We Remember Belzec!

Bełżec

267.5 kilometers SE of Warsaw
50°23' 23°26'

Bełżec  was an extermination Camp located in the Lublin district of southeast Poland, along the Bełżec railway line. Bełżec was a small town in the southeast of Lublin district, located on the Lublin-Zamossc-Rava Russkaya-Lvov railway line.  Bełżec was one of 3 death camps built by the Germans, together with Treblinka & Sobibor in November 1941 in Aktion Reinhard, aimed to exterminate the 2 million Jews in the "General-Gouvernment". 600,000* Jews were murdered in Bełżec, God Revenge their Blood. The death camp started in February 1942 and was fully operational until December 1942.
Between late 1942 and spring 1943, the mass graves were opened and the corpses cremated to hide the crime.

Only in June 2004 a memorial was dedicated in the site of the killing fields of Bełżec.

The Web Site of the Bełżec Museum 1.1.2005: http://belzec.org.pl/

* Regarding the number of the victims - the historian Robert Kuwalek,  informs that on the memorial and in the museum the information is about 500.000 victims. They acknowledge the fact  it is less a number then the old one, but it is the effect of the last researches done by himself and other historians. Four years ago, the "Telegram by Hoefle" was published1), in which this SS-officer, Herman Hoefle who was responsible for the deportations to the death camps wrote to Berlin that  until the end of December 1942, 434,5082) Jews were deported to Bełżec, (this number in the document is very exact). We suppose that this number could be higher and we are giving the information about 500.000 people who were killed in Bełżec but the question for it is still open and needs more research.

1) The telegram was published in "Holocaust and Genocide Studies", in USHMM, in Washington DC: Peter Witte, Steven Tyas: A New Document on the Deportation and Murder of Jews during "Einsatz Reinhardt" 1942. "Holocaust and Genocide Studies", vol. 15, No. 3, Winter 2001, p. 468-486. The original  document is in Public Record Office in Kew, in England. The exhibition in Bełżec Museum had a copy of it with all explanation.

 

2) Sergey Romanov, a Russian Holocaust researcher, gave the exact number, from Hoefle telegram.- until 31.12.2005: L - Lublin Majdanek: 24,733, B - Belzec: 434508, S - Sobibor 101,370, T - Treblinka 713555 - total Jewish victims Aktion Reinhard until 31.12.1942: 1,274,166 (Official German Statistics)

Sergey Romanov suggested some articles in the Internet regarding this subject:

Peter Writte and Stephen Tyas: "A New Document on the Deportation and Murder of Jews during "Einsatz Reinhardt" 1942" (but in order to read the article you need former registration).

Aktion Reinhard PRO Decodes

יעקב גרוסמן

 

קולות השכחה

 

(התפרסם ב"קול לובלין" מנובמבר 2005 )

 

הגעתי לסוף העולם ונבלעתי בתהום השכחה הקר...

חיפשתי מלים עם נר נשמה בקרקעית התהום...

בחושך... קר... צינת קבר...

מילים, מילים... היכן אתן כדי להושיעני,

לבטא תחושה, לשחרר אותי משרשראות מעיקות?

בגדתן בי. אני זקוק לכן עכשיו... ואתן היכן?... אינכן...

נעלמתן, התייבשתן, בלעו אתכם השמים...

קבר הקולות, נגמרו המילים...

אך הקולות?...

האדמה אינה יכולה לכסות אתכם, קולות העולים מהשכחה...

אדמה ועוד אדמה, סלעים, ואבנים...

הקולות מהדהדים ועולים, ומתגברים על האדמה מכסה.

ועכשיו הקולות רוצים להישמע...

האם אפשר לשמוע אתכם?

להקשיב ולהבין מה אתם אומרים...

