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Chelmno and the Holocaust: The History of Hitler's First Death Camp [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Patrick Montague , Christopher R. Browning

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15. März 2012
As the first extermination camp established by the Nazi regime and the prototype of the single-purpose death camps of Treblinka, Sobibor, and Belzec, the Chelmno death camp stands as a crucial but largely unexplored element of the Holocaust. This book is the first comprehensive work in any language to detail all aspects of the camp's history, organization, and operations and to remedy the dearth of information in Holocaust literature about Chelmno, which served as a template for the Nazis' "Final Solution." Patrick Montague reveals events leading to the establishment of the camp, how the mobile killing squad employed the world's first gas van to terminate the lives of mentally-ill patients, and the assembly-line procedure employed in the camp to commit genocide on the Jewish population. Based on over 20 years of careful research, this book provides the first single-volume history of the camp and its handful of survivors and includes previously unpublished first-hand accounts and photographs. "Chelmno and the Holocaust" is a vital contribution to a critically important chapter in the history of the Holocaust.


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"[Montague's] claim for this book as the first 'comprehensive history' of this least-known killing center is no exaggeration; this volume will be the standard work on its subject in the years to come."--"Holocaust and Genocide Studies"

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Amazon.com: 4.8 von 5 Sternen  4 Rezensionen
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Belongs in EVERY Library of Holocaust Works 29. Oktober 2012
Von Kayla Rigney - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This book is currently one the the best in print that thoroughly explores the evolution of Aktion T-4 into the Final Solution. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

As a Disability Historian and a Holocaust Scholar, my area of knowledge is Aktion T-4. T-4 was the Nazi programme of "euthanasia" against the disabled and mentally ill. From the beginning, Hitler wanted to empty hospitals and convalescent homes of so-called "useless eaters" and "life unworthy of life" to make room for the wounded of the coming war. By taking Negative Eugenics to its logical and fatal conclusion, Hitler and the Nazi Party took the vile step of exterminating those it deemed "inferior." At first, Aktion T-4 was limited in scope to so-called Aryan children but quickly expanded to included teenagers and adults with treatable disabilities and mental illnesses. With remarkable speed, the disabled and mentally ill of Germany, Austria, and France were rounded-up, sent from their home hospitals/institutions to centralized Killing Centers and gassed. Some scholars believe T-4 stopped "officially" because there was genuine and unexpected protest against the killings; but others believe it stopped because a target number of deaths had been reached. Either way, the Nazis were nothing if not efficient.

*Chelmno and the Holocaust: The History of Hitler's First Death Camp* makes it clear that not only did T-4 morph into the Final Solution, at times the two programmes overlapped. The staff of T-4 was trained in Killing Centers, and then transferred and relocated to help create and then streamline the assembly line system of extermination used in the Death Camps. It's no coincidence that both T-4 Killing Centers and the Death Camps and later concentration camps used gas chambers to murder. The T-4 Staff took what they'd learned murdering the disabled and mentally ill applied it to Nazi Racial Policy. Chelmno is the place became T-4 *became* the Final Solution. This has never been discussed and documented so completely in any English language work.

I bought *Chelmno and the Holocaust* for its documentation of the use of T-4 in Poland. I will reread it yearly as I do *Death and Deliverance* by Burleigh and Schmidt's biography of Karl Brandt. It's THAT important. We, as a society and as human beings, cannot forget that hatred of Difference, the Other and those we marginalize leads to death.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Exceptional 28. August 2012
Von Paul - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
There is so little written about Chelmno that this book is a peerless contribution to the literature -- certainly to literature that is accessible to people outside of formal Holocaust scholarship. The details provided by survivor testimonies are incredibly useful in understanding both the operations and the tragedy of this place. Also useful is the role of Chelmno (and the environment of the Warthegau and the Lodz ghetto) in particular in showing how the Holocaust was not *only* a creation of Himmler and the SS. Greiser, for instance, was the governor of the Warthegau, not an SS functionary. Hans Biebow was civil administrator of the Lodz ghetto, but he was as much of a sadist and a butcher as anyone in the SS. The book shows how the "final solution" was really a coalescence of local genocidal policies -- because Chelmno was never envisioned as a total solution to the European Jewish "problem". Nor were the Operation Reinhard camps, and nor were the Einsatzgruppen activities. They were all genocidal policies meant to solve "local" problems. Finally, the inseparability of the euthanasia program from the Holocaust is very evident in this book. Lange and his gas vans were a roving euthanasia clinic -- and then seamlessly morphed into a roving killer of Jews, before he finally settled down at Chelmno.

This book really complements Yitzhak Arad's book about the Operation Reinhard camps, which performs a similar role for Treblinka, Sobibor, and Belzec. I would argue that it is indispensable for anyone trying to get a detailed understanding of the Nazi killing machine.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen This book has unique value 12. März 2013
Von Meaghan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Everyone knows about Auschwitz; no one's heard of Chelmno, which was in many ways a much more horrible place. It's true that more than a million people died at Auschwitz and "only" 150,000 people died at Chelmno (or possibly as many as twice that number, estimates vary widely). But tens of thousands of people SURVIVED Auschwitz. The number of Chelmno survivors? Six.

This is one of only two English language book-length studies of the camp that I know of, so it would be valuable no matter what. But it's also an excellent work of history, including many facts I have never seen anywhere else. Montague got to know Szymon Srebrnik, Chelmno's last known survivor (he died in 2006), and interviewed him several times for the book. I kind of wish he'd talked bout Srebrnik's postwar life -- namely, how he managed to find a way to live after going through that kind of horror -- but I realize that was beyond the scope of this book.

The reader should know that it isn't until well into the book that Montague starts talking about Jews. That's because Chelmno (the Nazis' first attempt at an extermination camp) was originally created to serve the T4 program, the Third Reich's program to eliminate disabled and mentally ill people. It wasn't until after the war started that they got the idea to start using it for Jews also.

As Montague points out, the T4 program was an important factor in both the history of Chelmno and the Holocaust in general, because it got the SS men accustomed to the idea of gassing vast numbers of people. So of course he talks about it in detail. I suppose if you really wanted you could skip the T4 section and head straight on to 1939, but you really shouldn't.

Anyway, this was an absorbing book and it's got info you won't find anywhere else. Highly recommend for researchers.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent documentation of historically crucial events 21. Dezember 2012
Von George Miley - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Thoroughly documented and well written, this in-depth research and interestingly presented exploration of the facts will put an end to all Holocaust denial by reasonably minded people.
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