Glossary beginning with B
- Belzecsearch for term
A killing center in German-occupied Poland. Originally a labor camp, Belzec became a killing center after November 1, 1941 as part of Operation Reinhard. Belzec originally had three gas chambers that used carbon monoxide from a diesel engine. In June 1942, new gas chambers were built. In December 1942, transports to Belzec ceased and the camp shut down. Approximately 600,000 people, mostly Jews, were killed there and buried in mass graves. To destro evidence of their crimes, the Germans ordered the graves opened, the bodies exhumed and cremated, and the ashes buried. The camp was dismantled in spring 1943.
- Bergen-Belsensearch for term
Opened in 1940 as a prisoner-of-war camp, this facility was renamed Stalag 311 in 1941 when it housed approximately 20,000 Soviet POWs, 16,000-18,000 of these prisoners died of epidemics, malnutrition and exposure by 1942. The camp was renamed Bergen-Belsen in April 1943 and then held male and female Jews with foreign passports or visas who might be exchanged for German nationals held abroad. Between March 1944 and early 1945, Bergen-Belsen received prisoners from other camps for possible exchange as well as large numbers of prisoners evacuated from camps in the east. Rapidly deteriorating conditions led to massive epidemics, starvation and the deaths of thousands.
- Bernburgsearch for term
A state psychiatric hospital built in 1875, from 1940 to 1943, Bernburg was one of six state hospitals where the psychiatric and physically disabled as well as many thousands of concentration camp prisoners were killed in gas chambers using carbon monoxide. In Bernburg, more than 5,000 prisoners, mostly Jewish, from concentration camps at Buchenwald, Flossenbürg, Gross-Rosen, Neuengamme, Ravensbrück, and Sachsenhausen were killed under the "special operation 14f13." In 1943, killing was suspended and Bernburg again became nursing home.
- Białystok Ghettosearch for term
Set up by the Germans on 26 July 1941 for more than 40,000 Jewish men, women and children from Białystok and its surroundings; subject to the German civil administration of the Białystok district; organised resistance from November 1942 onwards by the Anti-Fascist Fighting Block; start of the so-called dissolution in the beginning of 1943; 800 persons were murdered on the spot, 10,000 were deported to the death camp of Treblinka; armed uprising by Jewish resistance fighters during the last "dissolution operation" (16 to 20 August 1943); their plan to fight their way through to Puszcza Knyszyńska with a group of ghetto inhabitants did not succeed; survivors were brought to the death camp at Treblinka. The Germans used the former ghetto grounds to resettle the Polish population from Białowieża.
- Book burnings search for term
On May 10, 1933, book burnings occurred in most German university towns, orchestrated by the Nazi German Students' Association. Books by Jewish, left-wing and modernist authors were torched as "un-German." Books by American authors, including Helen Keller, Margaret Sanger, Upton Sinclair, Joseph Conrad, and Ernest Hemingway, were also burned. In the aftermath of the book burnings, many German writers and intellectuals fled in large numbers to safe havens in England, France and the United States.Synonyms: Bücherverbrennung
- Börgermoorsearch for term
The first Emsland camp opened in June 1933 and was marked by especially brutal conditions. In April 1934, the facility was changed into a prison camp for criminals, homosexuals, Sinti and Roma (Gypsies), and those condemned for high treason. In September 1944, 400 Night and Fog prisoners (western European resistance fighters) were deported to these camps.
- Buchenwaldsearch for term
A concentration camp opened in 1937 on the Ettersberg hillside overlooking Weimar, Germany. The first German and Austrian Jewish prisoners arrived in 1938, German and Austrian Gypsy prisoners were deported there after July 1938. During the war, nearly 65,000 of Buchenwald's 250,000 prisoners perished, others died in its more than 130 satellite labor camps. Buchenwald was one of the few major camps where prisoners rebelled in the days preceding liberation by units of the U.S. Army on April 11, 1945.