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December 31, 2012

The Treblinka zoo

Filed under: Buchenwald, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 3:06 pm

Update: July 16, 2013   Read my later posts about the zoo here and here.

Continue reading my original post:

There is a discussion in the comments section of my blog, regarding a photo in the Yad Vashem Museum which shows bears in a zoo.  The following words are included in the museum’s caption of the photo, which is shown below:

The photograph is from the private album of Kurt Franz from the time of his service as Deputy Commandant of Treblinka. The album was presented by the prosecution at Franz’s trial in Dusseldorf during the years 1964-5.

Photo of bears, enhanced in PhotoShop

Photo of bears at Treblinka, enhanced in PhotoShop

Kurt Franz was the Commandant of the Treblinka camp when a zoo was built in the camp.  Franz was never stationed at Buchenwald, and as far as I know, he never visited Buchenwald.  If the above photo of bears in a zoo was taken at Buchenwald, why would Kurt Franz have had this photo in his private photo album? (I have since learned that Kurt Franz did serve at Buchenwald during the time that the zoo was built there.)

In my home library, I have a copy of the book entitled Treblinka, The inspiring story of the 600 Jews who revolted against their murderers and burned a Nazi death camp to the ground, written by Jean-Francois Steiner. Today, I read the entire book again, looking for any mention of the zoo at Treblinka.

This quote is from page 338 in Steiner’s book:

Halfway up the main street [in the Treblinka camp] there branched off to the left another, smaller street […] Later, in early Spring, an offshoot of this road was built to the west; it led to a zoo that was being laid out. […] In the center of the park was a hexagonal building covered with little birch logs. On each side of the building were the cages: there was a cage for the birds, a cage for the squirrels, et cetera.

There is no mention, anywhere in this 415 page book, of bears in the Treblinka zoo.  However, in the quote from the book which I wrote above, “little birch logs” are mentioned. On the left side of the photo, there are little birch logs.  There are no little birch logs in photos of the Buchenwald zoo.

On page 398 of Steiner’s book, there is this quote:

At Camp Number One [ the camp for the SS officers] an S.S. officer strolls slowly through the zoological garden.

I would not describe the Buchenwald zoo as a “garden,” whereas the photo, which I think was taken at Treblinka, could be described as a photo of bears in a “zoological garden.”

For all of these reasons, I believe that the photo above was taken at Treblinka.


  1. “Kurt Franz was the Commandant of the Treblinka camp when a zoo was built in the camp.”

    FG, I don’t think Kurt Franz was really the Commandant, he was just the last man left standing when the camp was dismantled. He was earlier put in charge of the Ukrainian Guards, so it’s said. Then he became deputy Commandant to Franz Stangl for awhile. He’s one Nazi of whom the “stories” got crazier and crazier, as if each “survivor” were trying to top the last survivor’s account.

    Making Franz out to be the Commandant is just another way of making the Treblinka story much bigger than it is in reality, because all these nutty stories about him can be used. That scrapbook was allegedly found during a search of his house AFTER he was arrested — how much of it can we believe? There is a need to be more skeptical of the evidence presented in these trials.

    Comment by Carolyn Yeager — January 1, 2013 @ 8:42 am

  2. The photo of the bears is not from Kurt Franz’s photo album of Treblinka. Somebody at the Yad Vashem has simply mislabelled this photo.

    Here’s some of the photos of the Treblinka zoo, as they appear in Franz’s album.

    Taken from here.

    I’m glad I’ve managed to convince Pete at least, that this photo was taken in approximately this position at Buchenwald.

    Comment by The Black Rabbit of Inlé — January 1, 2013 @ 3:15 am

    • The only problem I have with what you’ve got here is your habit of saying “Somebody at the Yad Vashem (or Buchenwald, or Auschwitz, or the author of a book or website) has SIMPLY mislabelled this photo.”

      Just what constitutes innocent mislabeling? And why is it so widespread? Why, when it’s brought to the mislabelers’ attention, do they not change it? You are being an apologist for these memorial museums and my question is Why? My belief is that this photo has been mislabeled purposely in support of the widespread attempt to make Treblinka into a larger and more permanent camp than what it really was: a temporary set-up for the purpose of assisting Jews that were being moved farther east.

      Comment by Carolyn Yeager — January 1, 2013 @ 8:14 am

  3. From Chapter 1, Treblinka: Extermination Camp or Transit Camp by Carlo Mattogno and Jürgen Graf:

    Jean-François Steiner

    In 1966, the French-Jewish author Jean-François Steiner – with the assistance of the ghost-writer Gilles Perrault – published a novel[45] allegedly based upon the statements of former prisoners with the title Treblinka,[46] which constitutes a most particularly repulsive example of the copious trash-literature about National-Socialist concentration camps, shaped by pathological fantasies, but which is nonetheless highly rated by prominent figures like Simone de Beauvoir.

