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Railroad switch stand with a signal lantern from Sobibor railroad station

Object | Accession Number: 1990.291.3 a-d

Railroad switch stand with a signal lantern, weighted arm, and base used at the railroad station in Sobibor, Poland, before and during World War II. When the weighted arm is lifted, a section of track, the switch, is pulled and shifts into a different position. This simultaneously turns the lantern to display a signal window that corresponds to the switch position. In 1941, German authorities began preparations for Operation Reinhard, the systematic extermination of all Jews living in German occupied Poland. In March 1942, SS and police authorities began construction of Sobibor killing center, the second of three such facilities. The center was built in a wooded area near the town of Sobibor, along a spur of the existing Chelm-Wlodawa rail line. In May, regular train transports of Jewish people from German occupied regions began arriving at the center. The prisoners were herded off the trains and forced into a receiving area where they were stripped of their possessions, forced to undress, and pushed into rooms labeled as showers where they were killed with poison gas. In November 1943, the guards shot the remaining prisoners and dismantled the killing center. It is estimated that between 200,000 and 250,000 Jews were murdered at Sobibor.

use:  after 1900-before 1946
use: Sobibor (Poland)
Tools and Equipment
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Polish Railroad Authority
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:20:30
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