Reconstruction of Belzec

4.5 - The SS Billeting Area

The German staff of Belzec had their living and messing quarters about half a kilometer northwest of the camp. The location relative to the extermination camp is shown in Overview Figure 4.0.2 Their billets were on the west side of the Lemburg Road, directly across the railroad tracks from the locomotive roundhouse (see Figure 4.1.1 and Figure 4.1.2).
Figure 4.5.1 shows the SS billeting area in detail. The site was likely commandeered from its original Polish owners. The inset photograph reveals that in 1940, there were two houses, one with a formal walled garden. The latter became the Belzec Commandantís residence, where Christian Wirth and then Gottleib Herring lived. The other house is believed to have been converted into a combination of day room and officerís quarters. This conclusion is based on the presence of a large barracks building (annotation 1 in Figure 4.5.1), which was probably built by the Germans to replace a smaller prewar structure on the same site (cf., inset). The size of this building, 28 x 11.6 meters, would be large enough to house 20 NCOs in private rooms and 40 if they doubled up.

Figure 4.5.2 is a modern picture of the former Commandantís house. In the background is the other house. To the right is the location of the garden seen on the WWII aerial photos, which appears to still be devoted to this use.

A nearly identical view of this house was taken in 1942 (see Figure 4.5.3). In that picture, the SS contingent is posed in formation before the house, and in the back of the barracks buildings.

Index
Next