Friday, February 17, 2012


None of the perpetrators of Treblinka were made responsible or had to appear before a court of the country in which they committed their crimes, because the staff of "Aktion Reinhardt" in late 1943 had been transferred with Odilo Globocnik at it's head to northern Italy. Globocnik committed suicide in British captivity, the "Inspector of the extermination camps" Christian Wirth was killed in May 1944 by partisans in the area of ​​Trieste. Against  Glibocnik's, Staff member Ernst Lerch, and against the squad leader SS Sturmbannführer Hermann Höfle, both of which came from Austria, as was Globocnik,  the Austrian Authorities traced them at the beginning of the 1960s. Höfle, hanged himself on 21 August 1962 in a Viennese prison, Lerch was arrested in 1971 in Klagenfurt, but his case was dropped.
 As far as the Polish Authorities were concerned,  they believed that there was insufficient evidence to identify any individual of the Staff of the extermination camp Treblinka and the prospect of a successful prosecution was doubtful and did not pursue  the subject any further. (36)
Reference (36) Rückel,NS-Vernichtungslager, page 331
Treblinka was mentioned during the Nürnberg War Crimes Tribunal, but only as a side issue in comparison of the murder of Jews at Auschwitz. From the Polish and Sowjet side, they presented eyewitnesses who did describe the method of Gassings, at the same time it showed as well, how little was known of past activities during the period of the post-war years. One witness  told  the Polish Investigation Commission, that not only Gas was used for murdering, another second method was applied: In special boilers, steam was produced which was used-at least temporarily-to kill Jews.
During sentencing of Hans Frank, the German Generalgouverneur in Poland, Treblinka (as well as Majdanek) had been pointed out as places of mass murder, the other Extermination Camps on Polish Territory,  Chemno, Bezec and Sobibor were not mentioned.(37)
Reference(37)IMT Vol I page282f and 334f
During an investigation in July 1946 at Frankfurt am Main into the killing of disabled people at the Hadamar Euthanasia Institution, the locksmith, Josef Hirtreiter was arrested. At the Hadamar Process it could not be proven that  Hirtreiter had participated in the killing of the mentally ill. He was not sentenced but transferred to a detention center in Darmstadt  for his de-Nazification Hearing. Before the Tribunal at Darmstadt, he then reported that he had been an SS guard at a "concentration camp called Malkina",  where he had done service prior to the victims being put into a gas chamber, monitored them while undressing and had valuables removed from them. The Tribunal classified  Hirtreiter as a main culprit and sentenced him as "atonement" for ten years into a labor camp[This Law was changed after 1948 in Germany.sic]  Through a Newspaper Article in July 1948, the Frankfurt Prosecutor became aware that  Hirtreiters activities could easily be identified as being done in Treblinka. The court in Frankfurt convicted him in March 1951, and accused him of murder. Hirtreiter was for a  number of cases sentenced to lifelong imprisonment, and he lost his civil "Freedom" and political Rights(Freiheitsberaubung) for life as well. He was released in 1977 for health reasons and died the following year.
In July 1959 the Attorney General in Frankfurt, sent the files of the Hirtreiter-Prozesse to the "Central Office of the State Justice Administrations for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes." The Central Office opened their proceedings in December 1958. The systematic investigation, which began immediately in Ludwigsburg resulted in the first Treblinka Trial of Kurt Franz and others before the District Court Düsseldorf. The District Court had jurisdiction because Franz, who had been held from 2 Dezember1959 in custody, was domiciled in Düsseldorf. During the 103 days of hearings which was going on between the 12 October 1964 and September 1965,  Treblinka was the subject of the indictment. In addition, Kurt Franz, the last camp commander and nine other officials of the SS were also on trial. The private photo album of Kurt Franz, on which he had written the heading "Good Times"(Schöne Zeiten) Images from the extermination camp for the family, was among the documents of evidence in the Treblinka process. About 100 witnesses were heard and numerous experts testified. The court went several times to witness-interrogations to the U.S., Canada and Israel. Although the defendants did confess, but claimed that they had to obey orders (Befehlsnotstand) and tried, as long as possible to deny any  involvement in the murder of Jews.
