In a small Polish village, the "final solution of the Jewish question" commenced with the establishment in December 1941 of the first camp built for the sole purpose of extermination, at Chełmno nad Nerem (Chełmno on the Ner River). Whole communities of victims were gassed here day after day. Located 60 km (37 miles) northwest of Łódź, and connected by a railway annex to the town of Kolo 14 km away (8.5 miles), it was not difficult to transport people without attracting much outside attention.
In mid-January 1942, the first Jews were deported from the Łódź Ghetto to the camp. Deportations and gassing continued until March 1943, when the final solution ceased for a while at Chełmno. It was re-established a year later to assist with the liquidation of the Łódź ghetto. On June 23, 1944, the transports of Jews from the Łódź ghetto began again and continued until July 15, 1944. These final killings now occurred in the forest camps. Victims were brought from the ghetto either by train to Kolo or by truck directly to Chełmno, where they spent the night in the Chełmno church. Vans then carried groups of 150 to the site in the forest the next day. Two new wooden huts were built, one similar to the dressing room at the Castle and the other for clothing and personal belongings. A similar pattern of deception was followed for the victims here. They were told they were heading for the bath houses and forced then into the trucks where they were gassed. Then they were driven to a nearby clearing and the corpses burned in two new crematoria only 150 meters (about 164 yards) away.
In 1944, 10,000 people were murdered here, including the 7,169 Łódź ghetto Jews listed in this database. It is estimated that a final total of 340,000 men, women, and children, were killed at Chełmno, at the average rate of 1,000 a day. One source states 60,000 Łódź Jews were killed at Chełmno; another source reports 77,867 Łódź ghetto Jews gassed at this extermination camp.
About This Database:
The database contains the names of 7,169 individuals from Łódź who were transferred to the death camp at Chełmno. This collection includes data from 260 pages of transport registers between June and August 1944.
The fields of the database are as follows:
- Transport Date
- Record Number
- Transport Number
- Given Name
- Year of Birth / Age
The information contained in this database was indexed from the files of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum [Rg-15.083M Reel 305, Section 1309]. Originals are located at the Polish State Archives, Łódź Branch.