 

 

 

 

בעקבות דרכך האחרונה, אמא
 

Following Your Last Road, Mother

By Ester (Stania) Manhajm née Holender, Belżec 2007

 

כבר עברו 65 שנה מאז נפרדנו. לא אשכח את היום הנורא הזה 28.10.1942. יום האקציה הגדולה, היום בו לקחו אותך מהרחוב. הפרידו בינך ובין ג'יג'ה, ושלחו אותך לדרך שלא חוזרים משם.  אמא, את אשר כל כך אהבת אותנו, אשר לרגע לא דאגת לעצמך, רק לקרובים לך. את אשר תמיד היית מוקפת אנשים נצרכים אשר ביקשו עצתך ועזרתך. את לפתע נשארת לבד, בלי בעל, בלי בנות. לבד. ואנחנו נותרנו מיותמים, בוכים, מתאבלים, מייבבים חרש ולא מתנחמים.

 

עד היום, אחרי כל כך הרבה שנים, מחפשת אותך, רוצה לשאול ולהתייעץ, אך אין עם מי. קשה מאד להשלים עם העובדה שאנחנו לא נפרדנו. בודדה ישבת ברכבת המוות, נטושה, עזובה, אין תומך, אין מעודד, אין מרחם. לבד, לבד. לבד. וברכבת דוחק, חנק, ייאוש, פחד, מה הלאה? מה יהיה בעוד רגע? ואז אני רואה אותך ערומה, שערך מגולח, מוטלת בתוך המון נשים ומחכה... לתור להיכנס לתא האטום. לתא הגזים. משלים אותך שואת מקלחת, אך במקום מים... ציקלון. אמא, האם נאבקת על קצת אוויר צח, קצת חמצן לנשום, או בהכנעה נשמת את הגז ונפלת? על מה חשבת ברגעים אלה, מה הרגשת? לא היה אף אחד אשר יכולת לשתף אותו בהרהוריך. אמא, הלכת מאיתנו לנצח. הלכת בלי לשוב. לא זכית לקצת נחת מילדיך. לא התחממת בחום המשפחה אשר הקימו. לא הכרת את החתנים, הנכדים, הנינים, פרחי ארץ ישראל החופשייה. עזבת אותנו ואת בת 38. יותר מדי זקנה בשביל לחיות!

 

היום אני סוגרת מעגל. היום אני באה לקברך אשר איננו. לזכרך אדליק נר נשמה, אפזר כאן אדמת מולדת אשר הבאתי מקברו של אבא, בעלך, אשר כה אהבת ואשר כה אהב אותך. היום אקח גם קצת אדמה מהמקום המקולל הזה, ואביא ארצה, ואקבור, במצבה של אבא, אשר בה חרוט שמך. פרידה בת יעקב אשר נרצחה על ידי הצורר הנאצי. אמא, לזכרך, ולזכר כל בני משפחתנו אשר מצאו את מותם כאן בבלז'ץ, נגיד קדיש ואל מלא רחמים.

 

שלום לך אמא, שלום לעפרך, את הלכת, אך בליבנו את חיה, תמיד!

 

אסתר (סטניה) מנהיים לבית הולנדר (בלזץ 2007) 

התפרסם ב"נוביני קרקובסקיה", בטאון יוצאי קרקוב בישראל, גליון 19, נובמבר 2007 חשון התשס"ח

Published in "Nowiny Krakowskie", of the association of Cracowians in Israel, vol. 19, November 2007

 

A Map

The Map of Death Camp Bełżec

Bełżec - The Destruction of the Jews in the District of Galicia (JewishGen Web Site)

Action Reinhard Death Camp Bełżec (ARC web site)

The Hell of Bełżec (Louis Bulos Web Site) 

Questionnaire: "Every Victim Has Its Own Name"

Bełżec Memorial Museum would like to gather information about the people who were killed in the death camp at Bełżec. It is part of our museum project and also forms part of our cooperation with the international institutions that conduct research into the Holocaust. We would like to show that the victims of Bełżec were not anonymous, as the Nazis wished them to be. Instead, we want to restore the names of the victims. The story of their lives will be also be the background for our museum’s educational activities. For this purpose, we request your cooperation and we should be grateful if you would complete this questionnaire and send it to the Museum.

