Monday, February 6, 2012



The first deportation train from the Warsaw Ghetto reached Treblinka  with a total of 5,000 people on 23 July 1942. The Pole Franciszek Zabecki was an eye-witness:.. "A small locomotive was waiting at the station in order to shunt the first section of freight cars into the camp. Everything was planned in advance and prepared The train consisted of 60 sealed freight cars loaded with people: Young and old men and women, children and infants. The wagon doors were locked from the outside and the air vents blocked and covered with barbed wire. On the running boards on both sides and on the roof stood or were crouching approximately a dozen SS-soldiers with machine guns at the ready. It was hot, and most people in the wagons were dead tired ... as the train approached, it seemed as if an evil spirit seized the waiting SS-men, they drew their pistols, put them back into the holster and pulled them out again, as if they were ready to shoot and wanted to kill,  they approached the wagons and tried to calm the noise and the crying , but then they screamed at the Jews and cursed them, and they hurried all the time the railway workers to be quicker. >Tempo, schneller '< Then they returned to the camp to accept the deportees in the reception center."

The Stroop Report.

The cover page of The Stroop Report with International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg markings.
In January 1943, Heinrich Himmler visited the Warsaw Ghetto, where tens of thousands of Jews still remained after having been concentrated there for the last three years. He ordered it cleaned out. SS-Brigadeführer (Major-General) Jürgen Stroop was assigned this task and took his military troops to fight the starving Jews. The operation began in April 1943.This operation was unlike most others performed against the Jews for several reasons. Those who remained in the ghetto knew their cause was hopeless, as they had witnessed hundreds of thousands sent to their deaths since July 1942. They fought back with great determination. They lacked for military weapons but, mostly with improvised explosives and the few rifles they had, managed to delay Stroop's operation for four weeks and to kill many Germans in the process.
Stroop commemorated his successful "murder expedition" by producing a 75-page book, plus 50 pages of photographs, about the event. Consisting largely of telegrams about the operation, this book is a very important historical record. The so-called "Stroop Report" has never had its authenticity challenged.
The telegrams on four particular days reveal facts about Treblinka, however, which many may prefer to ignore. Its T-II camp, where the exterminations took place, is explicitly identified as the destination for the "liquidation" and "destruction" of captured Jews.
The last mass exterminations at Treblinka took place after an uprising of the Jewish prisoners in August 1943, and the last equipment was dismantled by the remaining Jews (who were then shot) that November.

Two Askaris (i.e. Soviets in German service) peer into a doorway past the bodies of Jews killed during the suppression of the uprising. Stroop Report original caption: "Askaris used during the operation.
The original German caption reads: "Forcibly pulled out of dug-outs". Captured Jews are led by German soldiers to the assembly point for deportation. Picture taken at Nowolipie street looking East, near intersection with Smocza street. On the right townhouse at Nowolipie 63 further the ghetto wall with a gate. On the left burning balcony of the townhouse Nowolipie 66.

April 25, 1943:
 In total, 1690 Jews were captured alive. According to stories from the Jews, there have definitely also been parachutists dropped here and bandits who have been supplied weapons from an unknown location. 274 Jews were shot, and as on other days, uncounted Jews were buried alive in the blown-up bunkers and, as near as can be determined, burned. With today's bounty of Jews, a very large portion of the bandits and lowest elements of the Ghetto has, in my opinion, been captured. Immediate liquidation was not carried out due to the onset of darkness. I will attempt to obtain a train for T II for tomorrow, otherwise the liquidations will be carried out tomorrow 

Photo from Nowolipie Street. In the back one can see (from the left) townhouses at Nowolipie 32 (fragment), 30 and 28. Possibly second from right is Josef Blösche. Stroop report original caption: "Jewish Rabbis"
Surrounded by heavily armed guards,SS-Brigadeführer Jürgen Stroop (center) watches housing blocks burn. SDRottenführer at right is possibly Josef Blösche
April 26, 1943:
At this time there are no more captured Jews in Warsaw. The previously mentioned transport to T.II was successful.

