The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Holocaust A Layman's Guide to
Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka

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"There is much discrepancy about the number of cremation pyres. Witnesses mention 1-4 while the SS at their trial in Munich 1963-64 admitted to only two being used, each one measuring 5 m x 5 m. The first was constructed in mid-November 1942 and the second during the first week of December, but the SS were not asked where the pyres were located in the camp and they did not offer the information. According to SS testimonies, at least 600,000 corpses were cremated on these two pyres between November 1942 - March 1943. If we accept that only two pyres were used to cremate at least 600,000 corpses, and only a part of the total number of corpses were actually exhumed and cremated - as demonstrated by the 1997-98 investigations -- then the total number of victims must be considerably higher than the presently accepted figure of 600,000. Similarly, if more than two pyres were in use, e.g. 3-4, during the five month period of the exhumation/cremation operation, the number of corpses cremated could have been doubled. It is therefore possible -- and in agreement with the total stated by Alojzy Berezowski, the Polish station master at Belzec, and others that the final death toll of the Belzec extermination camp is in the region of one million victims."
(Terenza, M. Report on the Archeological Investigations at the Site of the Former NAZI Extermination Camp in Belzec, Poland, 1997-98. p.29-30)

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