Treblinka Extermination Camp
Treblinka was a German Nazi extermination camp in German-occupied Poland during World War II near the village of Treblinka in the modern-day Masovian Voivodeship of Poland. The camp, which was constructed as part of Operation Reinhard, operated between 01942-07-23July 23, 1942 and 01943-10-19October 19, 1943. During this time, approximately 870,000 men, women and children were killed at Treblinka. This figure includes more than 800,000 Jews, as well as an undetermined number of Romani people.
The camp, which was operated by the German SS and Eastern European Trawnikis, consisted of Treblinka I and II. The first camp was a forced-labour center. Inmates worked in either the nearby gravel pit or irrigation area. Between June 1941 and July 23, 1944, more than half of its 20,000 inmates died from execution, exhaustion, or mistreatment.
Treblinka II was designed as a death factory. The small number who were not killed immediately became Sonderkommandos. These slave labor groups were forced to bury the victims' bodies in mass graves. Later corpses were burned on massive open-air pyres.
Killing operations at Treblinka II were ended on 01943-10-19October 19, 1943, following a revolt by its Sonderkommandos. Several German guards were killed when 300 prisoners escaped. The camp was then dismantled and a farmhouse was built in an attempt to hide the evidence of genocide. In addition, killing facilities were developed in Auschwitz II-Birkenau within the already existing camp (Auschwitz I). Operation Reinhard was overseen by SS-Obergruppenführer Odilo Globocnik in occupied Poland as Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler's deputy. Unlike other Nazi concentration camps, Operation Reinhard camps reported directly to the SS-Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA), which in turn reported directly to Heinrich Himmler. Himmler kept the control of the program close to him but delegated the work to Globocnik. Operation Reinhard used the euthanasia program (Action T4) for site selection, construction and the training of personnel.
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