Seminarski i Diplomski Rad

Killing Methods

At another, later gassing--also in autumn 1941--Grabner ordered me to pour Zyklon B into the opening because only one medical orderly had shown up. During a gassing Zyklon B had to be poured through both openings of the gas-chamber room at the same time. This gassing was also a transport of 200-250 Jews, once again men, women and children. As the Zyklon B--as already mentioned--was in granular form, it trickled down over the people as it was being poured in. They then started to cry out terribly for they now knew what was happening to them. I did not look through the opening because it had to be closed as soon as the Zyklon B had been poured in. After a few minutes there was silence. After some time had passed, it may have been ten to fifteen minutes, the gas chamber was opened. The dead lay higgledy-piggedly all over the place. It was a dreadful sight. (A Teacher’s Guide)
The quote above is by Hans Stark, registrar of new arrivals at Auschwitz, illustrating the anti-semitism towards the Jewish race - the hatred or prejudice of Jews, which has distressed the world for a long time, reaching its pinnacle during the Holocaust. The Holocaust was a severe tragedy, which began in the late 1930s and lasted until the end of the Second World War in 1945 and will forever be remembered. It is well known world-wide as the genocide of approximately six million European Jews during World War II, extermination by the German Nazis lead by Adolf Hitler. Strangely, there are a fair number of people in this world who don't fully believe that the Holocaust happened as documented by survivors, witnesses, and those tasked with liberating those who survived and burying those who did not. These people are called Holocaust Revisionists, in a lower term, ‘deniers’. Holocaust Revisionists do believe that the Holocaust existed; however, they disagree with the majority of the evidence and facts supporting it. They suggest that survivor witnesses’ lied and evidence such as documents, videos, speeches, photographs, and films left behind are not real. The list can go on and on. Holocaust Revisionists are wrong. The evidence and facts supporting the Holocaust are palpably true and genuine.But, it’s even more so, if we look closely at the methods the Nazi used to exterminate nearly three million people in a timeframe of fifteen years.

Working and Exhaustion

Utilizing all means necessary was one of the aspects of Hitler’s plan in World War II. There were many forms of work for inmates – work within the camp as “Lagerschreiber” or prisoners physician, handcraft works, and even in “Canada” camps (depot for objects that the newly arriving people were deprived of). They’ll even work as commandos out in the camp grounds, or construction work like rebuilding the streets and trail track, river regulator and various penal companies. (Labour)

Gas Chambers

Gas Chambers was renowned for being the most lethal method of killing in World War II. But, the main reason why the Nazi chose this method was because it was fast and easy. What’s more effective than gathering up hundreds of prisoners and killing them in less then a few minutes? The over all cost of using this method was cheap and most effective by utilizing “Lagerschreiber”, prisoners who worked within the extermination camps, which led these prisoners into gas chambers; then had to pull their fellow inmates out.
The procedure of killing the victims in gas chambers was the following: the victims were forced into the gas chamber, the door was closed and either exhaust fumes or Zyklon B-gas was led into the room. In the extermination camps at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka exhaust fumes were used, while Zyklon B was used in Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau. (The Danish)
According to the Jewish Virtual Library, Zyklon-B is a powerful insecticide, which serves as a carrier for the gas Hydrocyanic acid, or HCN.Hydrocyanic Acid is extremely poisonous to humans, which was first made in Arizona and used in the U.S. It usually takes about 16,000 ppm (parts per million) in delousing operations against lice and varies insects, but only takes around 300 ppm to kill a normal healthy human being in no less than 15 minutes. (Zyklon-B)
The Nazi’s also implemented gassing trucks to further their goals. The prisoners “were forced into a hermetically sealed truck, and then exhaust gas from the engine was led into the truck. The Jews were thus suffocated” (The Danish).Four Einsatzgruppen first introduced this method in the Soviet Union,in an effort to make their killing operations more effective. It was also used in varies parts of Poland (Lublin) and in Serbia (Belgrade), which came to around a total of fifteen gassing trucks used in the Holocaust. (The Danish)

The Einsatzgruppen

“Einsatzgruppen (in this context, mobile killing units) were squads composed primarily of German SS and police personnel. Under the command of the German Security Police (Sicherheitspolizei; Sipo) and Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst; SD) officers, the Einsatzgruppen had among their tasks the murder of those perceived to be racial or political enemies found behind German combat lines in the occupied Soviet Union” (United)
Their main objective as a squad was to exterminate Jewish residents of occupied territory during the World War. The Einsatzgruppen used many forms of killing to carry out their object, but methods such as mass shootings, gas trucks and even going as far as forcing the Jewish prisoners to dig their own grave was what they were well known for. During the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the Einsatzgruppen, alone, killed nearly one and quarter million Jews and other individuals that were deemed an enemy of the German race.
There were a lot more methods of killing Jews that weren’t mentioned above that were utilized in the World War as a way to accomplish Hitler’s vision of a perfect world. Nearly six million Jews perished within a time period of fifteen years. Nearly 70 years later, war between the human races has gotten worst. Tragic eventssuch as September 11th and the wars in Iraq has only proven that we, as intellectual beings, have not yet learned the irony of what is to come if we continue on this path. Using what they had available to them at the time, the Nazi accomplished in killing millions and millions of people. Just imagine what we are capable of today.

Work Cited

  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “The Holocaust.” Holocaust Encyclopedia. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/?ModuleId=10005143. Accessed on {April 12, 2013}.
  • Vogelsang, Peter, and Brian B.M. Larsen. "Methods of Mass Murder." The Danish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. N.p., 2002. Web. 15 Apr. 2013.
  • "Zyklon B." Zyklon B. The American-Isreal Cooperative Enterprise, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2013.
  • "A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust-Victims." A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust-Victims. Florida of Instructional Technology, n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2013.
  • "LABOUR AS A METHOD OF EXTERMINATIONsize." Labour as a Method of Extermination. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2013.



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