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Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/aktion.reinhard/sobibor/sobibor.07

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Sobibor: the Summer of '42
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project, Vancouver Island, CANADA
Keywords: Sobibor

Archive/File: holocaust/poland/reinhard/sobibor sobibor.07
Last-modified: 1993/03/24           

During the summer of 1942 "...trains hauled prefab houses and barracks and
building materials to Sobibor, and the Nazis expanded the camp into a little
city with four boroughs.

In the Officers' Compound next to the main gate and parallel to the
railroad, the Germans threw up living quarters for thirty-five SS men and
barracks for two hundred guards, a laundry and barbershop, kitchen, bakery,
canteen, garage and armory, and a jail for Ukrainians.

On the south side of Sobibor, far from the main gate, the Nazis built Camp
I, where all the Jews slept and some worked. A Ukrainian guarded the only
gate into Camp I, in the northeast corner, and it was shut at night with a
padlock and chain. To make Camp I even more escape-proof, the Nazis erected
two more barbed-wire fences around it.

On the edges of Camp I sat buildings of all sizes: a mechanic and blacksmith
barracks, two tailor shops and shoe shops -- one for the SS and one for the
Ukrainians -- a kitchen, a paint and carpenter shop where Jews built
furniture for the new German and Ukrainian quarters, and barracks for the
Jews to sleep in.

To make the `processing' of new Jews even more efficient, the Germans
expanded Camp II, at the center of Sobibor. Wooden barracks in which to
store clothes, linens, shoes, and household goods they stole from the Jews;
open sheds in which to sort and bundle them; a barracks for ironing clothes;
an Administration Building with a room for the diamonds, gold, and silver
they took, and vegetable gardens, stables, pigsties, chicken coops, and
rabbit pens.

In the northwest corner of Sobibor, Camp III, the Nazis doubled the gas
chambers, to six. They could hold between five hundred and six hundred Jews
at a time, enabling the Nazis to process a large transport in a few hours.
To clean out the gas chambers and bury the corpses, the Nazis kept a work
force of a hundred Jews, who ... slept in the barracks next to the `showers'
and the shed where Jewish dentists chiseled gold from teeth.

To make Sobibor run still more smoothly, the Nazis built a high-powered
generator that provided enough light so that they could gas Jews at night,
and a small train with dump cars like those used to haul coal in the mines
south of Krakow. The train tracks began at the unloading platform in front
of the Officers' Compound, stretched into Camp II past the warehouses where
the sorted clothes were stored, along the sorting sheds, parallel with the
tube leading to Camp III, to the rear of the gas chambers, and then to the
mass graves. The miners' train toted suitcases from the boxcars to the
sorting sheds, bundles of clothes from the warehouses to the empty cars
sitting on the spur inside the camp, wood to Camp III, and corpses from the
gas chambers to the burial pits.

Excerpted from:--------------------------------------------------------------
Rashke, Richard. Escape From Sobibor (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1982)

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