Operation Reinhard (Einsatz Reinhard) became the code name for the German plan to murder the approximately two million Jews residing in the so-called Generalgouvernement (Government General).The Generalgouvernement was the part of German-occupied Poland not directly annexed to Germany, attached to German East Prussia, or incorporated into the German-occupied Soviet Union.
As many as two million Jews were sent to Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka, extermination camps set up specifically for Operation Reinhard, to be put to death in gas chambers built for that purpose.In addition, mass killing facilities using Zyklon B were developed at about the same time within the Majdanek concentration camp and at Auschwitz II-Birkenau near the existing Auschwitz I camp for Polish prisoners.
The origin of the operation’s name is debated by Holocaust researchers. Various German documents spell the name differently, some with “t” after “d” (as in “Aktion Reinhardt”), others without it. Yet a different…
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