It was active from December 8th 1941 to March 1943 and then again from June 1944 to January 1945. It is difficult to give an exact figure but estimates of 340,000 innocent people were murdered there.
After arriving by cattle cart, the victims were forced to strip naked and herded into the back of trucks and sealed in. The exhaust fumes were then redirected into the truck and the people inside were gassed. This horrendous, painful process happened as they were driven to pre-prepared mass graves. During the second stage of operation their bodies were burned in furnaces.
Quite simply, it was a devastating place to be. All around you, you imagine the innocent, terrified people not knowing what was happening to them as they were being led to their deaths. We saw plaque after plaque that had been put up next to the furnaces from family members commemorating their relatives who had been murdered there. It was heart breaking to see the human devastation.
We were angry again today, we were angry that all these people were murdered in the first place. We were angry that there is nothing that we can do to bring them back and we are angry that people allow it to happen still, (this may turn into a bit of a rant, apologies in advance) - it is absurd that so many people live their lives without a real thought for those around them. We recounted times in our lives or instances that we have seen people blinded to the pain they are causing others. So many people are careless and just float along with society. People need to understand they are responsible for whatever choices they make. Chelmno was the end point in the story of prejudice and we just have to stop this story, once and for all.
We are sorry for ranting but seeing these sites first hand is shocking and we hope that we are conveying everything we feel to you, as best we can.