Chełmno nad Nerem

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Quick Summary

Location
52°06'48"N
018°44'54"E
Country
 Poland
Categories
  • Museums
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Description

Chełmno, often known by its full name Chełmno nad Nerem (pronounced [ˈxɛu̯mnɔ ˌnad ˈnɛrɛm]; meaning Chełmno on the Ner river) is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Dąbie, within Koło County, Greater Poland Voivodeship, in west-central Poland. It lies approximately 19 km (12 mi) south-east of Koło and 135 km (84 mi) east of the regional capital Poznań. The village has a population of 350. It is the location of the Chełmno Extermination Camp Museum (pl) founded in 1994.

The Holocaust Museum

The village, during World War II renamed as German: Kulmhof an der Nehr, is the historic site of the Chełmno extermination camp, operated in 1941–45 by Nazi Germany. In 1987, the Holocaust Museum in Chełmno was established as branch of the District Museum in Konin. The site has been the subject of historical studies for decades, and a lot of preliminary work has already been done between 1961 and 1964; but also, serious mistakes were made at that time, for example, the remnants of the original gas van were not saved.In the 1980s aerial photography was used to map out the precise location of the mass graves, the barracks and the field crematorium. Further archeological studies were conducted, and the foundations of various camp structures were unearthed and preserved, including the Las rzuchowski (Rzuchowski forest) cemetery. They were followed by archival research and interviews with the locals. The construction of the actual museum began in 1988. It was inaugurated on June 17, 1990 along with the newly built Wall of Remembrance 37.5 meters (123 feet) long. The new memorials are still being added to the site. The camp museum is visited by around 50,000 guests annually.
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