Scrapbookpages Blog

March 25, 2011

the trains that traveled WEST to Treblinka

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:01 am

Treblinka was one of the three Operation Reinhard camps in Poland.  On January 20, 1942 at Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin, a conference was held to plan “The Final Solution to the Jewish Question” for Europe’s 11 million Jews. Reinhard Heydrich, who was the head of RSHA (Reich Security Main Office), led the conference. The protocols from the conference contained the expression “transportation to the East,” a euphemism that was used to mean the genocidal killing of all the Jews in Europe.

17,000 stones in Treblinka cemetery

Following the conference, the three Operation Reinhard camps were set up at Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor.  The first Jews to be deported to Treblinka were from the Warsaw ghetto; the first transport of 6,000 Jews arrived at Treblinka at about 9:30 on 23 July 1942. Between late July and September 1942, the Germans transported more than 300,000 Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka, according to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Jews were also deported to Treblinka from the ghettos in Lublin and Bialystok. Others were transported to Treblinka from the Theresienstadt ghetto in what is now the Czech Republic.  Trains continued to arrive regularly at Treblinka until May 1943, and a few more transports arrived after that date.

The Nazis called the Operation Reinhard camps “transit camps.” Their cover story was that the Jews were being “transported to the East” from these camps, but some of the trains actually traveled WEST to Treblinka.

Did the Nazis slip up and blow their cover story of “evacuation to the east” by sending trains west to Treblinka?  O.K., it’s time to get out the maps.

On the web site of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, you can see a map which shows the train routes to the three Operation Reinhard camps here.   Another map on the USHMM web site, which you can see here, shows the location of Treblinka and the surrounding ghettos from which the Jews were transported to the camp.

One of the ghettos on the map is Bialystock, which was a city with a large Jewish population.  As the map on the USHMM web site clearly shows, Treblinka is southwest of Bialystok.  The map shows that Treblinka was in German-occupied Poland, which was called the General Government.  Bialystok was in Poland (and still is) but it was not in the General Government.  By 1942, the German Army had advanced into the part of Poland that had been occupied by the Soviet Union after the joint invasion of Poland in 1939 by the Germans and the Soviets.

The Nazi plan for the genocide of the Jews was to consolidate the Jews into ghettos near major railroad lines for easy transportation to the death camps, which they referred to as transit camps.  One of the main railroad lines in Poland was the Warsaw-Bialystok line. Malkinia Junction near Treblinka was a stop on this line.

The tiny village of Treblinka is located on the railroad line running from Ostrów Mazowiecki to Siedlce. A short distance from Treblinka, at Malkinia Junction, this line intersects the Warsaw-Bialystok line. Trains could reverse directions at the Junction and return to Warsaw, or turn south towards Lublin, which was the headquarters for Operation Reinhard.

When I visited Treblinka in 1998, my tour guide drove me from Warsaw to the camp, a distance of about 60 miles.  Shortly after we left Warsaw, I began seeing signs giving the distance to Bialystok.  There were no signs giving the directions to Treblinka at that time — I saw nothing but directions to Bialystok all the way to the camp.  At that time, I had never heard of Bialystok, but I deduced that it must be an important place, since all roads led to it.  I made a mental note that if I ever came back to Poland and wanted to see Treblinka again, I could just rent a car and head towards Bialystok.

The dividing line, between the part of Poland that was occupied by the Germans during World War II and the part that was occupied by the Soviets after the conquest of Poland in 1939, was the Bug river, which connects with the Vistula river.  All of the Operation Reinhard camps are very near the Bug river.

As the map on the USHMM web site shows, the territory east of Bialystok is Belarus, which Americas used to call White Russia. Also to the east of Bialystok is the section of Poland that was given to the Soviet Union after the joint conquest of Poland by the Germans and the Soviet Union in September 1939. This part of Poland, which had formerly been occupied by the Russians between 1772 and 1917, was now under the control of Germany.  The Nazis claimed that their plan was to send the Jews into this territory.

