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376 pages with Illustrations. Hard Cover
Belzec was the prototype death camp and precursor of the killing centers of Sobibor and Treblinka. Secretly commissioned by the highest authority of the Nazi State, it acted outside the law of both civil and military conventions of the time. Under the code Aktion Reinhardt, the death camp was organized, staffed and administered by a leadership of middle-ranking police officers and a specially selected civilian cadre who, in the first instance, had been initiated into group murder within the euthanasia program. Their expertise, under bogus SS insignia, was then transferred to the operational duties to the human factory abattoir of Belzec, where, on a conveyor belt system, thousands of Jews, from daily transports, entered the camp and after just two hours, they lay dead in the Belzec pits, their property sorted and the killing grounds tidied to await the next arrival. Over a period of just nine months, when Belzec was operational Galician Jewry was totally decimated: 500,000 lay buried in the 33 mass graves. The author takes the reader step by step into the background of the Final Solution and gives eyewitness testimony, as the mass graves were located and recorded.
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