    An English translation was published the following year under the title Treblinka.[47] A passage, in which Steiner describes the burning of bodies in Treblinka, may serve as a sample:[48]

    “Blonde and slight, with a gentle face and a retiring manner, he arrived one fine morning with his little suitcase at the gates of the kingdom of death. His name was Herbert Floss, and he was a specialist in the cremation of bodies. […]

    The first bonfire was prepared the next day. Herbert Floss then revealed his secret: all the bodies did not burn at the same rate; there were good bodies and bad bodies, fire-resistant bodies and inflammable bodies. The art consisted in using the good ones to burn the bad ones. According to his investigations-and judging from the results, they were very thorough-the old bodies burned better than the new ones, the fat ones better than the thin ones, the women better than the men, and the children not as well as the women but better than the men. It was evident that the ideal body was the old body of a fat woman. Floss had these put aside. Then he had the men and children sorted too. When a thousand bodies had been dug up and sorted in this way, he proceeded to the loading, with the good fuel underneath and the bad above. He refused gasoline and sent for wood. His demonstration was going to be perfect. The wood was arranged under the grill of the pyre in little piles which resembled camp fires. The moment of truth had come. He was solemnly handed a box of matches. He bent down, lit the first fire, then the others, and as the wood began to catch fire he walked back with his odd gait to the group of officials who were waiting a little way away.

    The mounting flames began to lick at the bodies, gently at first, then with a steady force like the flame of a blow torch. Everyone held his breath, the Germans anxious and impatient, the prisoners dismayed and terrified. Only Floss seemed relaxed; very sure of himself, he was muttering abstractedly, ‘Tadellos, tadellos…’ The bodies burst into flames. Suddenly the flames shot up, releasing a cloud of smoke, a deep roar arose, the faces of the dead twisted with pain and the flesh crackled. The spectacle had an infernal quality and even the S.S. men remained petrified for a few moments, contemplating the marvel. Floss beamed. This fire was the finest day of his life.

    When they had recovered from their stupor, the Germans gave expression to their joy and gratitude. Herbert Floss became a hero. An event like this had to be celebrated in a worthy manner. The Germans sent for tables, which were set up opposite the funeral pyre and covered with dozens of bottles of liquor, wine and beer. The dying day reflected the high flames of the funeral pyre, the sky glowed at the end of the plain where the sun was disappearing with a show of fire.

    At a nod from Lalka, the corks popped. An extraordinary party began. The first toast was made to the Führer. The operators of the excavators had returned to their machines. When the S.S. men raised their glasses noisily, the excavators seemed to come to life and suddenly flung their long jointed arms toward the sky in a throbbing and jolting Nazi salute. It was like a signal; ten times the men raised their arms, each time shouting ‘Heil Hitler.’ The manlike machines returned the salute of the machinelike men, and the air rang with shouts of glory to the Führer. The party lasted until the funeral pyre was entirely consumed. After the toasts came the songs, savage and cruel, songs of hatred, songs of fury, songs of glory to Germany the eternal.”

    Even one hundred percent loyal advocates of the orthodox ‘Holocaust’ image have grasped that this sort of statement undermines the credibility of their position. Thus fourteen years later, the French Jew Pierre Vidal-Naquet, who in the beginning had expressed his “admiration” for Steiner ‘s book,[49] suddenly spoke of “sub-literature” appealing to sadism and admitted that he had “walked into the snare set by J.-F. Steiner.”[50] Another French critic, Didier Daeningckx, devastatingly described Steiner ‘s book as “a false novel, which is presented as true” and which makes use of the “technique of parallel montage.”[51]

    Comment by Carolyn Yeager — December 31, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

    • Thank you for quoting the statement of Carlo Mattogno and Jürgen Graf that the book by Jean-François Steiner is a “novel.” As I mentioned before, the book does read like a novel. I found the book to be amusing, but I could not believe most of what he wrote. The section about burning the bodies is very interesting. The author goes to a great deal of trouble to explain something that could not have happened.

      On page 388, Steiner wrote this: “At Camp Number Two the ashes from the corpses, after being screened and reburned, were mixed with sand and the ditches were filled in with the mixture. On top, grass was planted and white gravel paths were laid out. Wooden benches were set up, as in a public park. Every trace of Treblinka’s function was disappearing. The ditches were still being emptied.”

      When I visited Treblinka, I asked my tour guide where the ashes were located. She told me that the ashes had been mixed with sand and grass had been planted over them.

      Comment by furtherglory — January 1, 2013 @ 8:41 am

  4. FG- The Zoos:
    Your comments are quite correct, German records I have, describe the Treblinka Zoo as a “Tiergarten”, literally meaning that the animals did roam around in an enclosed and secured open area with minimal shelter, were else the Zoo as in Buchenwald was built on proper basic designs for animals as normally is the case up to today’s standards. I find the pros and cons as to the bears in the pictures rather childish.

    Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — December 31, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

  5. My vote is for Buchenwald and i have linked to Black Rabbits photo as proof.

    Comment by Pete — December 31, 2012 @ 4:15 pm


    Comment by hermie — December 31, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

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