When railroad lines were built in the 19th century, the width of the tracks was standardized in America and western Europe, but the tracks in Russia and eastern Poland were a different gauge. Bialystok is the end of the line for Western railroad tracks in Poland; this is as far east as trains can go without changing the wheels on the rail cars to fit the tracks in Russia.

In June 1941, the German Army had invaded the Soviet Union. By the time that the Operation Reinhard camps were set up in 1942, German troops had advanced a thousand kilometers into Russia. The plan was to transport the Jews as far as the Bug river and kill them in gas chambers, then claim that they had been “transported to the East.”  There was no gas chamber in Bialystok so the Jews in the Bialystok ghetto were transported west to Treblinka in order to kill them.

What else could the Nazis have done at Treblinka?  Maybe put a pontoon bridge across the Bug river and send the Jews into the former Soviet territory? But if the plan was to send all the Jews into Russia, why not just send them to the east from Bialystok? Maybe the Nazis didn’t want to send the Bialystok Jews as a separate group, but wanted to keep the Jews together when they were “transported to the East.”

When Germany began offering reparations to the Jews for the Holocaust, there were many Jews who claimed reparations but were rejected because they had come from Russia to Germany after the war.  According to the official history of the Holocaust, these people were dead, so they could not claim reparations from Germany.

Now there are ads on TV asking for donations for the Holocaust survivors in Russia.  There is no mention of how these survivors got there, but the scene in the ad, that shows the tattoo on the arm of one of the Holocaust survivors in Russia, has recently been deleted from the ad.


  1. […] The Nazis claimed that they were transporting the Jews to the East, but the Jews from Bialystok were transported WEST to Treblinaka; I blogged about this at […]

    Pingback by Samuel Willenberg, 91, the last living survivor of the Treblinka extermination camp | Scrapbookpages Blog — July 10, 2014 @ 2:49 pm

  2. […] happened to the Jews who were sent to the Treblinka extermination camp.  I previously blogged here about the Jews who were sent from Bialystok to Treblinka.  The photo below show a […]

    Pingback by Hitler and “The Transfer Agreement” « Scrapbookpages Blog — October 5, 2011 @ 11:22 am

  3. You’ve got great insights about The death camps Treblinka, Sobibor, and Belzec, keep up the good work!

    Comment by The death camps Treblinka, Sobibor, and Belzec — July 7, 2011 @ 12:47 am

  4. […] and grew up in the city of Bialystok in northeastern Poland.  I previously blogged about Bialystok here because it was one of the few cities where Jews were transported WEST to Treblinka.  All together, […]

    Pingback by Holocaust survivor who was tattooed with a “B for Birkenau” « Scrapbookpages Blog — June 1, 2011 @ 10:23 am

  5. Hello FurtherGlory.
    I must say, this article made me very alert….
    But before I make any comment to this topic first I must ask one plain & simple question:

    Do you, FurtherGlory, consider all written here, from “Treblinka was one of the three Operation Reinhard camps….” down to and including “The Nazis called the Operation Reinhard camps “transit camps” Their cover story was….” as correct and undisputable historical facts?
    Do you? Or have I missed something and you are instead referring to some other text?

    Comment by Königsberg — March 26, 2011 @ 11:18 am

    • The sentences in this post, which you have cited, are “undisputable historical facts” because if you dispute these “historical facts” in 17 countries, you will spend up to 5 years in prison. I don’t dispute these “historical facts,” but if it ever gets to the point where the Federal government in the USA cannot function and Social Security checks cannot be mailed out, I plan to go to Germany and dispute a few “historical facts,” so that I can live out the rest of my life with free room and board in prison. The letters that Germar Rudolf sent from a German prison, where he did time for Holocaust denial, were published on the Internet and these letters indicate that German prisons are not that bad. Ernst Zundel also said that the German prison where he was incarcerated for 5 years was much better than the Canadian prison where he was held for 2 years. Does this answer your question?