The sentence had been passed on 3 September. Four defendants received life-long imprisonment:,  Kurt Franz, first deputy, then the last camp commander, August Miete and Willi Mentz, both SS-Sergeants, who was a leader in the "hospital"(Lazarett) , the other one had shot new intakes immediately upon arrival, Arhur Matthes, of the SS who had been chief sergeant at camp II ("death camp") (Totenlager). Gustav Münzbewrger, SS-Unterscharführer, who had the authority to control " the new gas house", received twelve years, the administrative manager Otto Stadie (he had been storm troop leader, which corresponded to a staff sergeant in the Army) got seven years, Franz Suchomel (Chief of the "Gold Jews") Erwin Lambert (supervisor of gas chambers), Albert Rum (command and oversight in camp II) received six, four and three years' imprisonment respectively;[these had to spend time in penitentiaries, harsher conditions than standard jails.sic]  Otto Horn, also once an entrusted SS Unterscharführer with  the command and  oversight in camp II, was acquitted.
Eight of the nine defendants appealed, as did the prosecutor for a revision. It was rejected by the Federal Court on 30 June 1970. Due to an intervening change in law it was indeed converted from penitentiary(Zuchthaus) into penal servitude(Freiheitsberaubung). Kurt Franz was in May 1993 because of health reasons and old age, he was then 79 years old,  released from prison. He had previously spent up to 33 years in prisons under criminal investigations (Strafhaft).
Franz Stangl, commandant of Treblinka, from August 1942 to August 1943, could for a long time avoid the earthly justice. At war's end he returned to  Wels in Austria where his wife lived .As an SS Captain he came under "automatic arrest" by US Authorities and sent  to an internment camp at Glasenbach near Salzburg. That he had been commander of Treblinka remained, during the two-year stay there undetected. But  Stangl in 1947 was arrested in Linz for his involvement during "Action T4" and and remanded into police custody (Untersuchungshaft). In May 1948 he could escape towards Graz, where he met with his former deputy at Sobibor, Gustav Wagner, and after several  stops in the South  the two fled with former SS comrades and other Officers to Rome.There, accommodation was given for Stangl by  Bishop Alois Hudal, the smuggler of many NS-criminals from justice. Born in Graz, Hudal was rector of the German College of Santa Maria dell 'Anima and responsible as  head of the Papal Foundation for Austria's Refugee Committee. Fanatical anti-Semite, and since 1933 self-appointed architect of bridging between Nationalism  and Catholicism Hudal provided with the blessing of the Pope until 1951 NS-perpetrators on their way to South America with money and documents (which were issued by the Red Cross for stateless if their identity, real or fake - was confirmed by a religious organization).
Stangl asked around in Rome to find Hudal, who received him with open arms: "The bishop came into the room where I waited, He held out both hands and said, 'You have to be Franz Stangl, I've been expecting you!"  When asked by journalist Gitta Sereny, who recorded their conversations with the former concentration camp commandant, what Bishop Hudal had done for him,  said: 'it was not until he got me into a hotel in Rome, where I was to remain until my Papers would be finished  and then he gave me a little (bisser'l) money I had almost none, then after two weeks or so, he summoned me and gave me a new passport, a Red Cross passport". As a librarian at the college Germanicum Stangl waited, who was living there at Bishop Hudal place at Via della Pace 20, until his documents for his journey were finished. Bishop Hudal gave Stangl a visa to Syria, where he had arranged a job in a weaving mill for him. Three years later, in 1951, Stangl emigrated with his family, who had followed him there, from Syria to Brazil,where he worked as a mechanic at Volkswagen do Brasil in Sao Paulo. 1967 Brazil gave in to strong international pressure and after long delays to an extradition request of the Federal Republic, Austria, Poland and the United States. (One of the main reason that they left early was the persistent interest the Manager of the weaving factory showed in his adolescent daughter.sic)  

In the second Treblinka process, which commenced 13 May until December 22, 1970 conducted before a jury [there is no jury system, the German expression used is "Schwurgericht"which is a panel of judges and I could not find a better translation.sic]  in Dusseldorf, where the former camp commandant, Franz Stangl had to answer for his crimes. He had claimed that he had just (ledichlich) been responsible for the collection of valuables from the victims of "Operation Reinhard" at Treblinka. The murder of the Jews was solely within the responsibility of Christian Wirth, "the inspector of concentration camps". In addition, Kurt Franz who had been his deputy,  was the actual camp commander (Lagerführer) All the surviving victims as well as the witnesses vehemently disagreed with this presentation.
