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Chelmno (aka Kulmhof)



Eastern Poland, 37.5 miles from Łódź, Poland’s second largest city

Original use:

Manorial estate


December 1941 – July 1944

Operated by:

German Schutzstaffel (SS)


SS Hauptsturmführer Herbert Lange
(September 1939 – February 1942)

SS Hauptsturmführer Hans Bothmann
(March 1942 – April 1943)

SS Untersturmführer Walter Filer - deputy to Bothmann

SS Untersturmführer Alois Häfele - oversaw all activities

SS Hauptscharführer Albert Richter - division commander

SS Hauptscharführer Wilhelm Lenz - chief woods commando

SS Hauptscharführer Johann Runge - oversaw the crematoria operations

SS Unterscharführer Erich Kretschmer - deputy to Runge

SS Hauptscharführer Erwin Burstinger – in charge of keeping the gas vans fueled

SS Hauptscharführer Gustav Laabs - driver of the gas vans

SS Hauptscharführer Herman Gilow - driver of the gas vans

SS Unterscharführer Walter Burmeister - driver of the gas vans

SS Rottenführer Wilhelm Gürlich - deputy to Burmeister

Estimated deaths:

At least 153,000; mainly Poles and Jews from the Łódź ghetto and the surrounding area, along with Gypsies from Greater Poland and some Hungarian Jews, Czechs and Soviet prisoners of war


Camp destroyed and evacuated by Nazis in July 1944 as the Soviet Army approached; remaining prisoners transported to Auschwitz

Chelmno photos


chelmno 1941


Chelmno death van invoice


Chelmno goodbye






chelmno memorial