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Presentation box for spoons recovered at Belzec killing center

Object | Accession Number: 1998.48.3

Modern presentation box for two silver-colored metal spoons that were recovered on the site of Belzec killing center, and presented to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1998 by the Polish Government. In 1941, construction of the killing center began on the site of a former labor camp in southeastern German-occupied Poland. Construction was completed in the winter of 1942 and operations commenced on March 17, 1942. The killing center, and two others, Sobibor and Treblinka II were built for Operation Reinhard, a code name for the plan to kill the two million Jews who resided in specific areas of German-occupied Poland. Prisoners arrived by train and were forced to hand over their possessions, which were sorted and transported back to Germany for redistribution. With the exception of the few selected for labor, incoming prisoners were gassed upon arrival. In October 1942, Jewish laborers were forced to exhume the mass graves and burn the bodies in the open-air on top of old railroad tracks. By June of 1943, the camp was dismantled. The Germans then ploughed and built a manor on the site, disguising the killing center as a farm. Approximately 450,000 Jews were killed from March to December 1942. In 1995, the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and the Polish government arranged for American donors to contribute half the funds for the creation of a memorial on the site of the camp. Prior to construction, archaeologists conducted excavations at the site between 1997 and 1999.

received:  1998 July 09
received: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.; Washington (D.C.)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Polish Government
Record last modified: 2021-12-10 07:34:26
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