The court heard over 50 witnesses traveled for a local hearing to Poland, and sentenced Stangl just before Christmas 1970 due to communal murder committed on at least 400,000 Jews to life imprisonment (lebenslanger Haft), the sentence was not final because Stangl, had filed for a review. On 28 June 1971 after a heart attack in a Düsseldorf prison (Justizvollzugsanstalt) at the age of 63 he died.
A single "Trawniki", a member of the guards who had been recruited from Soviet prisoners of war and trained at the Trawniki camp for services under the supervision and on orders of the SS, was convicted by a court of the Federal Republic of Germany: Franz Swidersky,  who had done Guard Duties at the forced labor camp which was in the vicinity of death camp (Treblinka I) and received 1971 a prison sentence of seven years. Other Trawniki men were convicted by Soviet courts
The most spectacular attempt a Trawniki-trained member of the protective teams to deliver earthly justice, was the case of John (Ivan) Demjanjuk. The Ukrainian was born in 1920, immigrated early 1950s as a "displaced person"(DP) into the United States. He lived and worked as an auto mechanic in Cleveland, Ohio, until 1981 when the Office of Special Investigations (OSI), the Authority, to investigate naturalizations applications that had surreptitiously obtained, and detected him as "Ivan The Terrible" from Treblinka. Demjanjuk was stripped of his U.S. citizenship. Through testimony and documents (including one from the Soviet Union, the U.S. authorities had asked to provide them with an SS identification card), he was regarded as(damit überführt) a "prime"case. An extradition proceeding was adjudicated  on October 31 1985,  Demjanjuk was transferred on 27 February1986 to Israeli authorities.

John Demjanjuk hearing his Death Sentence during his Trial in Jerusalem, Israel
As of February 16, 1987 Demjanjuk was before the Jerusalem District Court which sentenced him on 18 April 1988 to death. The trial against the alleged perpetrators of Treblinka took place in an atmosphere of excited emotions that were directed also against the defense of Demjanjuk. (42) An appeal to the Supreme Court of Israel ended on 27 July 1993 with an acquittal of the accused, since there were considerable doubts as to his identity as "Ivan the Terrible" the sadist of Treblinka. Demjanjuk was undoubtedly a Trawniki man had been part of the entourage of the SS and had done duties in Sobibor, but he was not the man who had run and served the Treblinka  extermination machinery of the  gas chambers.
Reference(42)Representations to the Demjanjuk case is characterized by passion brought forward in varies positions. Compare the book the defense of Yoram Sheftel, "The Rise and Fall of  a show trial." From Hebrew into English by Hain Watzmann, London 1994.
[When they filed the claim against Demjanjuk in Cleveland they got a tremendous amount of credit from the entire national and local press in the United States. And people were praised like heroes. Here they just founded a new organization within the Justice Department and yet it was able to put its hands on the worst Nazi criminal alive. Then, a year later, in connection with another case altogether, the case of Feodor Fedorenko, the OSI received a hundred pages of documents from the American Embassy in Moscow, which a day before had received these same 100 (pages of) documents from the Soviet procuracy. Now these documents dealt not only with Fedorenko, but with many other Treblinka guards, including the two guards who operated the gas chambers in Treblinka, that is, Ivan Marchenko and Nikolai Shelayev. Three of the statements contained unequivocal data that there is no way whatsoever that Demjanjuk could be "Ivan the Terrible" because Ivan Marchenko was the right one. And they concealed this evidence.
