Deportation and Death Camps
Killing by gas
Whilst Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek served as killing centres and as slave-labour camps, Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka were created solely for the purpose of killing Jews. Victims had to surrender their personal belongings, ordered to undress and forced into gas chambers. Once they were locked inside a poisonous gas was released – either Zyklon B or carbon monoxide. Within fifteen minutes, victims were dead.
After gassing, everything of worth was removed from the bodies. Nothing was wasted, gold teeth were extracted, hair was shaved. Bodies were burnt in special ovens and the ashes and bones were intended to be used as fertiliser.