Picture taken at Nowolipie street, between Smocza and Karmelicka street. On the right visible building at Nowolipie 34. Stroop Report original caption: "Smoking out the Jews and Bandits".
German sentries with a Maschinengewehr 08 machine gun at one of the gates to the ghetto. Original Caption read "Measures for covering a street."
May 13, 1943:
The few Jews and criminals still remaining in the ghetto have for 2 days used the refuges available in the ruins in order to go back to their well-known bunkers at night, and there to eat and supply themselves for the next day. No evidence on further bunkers known to them can be obtained from the captured Jews. The rest of the inhabitants, where the fire fight took place, were destroyed by the strongest explosive charges. From a Wehrmacht operation 327 Jews were captured today. These captured Jews will only be sent to T.II.

Stroop Report original caption: "A patrol." SS men on Nowolipie street of Warsaw Ghetto during the uprising. Buildings in the image from the right: Nowolipie 50a, then 52, 54 and wall of the townhouse nr. 56.
May 24, 1943:
Of the overall total of 56,065 captured Jews, about 7,000 have been destroyed in the course of the large-scale action in the former Jewish living quarter. 6,929 Jews were destroyed by transport to T. II, so that overall, 13,929 Jews were destroyed. It is estimated that, in addition to the number of 56,065, 5 - 6,000 Jews were destroyed by explosions and fire.
In this last entry, the most explicit, I have translated the German word "vernichtet" as "destroyed." It is incidentally the same word used to refer to the destruction of bunkers. Other acceptable translations would be "exterminated" or "annihilated." There is no doubt as to its meaning.sic]

Photo from Jürgen Stroop's report to Heinrich Himmler from May 1943 and one of the best-known pictures of World War II. The original German caption reads: "Forcibly pulled out of dug-outs". The boy in the picture might be Tsvi Nussbaum, who survived the Holocaust.
Alleged Jewish fighters. Stroop Report original caption: "Women captured with arms." (Other versions of caption read "He-Chaluts women captured with arms" and "Armed hags of the Haluzzen movement captured!". Jewish resistance women, among them Malka Zdrojewicz (right), who survived Majdanek extermination camp.
The tension and nervousness (or do you call the behavior of the SS, lust for murder and hatred of Jews?) Contrasting to the impression of the place, with billboards and signs that should give you the illusion of a transit camp. The new arrivals saw a hut, the outer front was converted into a station building, and signs that  read and  proclaimed in Polish and German instructions and the deceptions:> Attention Warsaw Jews! You find yourself here in a transit camp, from which you will be taken onward to travel into a labor camp. For the prevention of diseases both clothes and bags, you are to leave them behind for disinfection. Gold, money, currency and jewelry are handed over against a receipt and returned  once again. For Body Cleansing, all new arrivals have to bathe before further transports. For the staging of this illusory station> Treblinka-Obermajdan<i included timetables and direction and destinations.
Richard Glazar, who on October 10, arrived in 1942 in Treblinka and was recruited from Theresienstadt as a "working Jew",and lived there until the uprising August 1943 in the camp, these are the events he describes of the arrival of a shipment in Treblinka: "Before the entrance at the gate on the single line railway track on the branch line a certain number of wagons were detached. Sometimes these cattle wagons held up to five hundred, sometimes there were a lot more people crammed into them, the locomotive pushed the wagons slowly through the gate, then it was a matter of sliding the wagon doors open for the disembarking and what I have personally experienced:.. >Everybody out, schneller, vorwärts, take your hand luggage, leave heavy luggage behind, it will be replaced later<. Around the access ramp are a mass of people that are taken to the Undressing Area (Entkleidungsplatz). This is the green fenced-in place (Platz), where they had to strip naked for the "disinfection-bath." The naked women with children are then lead to the main  hairdressing parlor, where their hair is cut. From women's hair it is understood that  seals,(gaskets) are to be be made for engines. [rather unlikely story sic]. The men also moved out naked and must now move  the  hand luggage, which they brought with them, stack them in the corner of the undressing place which is next  to the sorting site. The SS-men,  then drove them forward in a running pace (Laufschritt). The lungs breathe harder, and it goes then quickly into the gas chambers. All of them together, the shaven women with children and the panting men, they hurry them later through the 'tube'(Schlauch) into the second part of the camp. The tube is a narrow lane of barbed wire, which is reminiscent of the "Schleuse", a narrow entrance, through which wild animals in the circus ring are guided.. The alley, however, is long and stretches into an arc, and they can not see out or even into it . The barbed wires are braided with green pine branches. On the border between the two parts of the camp is the "Cashiers Office" installed and located in a simple shack, the> little box office<. At this "little box office", a  tiny Holzbude), at the counter they must deposit all their documents, watches and jewelry. Here, their personality is taken away, and further on their nameless life".
The fate of the deported Jews to Treblinka was sealed after their arrival within a few hours. From the " railway station" they were rushed into a fenced yard of barbed wire ("transport" or "hub"), which was flanked by two barracks. In the left side barrack, women and children had to strip themselves naked, the right hut served as a changing room for men only at the beginning, but later on they had to undress in the open ( the barrack was then used as a sorting room for clothes and storage facility). On the women's side of the barrack started the 80-90 Meter long road to the death camp, the "tube" (Schlauch), which was also called "Ascension Avenue" or "path of no return".

