Between 17 March and 8 December 1942
more than 200,000 Jews from the Galicia
district were deported to the death camp in Belzec
. They were shipped to death in
Most Jews were deported in August
(80,000) and September
During the liquidation of the ghettos in Galicia district thousands of Jews were
executed on the spot. Most of the killed people in the ghettos were old or sick
people and babies - all who could not join the transport.
The first wave of deportations from Galicia was organized in March / April 1942
Most of the victims came from the
. These frist deportations
called "actions against the people not able to work". The ghetto Jews were informed
that it is just a resettlement to work camps. The deportees were allowed to carry
25 kg luggage and 200 Zloties. In many small ghettos, for example in
, after the selections
of people being able to work, all
others were shot on the spot. In Stanislawow
Jews were killed together with patients
of the mental home. Already at that time people in many ghettos knew about the horrible
activities at Belzec
The next wave of deportations was organized in Galicia district in summer and in
In many cases it was the total liquidation of the small ghettos in this region.
The deportation trains to Belzec
mainly young men were selected for work at the
work camp. All others re-entered the train to
Historians estimate that about 25% of the transported people have already died when the
trains arrived at Belzec
. All "actions" in the ghettos were very cruel and bloody.
Hundreds of people were killed on their way to the trains or assembly points.
An impressive example for this kind of "resettlement" is the "action" in the
ghetto, organized on 31 August 1942
"In the early morning, groups of Ordnungsdienst, Schupo, policemen and
Ukrainian police surrounded the ghetto. At the same time other units of these troops, together with the staff
of Außendienststelle Tarnopol threw the
overtired Jews out of their homes and drove
them to the assembly points. There the victims had to sit many hours in the summer heat.
The guards beat and shot the Jews whenever they noticed a single movement. The people had
to sit together very narrow, preparing space for the next victims. Especially the children
suffered from thirst. At noon the people were ordered to the railway station, by foot or
on trucks. This action was finished in the evening. Many dead bodies covered the assembly
place, mostly shot by guards. Finally 100 or even more people were squeezed into each
cattle car. The bodies of killed or unconscious people were added and then the doors were
locked.The conditions in the wagons were unbelievable: no food, no ventilation, no space for moving.
After a one day journey they arrived at the death camp in Belzec where they
were killed in its gas chambers. Only those survived, who successfully managed to escape from the train or
were selected in Lviv for the Janowska
work camp. More than 1,500 Jews from Tarnopol lost their lifes during
The last transports from Galicia district were sent on 8 December 1942
. The remaining
Jews in many Galician ghettos and work camps survived only until summer 1943
. Most of them
were shot during the final liquidation of the ghettos and camps, some groups were deported to the
A. Kruglov: Deportacja ludnosci zydowskiej z dystryktu Galicja do obozu zaglady w Belzcu
(Deportation of the Jewish Population from Galicia District to the Death Camp in Belzec in 1942).
In: Bulletin of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, No. 3(151), 1989.
J. Kielbon: Migracje ludnosci w dystrykcie lubelskim w latach 1939-1944
(Migrations of the
People in Lublin District in 1939-1944), Lublin 1995.
G. Taffet: Zaglada Zydow zolkiewskich
(Annihilation of Zolkiew's Jews), Lodz 1946.
T. Sandkühler: "Endlösung" in Galizien. Der Judenmord in Ostpolen und die
Rettungsinitiativen von Berthold Beitz 1941-1944
, Bonn 1996.
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