Was Chelmno a Ops. Reinhard

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Alan Heath
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Post by Alan Heath » 30 Aug 2007 08:36

Don't think I can completely concur on this one!

Fritz was appointed to his job in August 1942 whereas the first use of the word appears to have been shortly after the death of Heydrich. I think there is an argument for spelling with or without the t but it does seem that in most cases it follows Fritz's spelling. However why the operation should be named after someone who was not yet appointed has not been explained, at least not to me.

Fritz Reinhardt was indeed no friend of Globocnik's, I suspect that it was he who had something to do with the latter's second fall from grace in 1943. Himmler sent him a message just before the Poznan conference in October 1943 where he made sure that all his cronies knew precisely what was going on, telling him that his presence was not required. For the second time Globocnik had been caught with his hand in the till and it would have been a bit of a joke if Himmler then went onto say about having passed down death sentences on SS men who had been looting if he allowed his mate off the hook again. Three weeks later Himmler sent him a nice letter thanking him for concluding Operation Reinhardt.

Good point about Hoess though. I am not sure where you get the information that the property of the Chelmno victims was taken to Auschwitz, however if that was the case then it would explain where the property went although I do not see how they managed to transport it there.

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Post by michael mills » 02 Sep 2007 04:10

Fritz Reinhardt was involved in the confiscation of the property of deported Jews since at least 25 November 1941.

Here is a link to an earlier post by me, in which I quoted a document of 25 November 1941, dealing with the above confiscation, which Reinhardt signed as the representative of the Reichfinanzministerium:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... rdt#596161

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Alan Heath
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Post by Alan Heath » 03 Sep 2007 08:30

Good point. I even went further back and checked your source so that seems to be correct.
I do not know why they would pick a deputy rather than the boss to name the project after unless he was seen as the heir apparent or something.

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Post by michael mills » 03 Sep 2007 13:14

Good point about Hoess though. I am not sure where you get the information that the property of the Chelmno victims was taken to Auschwitz, however if that was the case then it would explain where the property went although I do not see how they managed to transport it there.
From memory, my source was a document in the compendium "Faschismus, Getto, Massenmord", published in Poland in 1960.

The document in question was a report from the Sonderkommando Bothmann which ran the killing centre at Chelmno (to the WVHA I think), stating that large amounts of property confiscated from the Jews arriving at the killing centre were being held in warehouses, and asking for help in having it carted away. The report listed the vehicles possessed by the Sonderkommando which were available for that operation; these were divided according to means of propulsion, ie so many with gasoline engines (Vergaser-LKW), so many diesels, so many with wood-burning engines (Treibgas-LKW).

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Post by baroen » 03 Sep 2007 13:28

David Thompson wrote:Raistlin -- I've only seen works which mention Chelmno in passing. Academic papers, etc. might help fill in some of the gaps. I'd start looking at the footnotes in texts which mention the Chelmno murder operation. They may lead you to more.
This summer I've been visiting Chelmno deathcamp (and Sobibór & Majdanek)and bought in the museum at the "Schloss Lager" two books in English. They had them too in Polish (of course) and maybe also in Deutsch. I will give the titles, I hope it's posible to buy them.
1) The extermination Center for Jews in Chelmno-on-Ner in the light of the latest research: symposium proceedings sept. 6-7 2004
The district museum in Konin 2004 ISBN 83-918713-8-X

2) Chelmno witnesses speak
The council for the protection of memory of combat and martyrdom
The district museum in Konin 2004 ISBN 83-918713-7-1

The last book also has an email adress but I don't think it's wise to spell it out here.
Both books have big maps of the schloss lager and the waldlager and their excavations.

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Post by David Thompson » 03 Sep 2007 14:47

Thanks for the additional information, baroen.

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Post by stcamp » 03 Sep 2007 23:54

2) Chelmno witnesses speak
The council for the protection of memory of combat and martyrdom
The district museum in Konin 2004 ISBN 83-918713-7-1

I have this book also. I will scan the maps and post them here when I get a chance.

