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Christian Wirth, the commander of Bełżec and Inspector of Operation Reinhard, arrived in Sobibór to witness one of the gassings, with about 30–40 Jewish women from the Krychów camp brought in for this purpose.
The Krychów camp was the main branch of the new complex.It was set up at a former Polish correctional centre and was the largest of the 16 forced labour camps of the Nisko Plan.During the revolt of 14 October 1943, about 600 prisoners tried to escape; about half succeeded in crossing the fence, of whom around 50 evaded capture.Shortly after the revolt, the Germans closed the camp, bulldozed the earth, and planted it over with pine trees to conceal its location.The camp was part of the secretive Operation Reinhard, which marked the deadliest phase of the Holocaust in German-occupied Poland.
The camp was situated near the rural county's major town of Włodawa (called Wolzek by the Germans), 85 km south of the provincial capital, Brest-on-the-Bug (Brześć nad Bugiem in Polish).
Its official German name was SS-Sonderkommando Sobibór. At the postwar trial against the former SS personnel of Sobibór, held in Hagen two decades into the Cold War, Professor Wolfgang Scheffler estimated the number of murdered Jews totalled a minimum of 250,000.
This would make it the fourth worst extermination camp, after Bełżec, Treblinka, and Auschwitz.
Soon after that, the heavy concentration of Jews in the area was discussed by the Nazi officials at the October 1941 meeting in occupied Lublin, attended by Hans Frank, Ernst Boepple, and Odilo Globocnik among others, proposing the creation of a new order.
Sobibór was located 145 kilometres (90 mi) from Bełżec, less than a three-hour drive away.
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