      Comment by furtherglory — March 26, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

      • Ok FurtherGlory, sinse you are an official and well known individual, I understand Your position regarding the subject “Holohoax WW2”. But I, as a not so known individual, take the risk and exercises my United-Nations-Right to Free Speech.
        Back to the Topic:
        There has never been an “Operation Reinhard”.
        The Holohoaxters and exterminists have always argued that the “Operation Reinhard”is named after Mr Reinhard Heydrich. But that ridicules statement can’t even alone stand on its own legs, because it is overwhelming “un-German” to name an operation, what so ever, after an individuals Christian name. The Germans would name it after the individuals SURname!
        On the other hand, there was an “Aktion Reinhardt”, as the Germans themselves named it. NOTE the spelling!!
        And this REAL “Aktion Reinhardt” was named after the 3rd Reich’s Secretary of State for Finances: Fritz Reinhardt.
        And “Aktion Reinhardt” was about the economic and financial effects of the displacements, in Poland, of Polish and Jewish populations in the years 1942-1943 – nothing else.

        I suggest that all Reinhard-Heydrich-believers go to and educate themselves from one of the REAL experts on the WW2 history – Robert Faurisson. He deals in facts – never ever in fantasies and fairytales! And any statement he make will hold in any court of law and will there, without any doubt, pass any forensic check.

        Did I rock the boat to much now….?

        Comment by Königsberg — March 27, 2011 @ 9:25 am

        • I am familiar with the controversy about “Operation Reinhard” and “Aktion Reinhardt.” I don’t know which to believe. I am also very familiar with the work of Robert Faurisson. There used to be a web site that showed photos of him after he had been badly beaten by Holocaust Believers. He was beaten several times because he expressed his opinions. I don’t want a picture of my bloody body to be put on the web after I am beaten to death by the True Believers who cannot tolerate the slightest detail that deviates from the official story.

          Comment by furtherglory — March 27, 2011 @ 9:47 am

          • Yes, I know what pictures you are referring to…. Mr. Faurisson is a true and brave fighter. One can only feel a deep and well earned respect for a man who is willing to suffer so much pain and violence and still standing by his belief. A remarkable man, indeed….
            And Yes, I don’t want to be published in that way either – you have may understanding.
            So until all “chosen thugs” can freely terrorize the world with their dictatorship and mind control, we have to hide out on the Internet.

            Oh, I forgot to mention one thing….

            Even if it isn’t necessary to mention it, I do it anyway – the topic text from “Treblinka was one of the three Operation Reinhard camps….” down to and including “The Nazis called the Operation Reinhard camps “transit camps” Their cover story was….” plus some of the other in between written holo-hoax-fact, are nothing but a wild and bad composed thought up fiction!
            And how about this sentence:
            “The protocols from the conference contained the expression “transportation to the East,” a euphemism that was used to mean the genocidal killing of all the Jews in Europe.”
            It is just breath taking! “….a euphemism that was used to mean the genocidal killing of all the Jews in Europe”!?!!?? Who has produced that nonsense? It is just ridiculous….

            So it must be said very clearly: There is NOT one single physical evidence that can prove it – not one! It is all only assumptions, rumors, war propaganda, hear say, fantasies and deliberate lies.

            But I understand that you – FurtherGlory – must write these “facts”…. Otherwise will the “democratic system” pay you a visit, I guess….

            And I am sure that you have the necessary intelligence to see and understand the big picture, even if you today/just now can’t say it as I do here without risking your existence.

            Comment by Königsberg — March 27, 2011 @ 10:12 am

        • That does make sense about naming it after the first name as opposed to the last name. We all know it is typically the last name (or full name) that is chosen for naming things. This is slightly off-topic though.

          Comment by Kageki — March 27, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

  6. I was impressed that you actually bothered to tackle this subject, given your overwhelmingly denier audience. A few comments:

    1) It is Reinhard Heydrich, not von Heydrich. This seems to be a common mistake of yours.