Regards,

Steve

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Post by stcamp » 05 Sep 2007 17:30

Map of Chelmno
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Post by stcamp » 05 Sep 2007 17:34

and more
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Post by stcamp » 05 Sep 2007 17:38

Basement of the Palace floor plan
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Post by stcamp » 05 Sep 2007 17:47

All the maps above come from:

Chelmno Witnesses Speak
The council for the protection of memory of combat and martyrdom
The district museum in Konin 2004 ISBN 83-918713-7-1

Notes from the same book

Operational: Dec. 8, 1941
Clothes of victims went to Winter Relief. pg 9
Staff: At begining a contingent of 15 - Security Police from Soldau where they had been killing sick and handicapped. Mostly Poles. Total 25,000
100 members of the Schupo from Lodz.

First Commanding officer: SS-Haupt. Herbert Lange (only a few months)
Second: SS-Haupt. Hans Bothmann with SS-Obersturm. Herbet Otto as 2nd in command.

The Schupo contingent was divided into 3 sub-units: Transport, Palace, and Forest.

Camp was under command of HSSPF Koppe

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Post by David Thompson » 05 Sep 2007 18:15

Thanks, stcamp. That map is very helpful.

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Post by stcamp » 05 Sep 2007 19:10

The Schupo contingent was probably drawn from Police Battalion Lodz at the begining. Police Battalion 132 was assigned to the Lodz Ghetto and may have detailed men. Police Battalion 67 and 101 were also active in the area and may have provided men. SS-Polizei-Regiment 25 was active in that area as both battalions belonged to it.

The book mentions repeatedly mentions the role the Schupo played in the operations of the camp. Far more than any other account I have read of death camps where they usually just provided a security detachment for the trains or trucks transporting groups to the camps.


Regards,

Steve

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Post by michael mills » 06 Sep 2007 01:00

Camp was under command of HSSPF Koppe
Koppe was the Higher SS and Police Leader for the Reichsgau Wartheland. All the German police formations in that region, including the Sipo and the Schupo, were under his command. As an HSSPF, he was responsible directly to Himmler, ie not to the RSHA.

The Sonderkommando Lange, which from October 1939 to early 1940 had toured the Wartheland carrying out "euthanasia" of mental patients in Polish hospitals, was a unit of the Sipo office in Posen, and as such was under Koppe's command.

The best reconstruction of events is that in October 1941, the Reichsstatthalter Wartheland, Artur Greiser, applied to Himmler and Heydrich for authorisation to give "Sonderbehandlung" (defined in a circular by Heydrich to all Sipo offices in October 1939 as execution without a prior judicial procedure) to 100,000 of Reichsgau Wartheland. That is known from a letter by Greiser to Himmler at the end of May 1942, in which he referred to his application.

It has been speculated that Greiser's application was a response to an order given in mid-October by Daluege, head of the Orpo, that he would be required to receive into the Lodz Ghetto transports of Jews deported from Germany. It may be that Greiser, who initially protested against the order but had been over-ruled, wanted to create space for the incoming German Jews by killing about one-third of the Polish Jews in his territory.

According to post-war testimony by Koppe, Himmler ordered him to place himself at the disposal of Greiser for the purpose of carrying out the "Sonderbehandlung" requested by Greiser and approved by Himmler and Heydrich. Koppe then re-activated the Sonderkommando Lange, which was stationed in Posen are largely inactive since the completion of the "euthanasia", and in late October and November of 1941 it began touring the countryside looking for a suitable location for an extermination centre.

By the way, I would be interested in knowing the source of the date 8 December 1941 for the commencement of killing operations at Chelmno. Does it come solely from a post-war statement, or was there some contemporary documentation for the date?

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Post by stcamp » 06 Sep 2007 02:00

The date came from the book I referenced. It also stated that the camp was under the direct control of HSPF Koppe.

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