And as far as the conspiracy is concerned, it's also worse. The French never made an attempt on Dreyfus' life, while the OSI, by extraditing Demjanjuk to the state of Israel knew very well that his life was in danger. And when he was sentenced to death for being "Ivan the Terrible," those people in the Justice Department, which had the entire dossier proving that he is not, kept silent and kept concealing this evidence. So, in the matter of the conspiracy also, it's worse then the Dreyfus affair..sic]
After eight years in prison Demjanjuk returned back to the U.S. and fought successfully to regain his citizenship and again complained against his extradition to Israel. On 17 November 1993, the Court in Cincinnati came to the conclusion that the expatriation of 1981 had not been done correctly. The Justice Department had withheld evidence which could have been in favor of the accused, the "Nazi Hunters" of the OSI and with them the U.S. Department of Justice were in difficulties for its disgraceful methods of conduct. In 2002, the U.S.once again would not recognize Demjanjuk as a citizen, because he had been a guard in the camps of Sobibor, Majdanek and Flossenbürg and had concealed this from the immigration authorities in the 1950s. In June 2005, an immigration court ordered the deportation of Demjanjuk to the Ukraine. If Ukraine were not receiving the man than he should alternatively be deported to Poland or Germany, the court ruled. In February 2008, the 87-year-old John Demjanjuk still struggled against the enforcement of the court order. The Demjanjuk case is the lesson of choice for trouble, and aides to punish perpetrators of the Holocaust. The Ukrainian had undoubtedly been a doer, not the man they suspected, and benefit came from the persecuting zeal in the U.S. which woke up too late and then tried in proportion to reverse the evidence were possible and shift the ongoing problems onto other countries.

[Demjanjuk was tried in Munich and sentenced to 5 years jail, out on bail (as at Feb 2012) and is in poor health in a nursing home awaiting the decision of the court, but I believe the court has since reversed its decision.(I am open for correction)
Germany changed its whole traditional jurisdiction for a conviction of John. For 70 years it was agreed by all German prosecutors, courts and the government, that those helpers of the Nazis, who had no power of command, should not be prosecuted. Around 100.000 German helpers met these conditions and were granted amnesty. The only one, who did not get this amnesty, was the foreigner, John Demjanjuk.
For 70 years it was a main principle of German law that being present at a death camp, does not lead to a conviction of being an accessory to murder. This very important rule was changed only for John Demjanjuk and nobody else, by the Munich court.For 70 years it was a main principle of German law that being present at a death camp, does not lead to a conviction of being an accessory to murder. This very important rule was changed only for John Demjanjuk and nobody else, by the Munich court.sic]

One facet of the grotesque story of Treblinka is the biography of George Wagner, also known as Hans Wagner, Jean Wagner alias Günter Renemer . Under this last name he was born on 8 March 1918 in Dresden, after the elementary school he took up an apprenticeship as a cabinet maker​​, then joined the SS, was a guard in the Lichtenburg concentration camp, but was dismissed in 1937 because of financial irregularities. His career as an impostor, pathological liar, con man was created when he was drafted in 1940 into the army, and did his possible best to avoid Front Line Fighting, and in the spring of 1942 was back in the ranks of the SS as a squad leader, then did service as a sergeant in Lublin. He had been ordered for guard services to the forced labor camps(Zwangsarbeitslager) ("Treblinka I") near the death camp.
For the suppression of the uprising in August 1943 the SS had called from the labor camp at the nearby death camp for help. Alias Günter Reinemer was therefore involved in the execution of the survivors of the uprising. He said and made the following statement ​​45 years later: "We have carried out the liquidations, partly with the MG 42, and sometimes they stood in rows up to three deep and we shot with pistols or sub-machine guns. The command to fire, I was not the one to give myself, that was given by the NCO's. I just got the order to liquidate ..... So, I have passed it on. "(43)
Reference(43)Georg Wagner's testimony on 27/08/1988, by Egmont R. Koch, Wagner's confession. As an SS man disguised as a Jew, Munich 2001, page 77

Reinemer was certainly not a credible witness. His whole post-war history is against him. But that he had information about Treblinka and made these statements ​​voluntarily seem to be factual,  in August 1988 when he had been traced by two German private detectives in Caracas Venezuela, there is no doubt that he had been there. A security office from a German company tracked him down for industrial espionage and fraud investigations, they had no idea of ​​his SS past and were very surprised as a notorious liar and a cheat by his voluntary confession during their approach instead, which lasted for days. Reinemer or( Wagner) died immediately afterwards. He was 70 years old. His story sounds fantastic, but it is correct on all essential points: After the collapse of the Nazi state, he spied on behalf of U.S. Departments on his war comrades and worked as a Nazi-Hunter, was employed as an engineer at Air France in Paris, lived in France, married there and had three children (from his German marriage, which took place in 1939, emerged two children), then he lived a few years in East Germany, before he returned and lived from 1957 to 1973 in the Federal Republic as a bigamist and "chief engineer" on the loose.

