In the late 1939, the Nazis started experimenting with gas trying to kill masses of people. When they first started gassing people, the Nazis used a method called euthanasia. They used this method to gas mentally unstable people who the Nazis did not consider people. The Nazis installed six gassing installation at Bernburg, Brandenburg, Grafeneck, Hadamar, Hartheim, and Sonnenstien. For these places the Nazis used chemically manufactured carbon monoxide gas. 

Jews going to gas chamber

Jews going to gas chamber

Later on in 1941, the Nazis started experimenting with     gas vans using the exhaust from the truck. The gas vans started because the people in the mobile killing squad did not like killing lots of women and children.  Also, gassing was less expensive then killing the people with guns. 

After the Germans found away to mass murder people, they experimented to make it as efficient as possible.  The first extermination camps with stationary gas chambers were Belzec, Sobibor, and Trelinka, which were all in Poland. At those camps the guards would pack as many people into the gas chambers because the more people the quicker they would suffocate. The Nazis used carbon monoxide gas generated by diesel engines.  Even though the Nazis found a way to mass murder people, they always wanted to make it more efficient. At Auschwitz the Nazis were experimenting with the Zyklon B.  They experimented with the pellets by gassing around 600 soviet prisoners of was and 250 sick prisoners in September 1941.  The Nazis deemed the Zyklon B pellet the gassing method.   

Pellets

Zyklon B Pellets

Killing centers was the main method to kill Jews. Killing centers whose main purpose was to kill prisoners.  Prisoners, like Jews who we sent to the gas chambers when they arrived at killing centers were never officially registered as prisoners.  They would come into the killing center and usually killed within 24 hours upon arrival.  As World War II progressed the killing centers started to overflow with prisoners. Because of this the Nazis realized that they needed to equip concentration camps with gas chambers so they could kill more people. Concentration camps were then equipped with gas chambers in 1941 and 1942. 

When prisoners first came to a concentration camp they had to go through a selection and based on the results of the selection they would have to go to the gas chambers. Depending on the health, age, gender, and strength of the person, the Nazis determined if they were sent to the gas chambers or into the concentration camp. The people who were sent to the gas chambers were first told that they had to go and get disinfected and washed. They would go into a large room and get undressed. Some chambers even had shower heads in the chamber, which were not working, tricking the prisoners that they were going to a disinfecting shower. The Nazis wanted to fit as many people as possible so they would have all of the women enter first. Then when all the women were in, they sent the men in. All prisoners were instructed to walk in with there arms up because that way they took up less room. Sometimes they would have 20 or 30 extra people. In this case they would hold back all of the children. After all of the adults were squeezed into the gas chamber the children were instructed to craw in. They would craw on top of the adult’s heads or anywhere where they could fit.  Once the chamber was full as it could be and then closed, a lid would open and a guard would dump Zyklon B pellets, which is a poisons gas.  After a few minutes a guard would look through a peek hole in the door to see if everyone was dead. The peephole was covered with four or five layers of glass so no one could break out. It took somewhere between 5 to 10 minutes for everyone to be dead. If they were, then fellow prisoners that worked at the crematories would then remove the bodies and take them to the next step.

Gas Chamber Door

Gas Chamber Door

After the gas chambers, the corpse would then be prepared to be taken to the crematories, which are large ovens. Before going into the ovens, prisoners would cut the long hair and take anything valuable including dental work.  The largest crematoriums can burn 1,400 bodies every day.  During the Holocaust 1,600,000 prisoners were burned by these ovens.  

Many lives were impacted during WWII. During the Holocaust almost 2,700,000 people were killed either by poisoned gas, gas chambers, or by shootings.  In Operation Reinhard killing centers, approximately 1,526,500 Jews were killed between March 1942 and November 1943.  Many people were devastated by large amounts of deaths. They started to research the mass murder of the Jews but could not find much evidence of what the Nazis were doing. To the Germans killing centers and concentration camps were top secrete so they did their best to hide them.  The Nazis would have the prisoners burn all bodies killed by the gas chambers and then camouflage the gas chambers or burn them.  The Germans didn’t want anyone to know what they were doing to Jews and other prisoners. Because the concentration camps and killing centers were mostly destroyed people today do not know many details of the concentration camps and the killing centers.

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