The tube, (Schlauch) was 4.5 to 5 meters wide, and made an almost right-angled bend, which only allowed a view of the camp II until the last moment and enabled the blocking of access of large crowds if necessary. The road ended in front of the entrance of the new gas building The tube "Schlauch" was surrounded about a 2 meter high barbed wire fence interwoven with pine branches which limited any vision.  In the new as well as the old gas houses, the only buildings that had concrete foundations with brick masonry within the camp, were the exhaust gases of a diesel engine was used as the murder weapon. The old gas building contained three gas chambers, each 4 x 4 meters wide and 2.6 meters tall, and stood next to the engine room, a wooden corridor was built to give access. The gas chambers were tiled and had pipes and should (actually gas flowed through them) had given the Illusion with the shower heads in the ceiling of a genuine shower room.

Treblinka: View of the Reception Camp, the undressing barracks, the sorting site and the ramp. In the center of the sorting site accumulated clothing and belongings of the dead. (Drawing by Samuel Willenberg).

The "new gas house" had a corridor in the center and on both sides the ten gas chambers were located. The building was decorated with a cynical Star of David on the pediment above the entrance, potted plants trimmed the final journey of the victims, and five steps leading in front of the entrance. At the corridor hung a curtain from a synagogue with the Hebrew writing "This is the gate through which the righteous go." The engine room was at the end of the building.

[During the first stage, three gas chambers were in operation, each of them, much like those in Sobibor,4 x 4 m. in size and 2.6 m. high. A diesel engine producing poisonous carbon monoxide, as well as a generator which supplied the whole camp with electricity, were housed in a built-on room. The entrance doors of the gas chambers opened into a passage in front of the building; each door was 1.8 m. high and 90 cm. wide. They could be hermetically closed and bolted from the outside. Inside each gas chamber, opposite the entrance door, was a thick door made of wooden beams, 2.5 m. high and 1.8 m. wide, which could also be hermetically closed. The walls in the gas chambers were covered with white tiles up to a certain height, shower heads had been installed, and water pipes ran along the ceiling--all this so as to maintain the "showers" fiction. In reality the pipes conducted the poisonous gas into the chambers.
This killing process differed significantly from the process at Auschwitz and Majdanek, where the poisonous gas Zyklon B was used. At Sobibor and Belzec, exhaust fumes from petrol engines was used. The victims died from suffocation and carbon monoxide poisoning. This also means that, frequently, victims were not completely dead as a result of the exhaust. The few prisoners who had worked in the Sonderkommandos and survived the camp later testified that victims frequently let out a final gasp of breath from their lungs when they were extracted from the gas chambers.sic]

