A killing center in German-occupied Poland. Originally a labor camp, Belzec became a killing center after November 1, 1941 as part of Operation Reinhard. Belzec originally had three gas chambers that used carbon monoxide from a diesel engine. In June 1942, new gas chambers were built. In December 1942, transports to Belzec ceased and the camp shut down. Approximately 600,000 people, mostly Jews, were killed there and buried in mass graves. To destro evidence of their crimes, the Germans ordered the graves opened, the bodies exhumed and cremated, and the ashes buried. The camp was dismantled in spring 1943.
One of the six Polish death camps. Originally used as a Jewish forced-labor camp in 1940, it became an extermination camp after the Wannsee Conference early in 1942. When it ceased operations in January 1943, over 600,000 Jews had been murdered there.