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Warsaw Government Reports 1,135,000 Jews Killed by Germans in Chelmno “death Camp”

The Polish Provisional Government in Warsaw today made public the results of its investigations of the Nazi “extermination camp” in Chelano, near Kolo, in the Poznan district, revealing that at least 1,135,000 Jews from all parts of Europe were killed there by the Germans between 1940 when the camp was established and 1945 when the Red Army liberated the territory where the camp was located.

The investigation established that “the Cheleno camp was set up in November, Jews, when units of the Gestapo swept into town. A local mension house was taken over by the Germans and turned into a reception center for the future victims. The first group to arrive, 700 Jews from Kolo, came on Dec. 9, 1940. They were taken to the reception center, forced to undress and then driven with whips into hermetically sealed trucks equipped to pump gas fumes into the van. The victims were driven three kilometers to a near-by wood, their bodies removed and buried in shallow graves. From Dec. 10 on, fresh groups were brought to Chelano every day, and on some days these groups numbered 2,000.

“The Nazis built special warehouses to store clothing and other valuables stripped from these whom they murdered; the loot leter was sent to Germany. The Chelmno commandent was Major Bothmann, his deputy was Lieut. Otto Leng and, later, flate Puzecinek; Bohn was in charge of transportation, the man in charge of collecting the looted gold and valuatles was Bristing, the crematoria foreman were Range and Kletschnen; the financial administration was controlled by Neufeld, while a German armed Langmeister was the camp “physician.” These Nazis organized special brigades of enslaved workers whose job it was to make powder cut of human bones; the powder was then taken to the village of Zawadka, on the Warta River near Kolo, where it was used in building retainer walls.

“Jews, working in the camp’s forced-labor brigades were shackled day and night. Men and women who had been forced to sort cut clothing for shipment to Germany were often made to jump cut of their third-floor workroom windows. In this way some were killed and others maimed, all to provide ‘sport’ for the Nazi guards.

“Many were the tragedies which the fire of Chelmne cremateria command. One man, working at the ovens there, recognized one of the victims as his own sister, who was still slive despite her trip in the poison-gas truck. Struck with borrir he refused to put his sister into the even; Gestape guards swung their whips. The man threw himself at the guards, and they shot him.

“When the Red Army reached the camp, they found the bodies of is murdered Jews lying at the entrance to the camp reception center. As the Red Army approached, the Nazis made practic efforts to speed up their mass murders, for days, according to people of the neighborhood, the smoke and smell of burning bodies hung like a pell over the countryside. But, as the Russians drew closer, the Nazis fled, first dynamiting the camp area and blowing up the cremateria,”the report added.

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