Quite absurd after all, are  the last 15 years of the life of the former SS man. In 1973 he travels to Israel, meets a wealthy Jewish widow, Rosa Rabinowicz, who comes from Krakow, pretends to be a Holocaust survivor, follows her to Venezuela and marries her. In Caracas, "George Wagner" makes a career as a director of a Swiss company that is in the industrial design and plant developments. Then he establishes himself as an independent contractor, but will inevitably be suspected in such a way that he is investigated. Wagner was buried in 1988 in the Jewish cemetery in Caracas,  his wife Rosa had never known about his true identity. The case has, even after the confession, attracted little attention. until early January 2001, after thorough research, it was shown in the evening program of the ARD, as the story entitled "Wagner's confession" to a larger audience.

[SS Killer Recruited By The CIA-Given Jewish Identity
By Alan Hall
 The secret life of a former Nazi war criminal, who spied for America's Central Intelligence Agency after the Second World War in return for a fake Jewish identity, was disclosed [on German TV.sic] The story of how Günter Reinemer, an S.S. lieutenant who commanded death squads at the Treblinka concentration camp, escaped the death penalty because of the CIA is told in a documentary which [was screened sic] in Germany. Reinemer was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Jews at Treblinka, the first concentration camp in Poland. More than a million Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto were killed at Treblinka. Given the identity Hans-Georg Wagner by the CIA, he later married a Jewish woman,[after he was circumcised sic] lived in Israel and was buried in a Jewish cemetery[ in Venezuela sic]. His story might have been buried with him had he not felt the need to confess in 1988, shortly before he apparently committed suicide. His statements form the basis of the documentary Wagner's Confession.The role of the American intelligence service in the days after the war has still to be fully explained. With the Third Reich vanquished, America sensed that it needed every ally available to fight the coming Cold War and was not too particular about its recruits. The CIA recruited Nazi scientists and much smaller fry, such as Reinemer, by offering the choice: work for the US or almost certainly forfeit your life at a war crimes tribunal.
Reinemer's journey from war criminal to respected Jewish businessman was exposed only in the final days of his life because of suspicions over his financial trustworthiness. In 1988, as Wagner, he was living in Caracas, Venezuela, when he secured a job as consultant engineer to the Jewish-owned Venergia submarine battery manufacturer. There were some on the board who doubted the motives, and the fiscal propriety, of Wagner, as money went missing. That led to the appointment of Klaus-Dieter Matschke of the KDM company in Frankfurt, which specializes in the prevention of industrial espionage.Wagner was arrested by the Venezuelan secret service in August 1988 and tortured with electrical cattle prods after the company voiced its suspicions about him. Herr Matschke persuaded the authorities to let him take over. At first Reinemer stuck to his story that he was a Jewish businessman. "Then, after about a week of questioning him, 'I threw a thick bundle of files on to my desk and just shouted at him: 'Name, rank, last military assignment.'
