Reconstruction of Belzec
4.2 Fencing and Security
The topic of the fencing at Belzec is addressed separately because the findings cast light on the methods of operation of the camp as well as the intent of the SS for Reinhard in the longer term.
Figure 4.2.1, provides a summary of the fencing system used at Belzec -
Camp I, (green) is single wired, except for the interior portion of the receiving section (dark green), which forms a separately enclosed, double wired, section. The ramp is anomalous, but there could have been a second enclosing wire along the south siding. but no postholes or other signs could be discovered in the photography.
Four places where guard towers were emplaced were discovered. they are indicated by the green squares. Figure 4.2.2 presents
The fact that steps were taken to expand Belzec is derived from the anomalous fencing running to the east-southeast and by the two tower signatures in the same location. One can see that if the area for graves in Camp II were either full, or one anticipated its filling up, room for expansion only existed to the east. At the same time, this expansion would also entail moving the guard tower more to the east so as to keep the new grave area in front of a guard‘s field of view.
The expansion was evidently cancelled and the camp liquidated before the enlargement was completed.
In Figure 4.2.4 is seen a number of fence lines annotated onto an aerial photograph. This has been done on the basis of two manifestations
In Figure 4.2.5, the traces of former fence lines in the extermination area are manifested by very subtle darkening of a mottled background
A final conclusion can be formulated in passing: The retention of so many clues to the configuration of Belzec’s fencing system could only occur if the ground was relatively undisturbed between the time when killing operations ceased, and after all the components of the installation were destroyed or removed. Any earth smoothing or plowing would have erased the traces of the most perishable signs of the previous usage. There is no sign of the planting of lupines or trees as reportedly was done at Treblinka. It appears that a small part of the camp was used by the German National Railroad system (the Reichbahn). A large building was put up, on the site of the torn down SS garage, and several vehicles can be seen parked near it in May 1944 aerial photographs. No security fencing is visible. A brief discussion of Belzec between its dissolutiion as an extermination center and the arrival of th Red Army is contained in the final section 5.0 - Epilogue.
Last modified: February 12, 2008