    2) No German documents refer to the Reinhard camps as “transit camps.” There is a mid-1943 reference to Sobibor as such, but nothing else, and especially not Treblinka.

    3) Of course Treblinka was not the only Reinhard camp that received transports from areas to the west. ALL of the three camps (Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka) did, effectively destroying the resettlement argument.

    4) By spring 1942, all tracks going into the USSR had been converted to standard German gauge. This was done to support their logistical efforts during the summer 1941 invasion.

    Comment by Wahrheit — March 25, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

    • I have deleted the von from Heydrich’s name. As far as your other corrections, I need more time to research this. I have a book called “Atlas of the Holocaust” by Martin Gilbert which is an entire book of maps. I have searched this book for a map showing transports from the west to Sobibor and Belzec. So far, I have not found any of his maps which show this.

      My Polish guide in 1998 told me that the railroad tracks in the territory formerly held by the Russians from 1772 to 1917 were of a different gauge and still are. She told me that, even to this day, the trains stop at the dividing line and change the wheels on the train.

      The Germans did build temporary tracks and even roads when they went into Russia during the 1941 invasion. Still, I cannot find any map on the USHMM web site or in Martin Gilbert’s Atlas which shows transports from the West to Belzec and Sobibor. There were transports from Bialystok and a few other ghettos to Treblinka, which was a very short distance.

      My Polish guide told me that there were no railroad bridges across the Bug river except the one reconstructed bridge which I photographed and put on my web site.

      Where were the railroad bridges across the Bug river that were used to transport the Jews from the west to Belzec and Sobibor? Have they all been torn down and not reconstructed?

      What did the Nazis call the three Aktion Reinhard camps? Extermination camps? or Death camps? Or did they call them Durchgangslager? Why did they try to fool people with terms like “transportation to the East” and then not use the term transit camp?

      Comment by furtherglory — March 25, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

      • This document refers to Sobibor as “Sonderlager”:

        Another document that just refers to “Aktion Reinhard”:

        There doesn’t seem to be too much documentation on these camps though or they say it was destroyed.

        Comment by Kageki — March 26, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

    • If you don’t have a copy of Martin Gilbert’s book “Atlas of the Holocaust,” your should “beg, borrow or steal” a copy. This is a book of maps, arranged according to date, showing the routes along which the Jews were transported to their deaths. It was first published in 1988, but my copy is the “completely revised and updated” version published in 1993.

      On the cover of the 1993 edition are four photos that are artistically rendered in maroon and gray while there is a black and white photo in the center which shows a parade of young children marching out of Auschwitz-Birkenau, along with two toddlers in the arms of adults. This photo is a very poor choice for the cover of a book about how the Jews were killed, because the photo shows the surviving children with chubby cheeks. The only explanation for this photo is that Dr. Mengele must have been feeding these kids too much chocolate. But I digress. The main thing is the maps. I stayed up an hour past my bedtime last night trying to find a map that would show the towns and ghettos from which the Jews were sent West to Belzec and Sobibor. I didn’t find any, but that doesn’t mean there are none in the book.

      Map #1 in the front of the book shows the RAILROAD LINES to Auschwitz. For example, a train could go from Athens and connect with the line coming from Pisa in Italy, then continue all the way to Auschwitz without changing trains. Auschwitz was the main railroad hub of Europe, so it was the logical killing center for the Jews. Yet, there were more Jews sent to the Operation Reinhard camps, to be killed, than to Auschwitz. Even more puzzling is that not all the Jews who arrived at Auschwitz were killed — some of them were tattooed and then sent on the labor camps to work.

      All this is very strange, considering that Auschwitz had real gas chambers that used Zyklon-B while the Operation Reinhard camps had make-shift gas chambers that used diesel engines, taken from Russian tanks, for carbon monoxide.

      Comment by furtherglory — March 26, 2011 @ 9:45 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: