The death camps

Map showing the location of the six Nazi death camps within the General Government

During the summer of 1941, the Nazis broke their agreement and invaded the Soviet Union. Hitler believed that Jews had created communism. The war in the East was aimed not merely at conquest but at the destruction of millions of Jews and Slavs.

By the end of the summer of 1941, the Nazi leadership had made plans to six extermination camps on Polish soil. Their sole purpose was murder.

These six extermination camps were:

  • Chelmno (December 1941-January 1945)
  • Belzec (March-December 1942)
  • Sobibor (May-July 1942 and October 1942-October 1943)
  • Treblinka (July 1942-August 1943)
  • Majdanek (September 1941-July 1944)
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau (March 1942-January 1945)

This section provides details of each of these camps, how they were administered, who administered them and who the victims were.