This file contains a short survey on the dimensions of the Holocaust, published by the Institut Fuer Zeitgeschichte (Institute for Contemporary History) in Munich, Germany, in 1992.
The Institut Fuer Zeitgeschichte is considered an authority on this issue in Germany, and has been used as a source of information on the Holocaust in various trials of Nazi war criminals there.
Concerns: The killing of people through gas in the extermination and concentrations camps under the Nazi power.
The systematic murdering of humans through gas during the Nazi rule was introduced for the first time from January 1940 on in the area of the "Euthanasia", the extermination of the "lives not worthy to live" of the handicapped, mental patients and the terminally ill, and from fall 1941 on was continued to a much larger extent by the pogroms of the operation groups of the security police and the SD in the seized eastern areas with the help of mobile gas vans.
Beginning December of 1941 one proceeded in the camp Kulmhof (Polish Chelmno) to use stationary gas vans for the killing of Jews, and from the beginning of 1942 in different camps fixed gas chambers were built, or already existing buildings were restructured for this purpose.
One needs to differentiate by the furnishing of such gas chambers and the gassing actions
carried out within them between the mass gassings of Jews in the extermination camps built
for that purpose and the gassings of smaller scale in individual, already existing concentration
camps (whereby patients, seized forced laborers, war prisoners, and political prisoners
among others were also victims).
The following extermination camps existed:
Neuengamme (southeastern of Hamburg): From fall of 1942 on gassings with Zyklon B
were undertaken here in a "Bunker" prepared for that, about 450 victims.
Natzweiler (by Struthof, Elsass): From August 1943 to August 1944 a gas chamber existed here in which between 120 and 200 people were killed through Zyklon B in order to be able to dissect their skeletons for the Anatomica Institute of University of Strassburg. Back then this institute was managed by a chief company commander of SS Prof. Dr. August Hirt.
Stutthof (east of Danzig) had from June 1944 on one gas chamber in which more than 1000 were killed by Zyklon B.
Ravensbrueck (Bradenburg, north of Berlin): Here still in January 1945 a gas chamber was
established; the number of the people killed in it was at least 2300.
of the war in the Buchenwald concentration camp. Photo from the National Archives.
Dachau (Upper Bavaria, northeast of Munich): During the establishment of a new house of
cremation in 1942 also a gas chamber was established in it in which in connection with the
medical experiments of the chief company commander of SS Dr. Rascher also a few
experimental gassings were undertaken, as more recent research has confirmed. (On that see
The victims of the operation groups of the security service and the SD behind the German frontier in the Russia-campaign were to the by far largest part Jews. Their number is estimated to be at least 900,000.
The difference between the total of the victims of the gassings cited in the above mentioned composition and the number of victims of the operation groups and the total of roughly 6 million victims of the Nazi persecution of the Jews results from the fact that a very high percentage of the victims have lost their lives through indirect extermination actions such as the method "destruction through work", bad treatment, under nourishment, epidemics, exhaustion during forced transportations etc.
About 120,000 people were killed through the Nazi "Euthanasia"-actions.