Gas Vans

By: Shannon Lambert

What were Gas Vans?

The Germans first began experimenting with gas vans in 1941, as a way to successfully execute mass killings after they invaded the Soviet Union. The gas vans are a special product of the Third Reich. The use of gas vans developed through SS brigadefuhrer Artur Nebe, Commander of Einsatzgruppe B. The vans took use when Einsatzgruppen members complained of fatigue after fighting for long hours. The Germans concluded that gas vans were, at the time, the quickest and most successful way to kill "the enemy". Victims had to undress and enter the van. To calm the victims they would put on a light for a few minutes. Then the driver would switch on the motor, which would then begin producing enough carbon monoxide to kill every victim in the van. After the screaming and pounding stopped, the driver started to drive to the crematorium site. The Jewish men who were not permitted to go in the gas chambers had to clear out the bodies and cremate them. Gas vans used the exhaust from the motor that would follow into the cabin where the people were placed. The vans were supplied to the Einsatzgruppen and to the Chelmno death camps in November-December of 1941. These gassing facilities were designed to make the job of killing of large amounts of people easier for the Nazi's in occupied territories of the Soviet Union in carrying out their killing operations. In total about 500,00-600,000 were killed through gas vans.
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This picture shows what the outside of the van looked like. It's not very approachable, very depressing.
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This image represents the first time Hitler used the gas in a mass murder on November 15, 1939
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This imagine shows what the inside of a gas van looked like. Dirty, cramped, dark.
The Nazi Gas Chambers
At the beginning of this video, it shows how the gas vans worked and how effective they were in killing mass amounts of people. It shows how Jews were forced into the vans by Nazi's against their will, and if they didn't go in the van do be killed they'd shoot them right there with the gun had pointed at them, so either way, they were going to die, there was no way out of it. It further goes into explaining other methods of how the Germans were able to kill so many, one of which was very similar to gas vans. As the Germans became more educated, they further developed the van into a chamber, where they were able to kill more amounts of people at once. Gas chambers created the same affect just in more efficient way, which made the Germans happy and gained them even more power.