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Dying at the Treblinka Holocaust

Updated on May 5, 2020
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Metromain have a thirst for knowledge and is always seeking for answers. A day without learning new things is a day wasted.

Humanity have many dark sides. And the genocide in the holocausts is surely one of them. Taking people who are different from the majority and dehumanize and exterminate them only because they are a minority. Taking a Jewish family to kill for fun.

Treblinka is a concentration camp designated for exterminating, mainly Polish Jews. Dying at an extermination camp is extremely horrible. Readers discretion is advised. This article will be very unpleasant. No other extermination camp killed more Jews other than Treblinka. Only Auschwitz tops that, but that concentration camp is a combined labor- and extermination camp. Treblinka was a murder-machine.

Readers discretion is advised!!!

Treblinka memorial. Quarry-stones symbolizing tombstones.
Treblinka memorial. Quarry-stones symbolizing tombstones.

Treblinka, the deathcamp

Treblinka operated between July 1942 to October 1943 when it was demolished. The intended use was to kill Jews from Warsaw's ghetto, but was later used for other as well. In August 1943 was a revolt that resulted in Treblinka getting demolished two months later.

Treblinka was the third holocaust under "Operation Reinhard", meaning that they used carbon monoxide from diesel-engines with stationary gas-chambers, instead of zyklon B. Sobibór, and Bełżec that also was a part of Operation Reinhard used the same technique. At the Chełmno extermination camp, they used customized trucks that had the exhaust pipes leading inside the cargo compartment where the victims where.

It is believed that 700,000 up to 900,000 Jews was murdered inside Treblinka. It took around 15-20 minutes from the Jews being dragged of from the trains to leading them to the gas-chambers. The haste was to exhaust the victims so they would be out of breath inside the chambers and therefore suffocate faster. The only way for a victim to postpone his execution was if he was male and had any skills in construction or mechanic. Female and children got stripped from clothes and valuables and sent to death immediately.

5:th of August 1942 where nearly 200 kids killed as SS deported an orphanage from a ghetto in Warsaw.

Holocaust layout

Buildings

From the outside, Treblinka was disguised as a transit camp for deportations further east. Why did they do that?

To discourage panic, they wanted the victims to believe of a brighter future and have them unaware as long as possible.

The map above is an estimated layout, made from survivors testimony. There is no way for sure to know if any maps is accurate, as Treblinka got demolished and every document got destroyed as a cover-up. But we know that there was three parts. Camp 1 for administrative and residential compound, Camp 2 for the receiving of victims. And camp 3 for the execution and burial. Following is a list of buildings that I think needs more description.

  • Zoo (4) - A place for the killers to relax in their off-time. There where some benches and a pen for doves inside a gazebos-looking house. Two foxes and a deer was brought in 1943.
  • Building for sorting gold and valuables (5) - In the main sorting building where the victims belongings got sorted, they were instructed to put everything of value in briefcases who got collected and brought to this building. Here is where the "gold-Jews" works sorting up money, gold, watches jewelry and diamonds.
  • SS living quarters and armory (8) - The accommodation for the killers. In the back there was a small place for them to have some coffee. There was also an armory from where the prisoners got weapons from.
  • Barracks for prisoners (11) - The accommodation for the prisoners. In addition to sleeping space, there was some workshops where prisoners could manufacture hinges and other hardware in.
  • Stables and livestock area (12) - chicken and pig-pens for the killers to enjoy and producing meat. There could also have been a butcher for the prisoners to work in.
  • Reception square (between 17 & 18) - The place where the victims got sentenced to death either now, right away or delayed. The victims got lined up in two lines, men in the right and women and children in the left. Some men that could work got their death-sentence delayed. And every old and/or sick got it right away.
  • Storehouse containing sorted property of the victims (19) - Disguised as a train station. This building was a part of the intended illusion for the unsuspecting victims, complete with a fake ticket window, fake destinations, fake train schedules and a fake train-station clock with hands painted on it. It was here that the victims belongings got sorted up and got ready for reselling.
  • Execution site of sick and elderly people (22) - Disguised as a hospital. People that was nearly dead when they got of the train got told that they needed medical treatment and got transferred to the "Lazaret". Overworked prisoners got here as well. Lazaret was made of a building that looked like a waiting area, and a fenced in area with a deep pit in the middle. I don't think I need to tell you that the Nazis treatment for sick Jews was death. The victims got told to sit at the edge of the pit, then they got shot in the back of the head. When they died, they would fall to the bottom of the pit where they got burned.
  • Cremation grids (26) - This cremation site got created because otherwise the burial pits got filled up fast (Treblinka could process 12,000 to 15,000 people daily). It was constructed of railroad-rails welded together on a brick fundament. After the corpses got burned, the ashes got searched thru for gold and other valuables before it got dug down in the pits.

The old gas-chambers was made from three interconnected barracks. They were disguised as showers. It was constructed of corrugated metal for walls and tin-plated sheet metal for roof (and interior floor). Interior ceiling and walls was lined with roofing papers. The doors was of solid wood and insulated with rubber.

The execution was by suffocating by carbon monoxide poisoning. To produce carbon monoxide, they had a diesel-engine from a tank in an adjacent room with exhaust-pipes leading from the engine thru the floor in the chambers. A generator that produced the electricity for the camp was connected to the engine. It took about 20 minutes for everybody to die. When everybody was dead, a crew of manual laborer removed the bodies.

A train containing about 3,000 people could be "processed" in three hours.

Between August and September 1942, the new chambers were constructed. It took 5 weeks to finish, and during the time, the daily executions never stopped. It had a concrete foundation and was made of bricks. There was 8-10 chambers in two lines with a corridor in between. The doors was taken from old soviet bunkers and had portholes for observing the bodies before removal. To create the fumes they used two engine instead of one.

The new chambers was much more effective. When the old three chambers killed 3,000 people in three hours (that is 12,000 daily), one single chamber could kill up to 22,000 or 25,000 people every day.

The procedure

When a train arrived at the station, guards where using whips to make everybody get out of the carts and line up at the Reception Square. Men on the right and Women and children on the left. The men that could work got taken behind the barrack to the right. The rest of the men got stripped naked. The women and children got inside the left barrack.

The naked men had to carry their clothes and leave them inside the right barrack, then they got taken to "der Schlauch". The women and children got stripped naked inside their barrack. Before they could get to der Schlauch, they got shaved clean (the guard said it was for delousing, but it was for selling).

As the women and children had to get their shave, the men reached the gas chamber first. And because of that, the women and children had to wait outside in the cold naked and listen to the screams from inside, which caused panic and distress.

And on top of it all was the inhumane "Ivan the Terrible" and his way of having fun. Ivan was responsible for operating the gas-chambers. So in between the two mass-executions, he tortured, beat and killed many of the waiting women and children outside. Survivors said after that Ivan could bash victims heads open with a pipe, stab victims with a bayonet, cut off noses and ears, and gouge out eyes. He could take infant and bash them against the wall, force mothers to pee on her children or rape you girls before cut up their bellies.

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