Killing Centers

Holocaust (January 30, 1933 - May 8, 1945)

Zyklon B

This product was used to in the Holocaust to kill millions of people in gas chambers. It is a cyanide-based pesticide invented in Germany in the early 1920's. Hydrogen cyanide, a poisonous gas that interferes with cellular respiration, was first used as a pesticide in California in the 1880's. The first test using Zyklon B was done in 1941 on 250 sick prisoners.

Gas Chambers

After the Jews had died in the gas chamber, Auschwitz commandant's men would wait ten minutes before entering and removing the bodies. In the largest gas chambers, they installed ventillation systems that could completely recycle the air in under five minutes. At Auschwitz they dropped the Zyklon B through holes in the ceiling. Not every killed them in the exact same way.
KILLING CENTER Auschwitz through the lens of the SS - USHMM.ORG

The Different Killing Centers

Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka

  • The first killing center was Chelmno, which opened December 1941.
  • Mostly Jews, but also Roma were gassed in mobile gas vans there.
  • In 1942, the natzis opened the Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka killing centers soo they could then kill all the Jews of Poland.
  • Aproximately 1.5 million were killed during this time.


  • Almost all that arrived at this camp were sent to be gassied, only a small amount were used for work teams.
  • This was the largest killing center, which had four gas chambers by spring 1943.
  • Up to 6,000 Jews were gassed every day


  • This camp was known for the storage place for the valuables taken from the Jewish victims at the Killing Centers.

    • It was said to be the 6th Killing Center
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