures the people and lives that were
snuffed out there. Their focus is on putting a face on the life interrupted.
They encourage people with information on the individuals who perished
there to share that information with them. Their website is:
http://www.belzec.eu . The Belzec Memorial Museum employs top notch
historians who are interested in making personal connections and helping
visitors as much as possible. I strongly recommend visiting it in person.
Very best wishes,
Researching DRIX and FISCHER >from Lwow and Komarno, Ukraine