 "Perhaps the tone of command, perhaps the weariness from the past few days, perhaps a need to break with the past - I don't know what it was, but he looked up and said: 'Reinemer, SS Death's-Head Division, Treblinka.' It was the start of a comprehensive confession."For the next week Reinemer agreed to dictate his story to Herr Matschke. Reinemer, born in Dresden in 1918, told how he joined the Nazi party and later the SS and was attached to Treblinka in 1942. He said that later he commanded a squad which clubbed prisoners to death after a failed uprising and later led more prisoners into a forest to be executed. "I recalled the camp commander's order to the SS guards," he told Herr Matschke. " 'Restore calm with no regard to the consequences.' I went into the forest with a detachment of 110 Jews. I lined them up and gave the order to fire."At the end of the war he put on the uniform of an ordinary German soldier but was recruited by the CIA after being discovered in a prisoner of war camp.
He spent several months at a US military base at Frankfurt-Höchst, where he learnt rudimentary intelligence techniques and was circumcised. He was given a Jewish identity and sent as a Holocaust survivor to Calbe, East Germany, where he was to spy on old Nazis and new communist technologies at the local power plant. He went with his second wife, a Frenchwoman, and stayed until 1957 when he abandoned his family and fled West. According to intelligence files examined in German archives, the CIA forgot about him and no further action was taken against him. He stayed in West Germany until 1969, when he moved to Israel. In 1972 he moved to Venezuela with a Polish-Jewish woman whom he had married. His widow, Rosa, said: "He fooled me for more than two decades about his past. Imagine, me, a Jew, living with a Jew-killer. I would have killed him myself had I known."
After confessing his identity he was found dead two days later. Herr Matschke said: "You have to ask yourself: how many other Reinemers did America spirit to safety?"sic]


As the Allies retook control of lands that had been occupied by the Germans, they came across many Nazi camps. In some instances, they had tried to destroy all evidence of the camps, in order to conceal from the world what had happened there. In other cases, only the buildings remained as the Nazis had sent the prisoners elsewhere, often on death marches. However, in many camps, the Allied soldiers found hundreds or even thousands of emaciated survivors living in horrific conditions, many of whom were dying of undernourishment and disease.
The liberation of the concentration and extermination camps began in Eastern Europe when Soviet troops reached Majdanek in July 1944. Soon they found many other camp sites, some of which were camouflaged from the outside. The British and American troops who were approaching from the west did not reach the concentration camps of Germany until the spring of 1945. What they found were tens of thousands on the verge of death, as well as piles upon piles of corpses. The Allied liberators tried to help the survivors, but many died anyway in the weeks after liberation. Others had difficulties to adjust and integrate into a normal civilized life.
Survivors of the Holocaust also displayed a characteristic set of psychiatric problems which were often linked to the horrors they faced in the camps.  There have been thousands of research studies outlining the psychological consequences of their internment and later reintegration into post-war society.   Survivors reporting on their experiences in the camps tended to identify lingering issues stemming from the constant fear of their lives that they experienced, as well as physical trauma resulting from beatings, hunger, and forced labor.  These stressors tended to poison all interpersonal contacts and relations.  Survivor guilt was an additional factor given that most prisoners lost family members and friends leaving them with the feeling that they had been wrongly spared while more worthy victims died.  Since many prisoners often engaged in whatever acts they deemed necessary for survival (including stealing food or cooperating with their captors), an additional burden of guilt was often added.  Along with harsh treatment, prisoners were typically subjected to severe indoctrination designed to justify the genocidal policies and reinforce the idea that they deserved to die.  That survivors were left with deep psychological scarring wasn't surprising.  Some Israeli researchers later reported an extremely high incidence of psychiatric disorders among survivors which typically persisted for decades in many cases.   Ironically,  inmates with pre-existing psychiatric problems were typically the first to be killed (in keeping with Nazi eugenic policies relating to mental illness).
When the former commander of the Nazi extermination camp Treblinka, Kurt Franz, was arrested in 1959 a search of his home yielded a scrapbook with horrific photos of the holocaust titled “Beautiful Years.”