                  The victims may have had no more illusions as to their fate when they arrived at the end of the tube(Schlauch). In any case, what had happened to them until then, they broke out  in panic. The survivor Abraham Goldfarb described it: "On the way to the gas chambers stood Germans with dogs on both sides of the fence, the dogs were trained to attack humans, they bit the men in the genitals and the women's breasts and tore out pieces of flesh. The Germans beat them with whips and iron bars, so that the "shower" was quickly  crowded. The women's screams could be heard up into the other Camp areas. The Germans drove the running victims with calls such as: "Faster, faster, the water is cold, and others must also get under the shower, [as most inmates were Polish they would not have understood the abuse, only the meaning of the shouting. sic] To escape the beatings, the victims ran  faster as they could, to the gas chambers, where the strong pushed the weak aside. At the entrance to the gas chamber stood the two Ukrainians Ivan Demjanjuk and Nikolaj (12), the one with the iron rod, the other armed with a sword. Thus, they drove the people into chambers ..... Once the gas chambers were full, the Ukrainians closed the doors and started the machine. 20-25 minutes later an SS man or an Ukrainian looked through a window in the door. When they realized that they were all suffocated inside, a Jewish prisoners had to open the doors and commenced extracting the bodies, since the chambers were overcrowded and the victims had touched against each other, they all stood upright and were like an entire meat block (13)
Ref: (12) According to the findings of American and Israeli courts the Trawinki-man, was "Ivan the Terrible," who did the gas chamber services, not Ivan Demjanjuk,but an Ukrainian, Ivan Marchenko. The other murder assistant was Nikolaj Schalajew. [Demjanjuk was stripped of his US Citizenship twice and tried again in Germany, to my understanding, due to his poor health he is out on bail, and is living at the time of writing in Munich, awaiting the pleasure of the courts.sic]
Ref: (13) references cited in the report YAY. by: Kogon e.g. Nazi mass killings, Page 181

[After the suffocation of the victims in the gas chamber, when the doors of the gas chamber were opened, "the disfigured, bitten prisoners, with ears torn off, lay on top of each other in the most varied posture." The bodies were initially buried in large mass graves; in a later stage of the camp's operation, they were burned on open-air grids made of concrete pillars and railway tracks. Sometimes, the people were not dead and began to revive in the fresh air, especially pregnant women. They were shot by the guards and burned like the others. Some 800–1,000 bodies were burned at the same time, and would burn for five hours. The incinerator operated 24 hours a day.
The killing centers(like Treblinka)had no other function, unlike concentration camps, in which prisoners were used as forced labor for the German war effort. In order to prevent incoming victims from realizing their fate, the camp was disguised as a railway station, complete with train schedules, posters of destinations, and what appeared to be a working clock (in reality, a prisoner would move the hands to the approximate time before each convoy arrived) The camp and the process of mass murder is described by Vasily Grossman, a military reporter serving in the Red Army, in his work " A Hell Called Treblinka", which was used as evidence and distributed at the Nuremberg Trials.sic]

The dogs of Treblinka are mentioned in many accounts of survivors, in particular, this single animal, a St. Bernard-mix named Barry, who in late 1942 early 1943, was brought to Treblinka from Sobibor. Commander Franz had Barry on patrols with him, and rushed with the command "man, touch the dog" on detainees, at which the great calf size animal would bite into its victim. During the first Treblinka Trial, the court spent considerable time and engaged an expert in Dog Behavior the Director of the Max-Plank Institute. The dog was obviously so under the dominance of Kurt Franz, that he identified himself, even without explicit instruction with its sadistic intentions. Outside the influence of Franz the dog was meek ​​and friendly. After the liquidation of the Treblinka camp he was given to the chief physician at the military hospital at Ostrow  where he did no harm to any one. [Barry usually slept under the office desk of the doctor, due to his old age he was put to "sleep" in 1947.sic]

Following web site: "The Nazis: The Road to Treblinka" is a video in five parts and includes graphic images of execution and may disturb some readers.

                                                                             Continued under Part 3

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