Chelmno:  and the Bloodcurdling News

[June 1, 2021]  Seventy-Nine years ago today, the world was to first hear of the systematic, formally authorized extermination of Jews.  Near the small town of Chelmno, a Nazi-operated death camp in Poland, began the gassing of Jews and other “undesirables.”  Sadly, much of the history of the Holocaust is now being lost to indifference and willful ignorance.

At Chelmno, mass gassings were the most orderly and systematic of eliminating Jewry.  There was no thought of selecting out the “fit” from the “unfit” for slave labor, as in Auschwitz.  There was only one goal; extermination.  This was Hitler’s “Final Solution.”

On June 1, 1942, the story of a young Jew, Emanuel Ringelblum was published in the underground Polish Socialist newspaper Liberty Brigade.1  The West now knew the “bloodcurdling news … about the slaughter of Jews” and it had a name … Chelmno.

Seven Jews are known to have escaped from Chelmno.  All worked in the burial detachment.  The Jewish underground movement smuggled the story that the Germans were killing Jews with poison gas at Chelmno via the Polish underground to the West.  An article would appear in the New York Times published on page six of the July 2, 1942 edition.  I couldn’t find the original article.  If readers can find it, I will link to it from my website.

We are fortunate to live in the 21st Century where this level of human depravity does not occur.  There remains great evil in the world but with mass communications it is difficult to hide it for long.  There is a great service that our news media provides, despite it’s collapsing credibility.  There are still a few honest reporters who allow a grain of truth to leak out.

Once evil is discovered, they next step is difficult.  Finding the right people to clearly articulate the danger of this evil, provide a workable solution, and convince us to do something useful about it.  There are several truths.  First, leaders must be able to distinguish between good and evil (not an easy task:.  And second, they must be willing to face that evil.

“The Holocaust was the most evil crime ever committed.” – Stephen Ambrose, American historian

Learning what is evil and what is good, is no longer taught in our schools.  Our young today are told there is no morality, only opinion.  And, of course, we can debate opinions.  This kind of thinking is what will get us into trouble eventually, whether it be by the depravity we inflict upon someone or by another Holocaust.

Chelmno was not that long ago.


Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

11 thoughts on “Chelmno:  and the Bloodcurdling News

  1. Max Foster

    Thanks for keeping us informed about the horrors of the past. Now, it is our job / responsibility to ensure it never happens again. The good thing that I must write at this point – despite the terrible things going on across the world – is that the mass killings of people has come to a slow crawl. But it makes Communism look good (after 100 million killed last century) or Fascism (over 35 million killed last century) … and this excludes war. Imagine what you will if we had these two ideologies working hand in hand.

    1. Doug Smith

      As the first camp to conduct mass executions of Jews, Chelmno introduced the most deadly phase of the Holocaust. Its victims were from the Łódź ghetto and from 36 communities in western Poland.

      1. Don Snow

        …. and we will never know the extent of the massacres that took place there. We should all be exposed to it so that we never forget what Nazism and communism does to populations they consider ‘undesirable.’ Just like the fascist news media of today.

        1. Maureen S. Sullivan

          I too believe the news media is fascists. They fully support antifa and blm, which are both fascist organizations with evil people intent on destroying the USA and the West.

  2. Billy Kenningston

    Another fine piece. We can learn from history, IF TAUGHT PROPERLY. Yet, that has always been the problem. We teach dates and locations but not lessons and why those lessons matter.

  3. Tom Bushmaster

    Very fitting article on the role of the media and we can also say, with much confidence, they also hide other atrocities. Good example, is the Israeli – Hamas battles.

    1. Harry Donner

      Correct, the media now plays one side and that is to gain political power itself without regard to the damage it does to the social frabric of our nation.

    2. Greg Heyman

      Well said, Tom. And, of course, spot on. The evil of Hamas and their ilk is legendary, yet the news outlets treat them as a godsend to ‘help’ the world. Why are they upside down on this issue? I wonder if they are in the media, just a bunch of marxists without scruples.


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