In the middle of September 1941, a decision was taken in the Reich Main Security Office to deport nearly 20,000 Jews from the Third Reich and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and 5,000 Roma and Sinti from Austria (from transit camps located in Burgenland and Styria).
As early as in July 1941, the highest authorities of the Reichsgau Wartheland came up with an idea to concentrate Jews from the whole province in a district ghetto (Gaugetto in Litzmannstadt). A precondition for its implementation was getting rid of ‘unproductive’ Jews by murdering them in a death centre built specially for this purpose in Chełmno-on-Ner. In total, during the so-called deportation actions in 1942, over 70,000 people were transported from the ghetto to Chełmno-on-Ner and murdered.
Further deportations were carried out when the ghetto was liquidated in the middle of 1944. At first, over 7,000 people were sent to Chełmno-on-Ner in June and July. The ghetto was finally liquidated in August 1944, and until the end of that month about 67,000 people were taken from the ghetto to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Most of them were murdered in gas chambers immediately upon arrival.