The Questionnaire (File in Word)

MUZEUM - MIEJSCE PAMIECI W BELZCU (Bełżec MEMORIAL MUSEUM)
ul. Ofiar Obozu 4
22-670 Bełżec
Poland

Bełżec: Open daily except on holidays, tel: 00-48-84-6652510, fax no.:  00-48-84-6652511

Partial List of Jewish Communities Deported to Bełżec in 1942

Source: Robert Kuwalek, Historian
Email:
robkuwalek "at" gmx.net (replace "at" by @ to avoid spam)
Majdanek Polish State Museum: Fri & Mon, Tel.: 00-48-81-7442647
Bełżec: Tue, Wed & Thu, tel: 00-48-84-6652510, fax no.:  00-48-84-6652511

 A B C D F G H IJ K L M N O P R S T U W Z

 

The Community

Month(s) of Extermination

   

home

A

Annopol

October, November 1942

   

home

B

Badzanów

November 1942

Baligród

September 1942

Baranów

July 1942

Biały Kamień

September 1942

Biecz

August 1942

Bieździedzia

August 1942

Biłgoraj
more...

August, November 1942

Bircza

July 1942

Biskupice

March 1942

Biszcza

September 1942

Błażowa

July 1942

Blizne

August 1942

Bobowa

August 1942

Bóbrka

August 1942

Bochnia

August, November 1942

Bohorodczany

September 1942

Bolechów

August, September, October, November 1942

Bolszowce

September, October, December 1942

Borszczów

September 1942

Borysław

August, October, November 1942

Brody

September, November 1942

Brzesko

September, November 1942

Brzeszów

August 1942

Brzeżany

September, December 1942

Brzozdowce

September 1942

Brzuchowice

August 1942

Buczacz
more...

September, October, November 1942

Budzanów

November 1942

Bukaczowce

September, October 1942

Bursztyn

September, October 1942

Buszcza

September 1942

Bychawa

October 1942

   

home

C

Chodorów

September, October 1942

Chorostków

September 1942

Chyrów

July, August 1942

Cieszanów

April, may, December 1942

Czarny Dunajec1)

August 1942

Czorsztyn

August 1942

Czortków

August, October 1942

Czudec

July 1942

   

home

D

Dąbrowa Tarnowska

June, July, September 1942

Dalnicz

September 1942

Dębica
more... and more...

July 1942

Delatyn
more...

September 1942

Dobczyce

August 1942

Dobromil

July 1942

Dolina

August 1942

Domaradz

August 1942

Drohobycz

March, August, October, November 1942

Dukla

July, August 1942

Działoszyce

September 1942

   

home

F

Frysztak

August 1942

   

home

G

Garbatka

August 1942

Gdów

August 1942

Gdowca

August 1942

Głogów

July 1942

Golcowa

August 1942

Goraj

August, November 1942

Gorlice
more...

August, September 1942

Gródek

October 1942

Gródek Jagielloński

August 1942

Grybów

August 1942

Grzymałów

October 1942

Gwoździec

June 1942

Gwoźnica

August 1942

   

home

H

Horodenka
more...

April, September 1942

Horyniec

October 1942

Husiatyn

September 1942

   

home

IJ

Izbica

March, April, October 1942

Jabłonów

June, September, October 1942

Jagielnica2)  

Janów

November 1942

Janów Lubelski

 May, November 1942

Jarczów

 May 1942

Jarosław

August 1942

Jasiennica

August 1942

Jasiennica Rosielna

August 1942

Jasło

August 1942

Jawornik Polski

July 1942

Jaworów

November 1942

Jaworzec

July 1942

Jedlica

August 1942

Jezierna

August 1942

Jezierzany

September 1942

Jordanów1)

August 1942

   

home

K

Kałusz

September 1942

Kamionka Strumiłowa

September, October 1942

Karolówka

September 1942

Kłodno

September 1942

Knihiczyn

September 1942

Kołaczyce

August 1942

Kolbuszowa
more... and more...

July, November 1942

Kołomyja
and more... and more...

April, June, September, October, November 1942

Komańcza

August 1942

Komarno

November, December 1942

Komarów

November 1942

Kopyczyńce
and more...

September 1942

Korczyna

August 1942

Koropiec

October 1942

Kosów

September, November 1942

Kozłów

September 1942

Kozowa

September, November 1942

Kraków
more... and more...

June, October 1942

Krakowiec

November 1942

Kraśniczyn

April 1942

Kraśnik

April, November 1942

Krasnystaw

October 1942

Krościenko1)

August 1942

Krosno

August, October, December 1942

Krownica

October 1942

Krynica Zdrój

August 1942

Krystynopol

September 1942

Krzeszów

November 1942

Kulików

November 1942

Kuty

April, September 1942

   

home

L

Łabowa

August 1942

Łącko

August 1942

Łańcut

August 1942

Łaszczów

 May 1942

Lesko

September 1942

Leżajsk

August 1942

Limanowa

August 1942

Łopatyń

October 1942

Lubaczów
more...

October, November 1942

Lubartów

April 1942

Lublin
more...

March, April 1942

Lubycza Królewska

February, March, October, December 1942

Lwów
and more... and more...

March, August, November 1942

   

home

M

Madenica

August 1942

Magierów

December 1942

Majdan Górny

 May 1942

Maków Podhalański1)

August 1942

Markowiec

August 1942

Michów

November 1942

Miechów

September 1942

Mielec
more...

April 1942

Mielnica

September 1942

Mikołajewo

August 1942

Mikołajów

September 1942

Mikulińce

August, November 1942

Modliborzyce

October, November 1942

Monasterzyska

October 1942

Mościska

October, November 1942

Mosty Wielkie

October 1942

Myślenice

August 1942

Mysłowice

August 1942

   

home

N

Nadwórna
more...   and more...

September 1942

Narajów

September, December 1942

Narol

December 1942

Nawaria

November 1942

Niebieszczany

August 1942

Niebylec

July 1942

Niemirów

July, December 1942

Niewiarów

July 1942

Nowotaniec

August 1942

Nowy Sącz

August 1942

Nowy Targ1)

August 1942

Nowy Wiśnicz

August 1942

   

home

O

Obertyn

June, September 1942

Olesko

August 1942

Oleszyce

November 1942

Olkusz

June 1942

Ołpiny

August 1942

Orzechówka

August 1942

Orzyszkowice

September 1942

   

home

P

Peczeniżyn

April 1942

Piaski

March, April 1942

Pieczychwosty

September 1942

Pielnia

August 1942

Pilzno

July, August 1942

Pistyn

September 1942

Piwniczna

August 1942

Podbuż

August 1942

Podhajce
more... and more...

September, October 1942

Podwołoczyska
and more...

October 1942

Pomorzany

September 1942

Potylicz

December 1942

Probużna

September 1942

Proszowice

September 1942

Przemyśl
more...

July, Ausgut, November 1942

Przemyślany

September, December 1942

   

home

R

Rabka1)

August 1942

Radomyśl Wielki
more... and more...

April, July 1942

Radymno

August 1942

Radziechów

September, October 1942

Rawa Ruska

March, July, December 1942

Rohatyn
more...

April, September, December 1942

Ropzyce
more... and more...

July 1942

Rozdół

September 1942

Rożnów

April 1942

Rozwadów

July 1942

Rudki

November 1942

Ryglica

July 1942

Rymanów

August 1942

Rzeszów
more...

July, November 1942

   

home

S

Sądowa Wisznia

October 1942

Sambor

August, September, October 1942

Sanok

September 1942

Sasów

July, August 1942

Schodnica

August 1942

Sędziszów

July 1942

Siennica Różana

March 1942

Skała Podolska
and more...

September 1942

Skałat
more... and more...

April, August, September, October, November 1942

Skalbmierz

September 1942

Skawina

August 1942

Skole

September 1942

Słomniki

September 1942

Sniatyń

April, October, September 1942

Sokal

September, October 1942

Sokołów

July 1942

Stanisławów

April, September, October 1942

Stary Sącz

August 1942

Stary Sambor

August 1942

Stebnik

August 1942

Steniatyn

September 1942

Strusów

November 1942

Stryj

September, October, Novemberr 1942

Strzeliska Nowe

August 1942

Strzyłki

August 1942

Strzyżów

July 1942

Suchostaw
more...

September 1942

Szczawnica1)

August 1942

Szczebrzeszyn

August, October 1942

Szczerzec

August, November 1942

   

home

T

Tarnobrzeg
more... and more... and more...

July 1942

Tarnogród

August, November 1942

Tarnopol

August, September, October, November 1942

Tarnów

June, July, September, November 1942

Tartaków

September, October 1942

Tłumacz
more...

November 1942

Tłuste

July, August, October 1942

Tokarnia

August 1942

Tomaszów Lubelski

December 1942

Toporów
more...

November 1942

Trawniki

March 1942

Trembowla

August, November 1942

Truskawiec

March, Ausgut 1942

Tuchów

September, November 1942

Turka

August, September, October 1942

Tyczyn

July 1942

Tyszowce

 May 1942

   

home

U

Uhnów

July, October 1942

Ulanów

July, October 1942

Urzędów

October 1942

Ustrzyki Dolne

September 1942

   

home

W

Wesoła

August 1942

Wieliczka

August 1942

Wielkie Oczy

November 1942

Wielopole Skrzyńskie

July 1942

Witków Nowy

October 1942

Wola Jasienicka

August 1942

Wolbrom

September 1942

   

home

Z

Żabie

September 1942

Zabłotów

April, June, September, October 1942

Żabno

November 1942

Zagórz

September 1942

Zakliczyn

September, November 1943

Zaklików

November 1942

Zakopane1) Deported to Nowy Targ and from there to Belzec

Zakrzówek

October, November 1942

Zaleszczyki
more...

October 1942

Zamość
more...

April, May, August, October 1942

Zasław

August 1942

Zawichost

October 1942

Zbaraż

August, September, October, November 1942

Zborów

August, September 1942

Żeldec

September 1942

Złoczów

August, November 1942

Żmigród

August 1942

Żółkiew

March, November 1942

Żołynia
more...

August 1942

Żurawno

September 1942

Zwierzyniec

August, October 1942

Żydaczów

September 1942

Żydanów

September 1942

 

276 Communities

 

1) Stephanie Weiner (email:  laguna "at" sciti . com )  informs in an email from September 1st 2004:
The Nowy Targ yizkor book deals not only with Nowy Targ, but also its environs. One of the articles it contains deals with events in several towns during the Nazi takeover:  Rabka (p. 66), Jordanow (Yordanov) p. 68, Szczawnica (Shchavnitza) p. 69, Czarny Dunajec (Charni Dunaietz) p. 70, Kroscienko (p. 69), and Makow Podhalanski (p. 70). You may wish to highlight these towns with a referral to the page(s) on which the text appears. Included in the Nowy Targ yizkor book is the town of Zakopane (p. 64) and events that took place there -- although this town does not appear on your partial list.  The article "Nowy Targ on the eve of the German takeover," by Dr. David Yacobovitz, begins on p. 56

2) Jagielnica added by Susana Leistner Bloch.

 A B C D F G H IJ K L M N O P R S T U W Z

Kolbuszowa Region Research Group (KRRG)

Suchostaw Region Research Group (SRRG)

I express my gratitude to Susana Leistner Bloch for commemoration of many communities of the Galicja on the web in JewishGen site and her help extended to this web site.

Letter from Bełżec
By David A. Harris
Executive Director American Jewish Committee (AJC)

Bełżec, Poland June 3, 2004

We stand in a place that is at once sacred and accursed.

We bow our heads in loving memory of the hundreds of thousands of Jews whose lives were destroyed here over a ten-month period in 1942.

We recoil in horror and, yes, incomprehension, even after all these years, at the systematic annihilation of the Jewish people by the Nazis and their collaborators.

Imagine: Nearly one in ten Jewish victims of the Holocaust was murdered in the gas chambers of this tiny space, which measures less than fifteen acres.

We are here, above all, to declare that we have not forgotten, we cannot forget those who perished here, despite the meticulous Nazi attempt to erase every last vestige of this killing field.

We have not forgotten, we cannot forget, first, how our fellow Jews were murdered. But just as important, we have not forgotten, we cannot forget, how they lived their lives, contributed to world civilization, practiced their faith, and yearned for better times to come.

And we are here to declare that we shall never forget, we dare never forget.

We owe it to the martyred. We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to future generations.

We take to heart the searing words of Job (16:18) inscribed on the memorial wall here: "Earth, do not cover my blood. Let there be no resting place for my outcry."

This extermination camp, now finally demarcated, protected, and memorialized after decades of neglect and desecration, stands as a stark and permanent reminder of man's seemingly limitless capacity for inhumanity.

Let no one ever seek to ignore, deny, trivialize, or underestimate that capacity for inhumanity. The fate of the world may hang in the balance.

But our presence here today, hundreds of Jews and non-Jews alike, including the Polish president and other leading dignitaries, also serves as a reminder, I trust, of man's capacity for humanity—for compassion, solidarity, and remembrance.

It stands as an object lesson in the unexpected and hopeful possibilities of history, against the backdrop of unparalleled tragedy.

Could anyone sixty years ago have imagined that three years after the war's end the sovereign Jewish state of Israel would be established, and that state would serve as home and haven to millions of Jews from around the world?

Could anyone sixty years ago have imagined an Israeli embassy in Warsaw, whose ambassador is with us for this auspicious occasion?

Could anyone sixty years ago have imagined that the Jews, defenseless in the Shoah, would create a military force in Israel, proudly represented here today by 150 officers who have come as a sign of homage and respect, that time and again would show unimaginable courage and determination defeating those bent on destroying the state?

Could anyone sixty years ago have imagined a Poland free of occupation, at peace with its neighbors, now linked organically to twenty-four other democratic European nations, including Germany, and serving as a vital bridge between Europe and the United States?

And could anyone sixty years ago have imagined a Jewish community—only a tiny fraction of its former self, but proud and vibrant nonetheless there in Poland, having reemerged from the ashes of the Shoah, followed by decades of communist oppression, to carry on the rich Jewish tradition that has been an essential part of the Polish landscape for more than 800 years?

No, none of these striking developments can fill the void created by the Shoah. None can bring back the six million. None can return a childhood to the millions of youngsters denied one.

But they do underscore for us what is possible if only we dare to dream dreams, unite in common purpose, and match our strength to our convictions.

Let us never forget that it is we—governments, civic institutions, faith communities, and individuals—who must remain vigilant in defense of the precious gift of liberty and united in opposition to any form of tyranny.

Bełżec reminds us why.

It is we who must educate others, especially our youth, about the frighteningly short distance from dehumanizing a people to destroying that people.

Bełżec reminds us why.

It is we who must affirm Israel's importance to the Jewish people worldwide as a beacon of hope and oasis of freedom.

Bełżec reminds us why.

And it is we who must sound the clarion call about the danger of contemporary antisemitism, which demonizes the Jewish people and justifies violence against Jews and Jewish institutions, wherever they may be.

Bełżec reminds us why.

We would not be here today dedicating this memorial site and museum were it not for the single-minded vision of one man, Miles Lerman, son of Poland, citizen of the United States. He made it his mission to create this memorial. He was ably assisted by the staff of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He deserves our everlasting gratitude.

This historic project was implemented through an agreement between the government of Poland and the American Jewish Committee. We were honored and humbled to be asked to assume this historic responsibility. I especially wish to acknowledge the role of AJC's Rabbi Andrew Baker in bringing this project to fruition. And our Polish partners could not have been more cooperative, dedicated, and sensitive to our concerns. The results speak for themselves.

In the Jewish tradition, we are commanded to remember, zahor.

We do so today—enveloped by haunting memories, excruciating pain, and overwhelming loss.

But we also do so, I hope, affirming an unshakable resolve to build and defend a more humane world. Let this be our enduring legacy to those whose lives we mourn in this sacred and accursed place.

Last Updated November 21st, 2007

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