SS Guards stand in formation behind outside the commandant's house in the Belzec death camp. Pictured (in the front row from right to left) are: SS Rottenfuehrer Heinrich Barbl and Wachtmeister Artur Dachsel; (second row) SS Hauptscharfuehrer Lorenz Hackenholt, Ernst Zierke, Karl Gringers (front), and Fritz Tauscher (second from the left).
In early 1940 the Germans set up a forced labor camp for Jewish prisoners in Belzec. The inmates were employed in the building of fortifications and the digging of anti-tank ditches along the demarcation line between Germany and Soviet-occupied Poland. The camp was closed down at the end of 1940. The following year, in November 1941, construction began on the Belzec death camp.USHMM