A short summery:
Kurt Franz reviewed the prisoner roll call and participated in meting out punishments. For instance, when seven prisoners attempted to escape the camp, Franz had them taken to the Lazarett and shot. He ordered a roll call and announced that if there were further attempted escapes, and especially if they were successful, ten prisoners would be shot for every escapee. Franz enjoyed shooting at prisoners or those still in the rail cars with his pistol or a hunting rifle. He frequently selected bearded men from the newly arriving transports and asked them whether they believed in God. When the men replied “”yes””, Franz told each man to hold up a bottle as a target. He would then say to them, “”If your God indeed exists, then I will hit the bottle, and if He does not exist, then I will hit you.”” Then Franz would shoot at them with a gun.“Undoubtedly, [Kurt Franz] was the most terrifying of all the German personnel in the camp… witnesses agree that not a single day passed when he did not kill someone. ”Kurt Franz also had experience as a boxer before arriving at Treblinka. He put this training to sadistic use by victimizing Jews as punching bags. On occasion he would “”challenge”” a Jew to a boxing duel (of course the prisoner had to oblige), and gave the prisoner a boxing glove.
The commander owned  holocaust photos scrapbook named beautiful years of glove, keeping one for himself and giving the other glove to the prisoner, to give the illusion of a fair fight. But Franz kept a small pistol in the glove that he kept for himself, and he would proceed to shoot the prisoner dead once the gloves were on and they had assumed the starting boxing position.Oscar Strawczinski wrote:“He rode through the camp with great pleasure and self-confidence. Barry, his big, curly-haired dog would lazily drag along behind….””Lalke””[he was called by prisoners by this name] would never leave the place without leaving some memento for somebody. There was always some reason to be found. And even if there were no reason — it made no difference. He was an expert at whipping, twenty-five or fifty lashes. He did it with pleasure, without hurrying. He had his own technique for raising the whip and striking it down. To practice boxing, he would use the heads of Jews, and naturally there was no scarcity of those around. He would grab his victim’s lapel and strike with the other hand. The victim would have to hold his head straight so that Franz could aim well. And indeed he did this expertly. The sight of a Jew’s head after a “”training session”” of this sort is not difficult to imagine.Once Lalka was strolling along the platform with a double- barrelled shotgun in his hand and Barry in his wake. He discovered a Jew in front of him, a neighbour of mine from Czestochowa, by the name of Steiner. Without a second thought, he aimed the gun at the man’s buttocks and fired. Steiner fell amidst cries of pain. Lalka laughed. He approached him, commanded him to get up, pull down his pants, and then glanced at the wound. The Jew was beside himself with pain. His buttocks were oozing blood from the gashes caused by the lead bullets. But Lalka was not satisfied. He waved his hand and said, “Damn it, the balls haven’t been harmed!” He continued his stroll to look for a new victim. Franz also frequently enjoyed kicking and killing babies from the arriving transports.[6]Franz was promoted to Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant) and became an appointed official on 21 June 1943 on the orders of Heinrich Himmler. On 2 August 1943, Franz along with four SS men and sixteen Ukrainians went for a swim in the nearby Bug River, which depleted the security at Treblinka significantly and helped to improve the chances of success of the prisoner revolt that took place at the camp that day. After the revolt, the camp’s commandant Franz Stangl left. Kurt Franz served as his replacement, and he was instructed to dismantle the camp and to eliminate every trace of evidence that it had ever existed. Franz had at his disposal {of}some SS men, a group of Ukrainian guards and about 100 Jewish prisoners who had remained after the uprising. The physical work was carried out by the Jews during September and October 1943, after which thirty to fifty prisoners were sent to Sobibor to finish dismantling there, and the remainder were shot and cremated on Franz’s orders.After Treblinka, in late autumn 1943, Franz was ordered to Trieste and northern Italy, where he participated in the persecution of partisans and Jews until the war’s end
After the war:
Following the war, Kurt Franz first worked as a laborer on bridges until 1949, at which point he returned to his former occupation as a cook and worked in Düsseldorf for 10 years until his arrest on 2 December 1959. A search of his home found a photo album of the Treblinka horrors with the title, “”Beautiful Years””. At the Treblinka Trials in 1965, Franz denied having ever killed a person, having ever set his dog on a Jew, and claimed to have only beaten a prisoner once. On September 3, he was found guilty of collective murder of at least 300,000 people, 35 counts of murder involving at least 139 people, and for attempted murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was released in 1993 for health reasons. Kurt Franz died in Wuppertal in 1998.



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