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June 18, 2016

the Umschlagplatz, the place from which the Jews of Warsaw were sent to camps

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 12:29 pm

On my first trip to Poland, in 1998, the first place that my tour guide took me was to “the Umschlagplatz”.  I had never heard of this place; that’s why I had hired a guide to show me the important places related to the Holocaust. I never would have found this by myself.

Monument at the place where the Jews were sent to Treblinka

Monument at the place from where the Jews were sent to Treblinka

Pictured above is a memorial in Warsaw, which has been built on the street named ul. Stawki, at the spot where the Umschlagplatz once stood, on the northern boundary of the Warsaw Ghetto. The Umschlagplatz was where the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto had to assemble to board the trains which transported them to the Treblinka camp, beginning in July 1942.

View of the inside of the Monument

View of the inside of the Monument

I went inside the Monument to take the photo above. When I got back into the car, driven by my guide, a young Jewish man went inside the monument to see if I had defaced the monument or done some other damage.

The Jewish Ghettos, which the Nazis had established in all the major Jewish population centers of Poland, were part of the systematic plan to get rid of all the Jews in Europe; the ghettos were intended as a transitional measure. The next stage of the plan was the liquidation of the Ghettos and “transportation to the East.”

On July 22, 1942 the Warsaw Ghetto was surrounded by Ukrainian and Latvian soldiers in German SS uniforms, as the liquidation of the Ghetto began in response to an order given by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler that “the resettlement of the entire Jewish population of the General Government be carried out and completed by December 31.”

The General Government was the central portion of the former country of Poland that was occupied by the Germans between the years 1939 and 1944.

Two days before, on July 20ieth, the Judenrat (Jewish leaders) had been ordered to prepare for the resettlement (Aussiedlung) of the “non-productive elements” to the East.

Old photo of the place where the Jews gathered to be sent to death camp

Old photo of the place where the Jews gathered to be sent to a death camp

The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were ordered to report voluntarily to the Umschlagplatz (collection point) at the corner of Stawki and Dzika streets, near a railroad siding for the Ostbahn (Eastern Railroad), on which they would be “transported to the East” on crowded freight cars. The old photo above shows the gathering place.

The old photograph above shows the location of the Umschlagplatz. A monument has been erected on this spot, as shown in the photo at the top of this page.

According to Raul Hilberg in his book, The Destruction of the European Jews, “As soon as the order was posted, a mad rush started for working cards. Many forgings took place and in the ghetto, everyone from top to bottom was frantic.” A similar scene is depicted in the movie, Schindler’s List, when a Jewish professor in Krakow suddenly becomes an experienced metal worker with forged papers, aged by tea stains.

The chairman of the Warsaw Jewish Council, Adam Czerniakow, was ordered by the Nazis to deliver 6,000 Jews per day, seven days a week, to the Umschlagplatz for deportation to Treblinka on the Bug river near the eastern border of German occupied Poland. A day later, the number was increased to 7,000 per day. Rather than cooperate with the Nazis, Czerniakow committed suicide on July 23rd, the first day that Jews were assembled ready for deportation.

After Poland was conquered, following the joint invasion by the Germans and the Soviet Union in September 1939, the Polish Army escaped to Romania and the Polish leaders set up a government in exile in London. The Polish soldiers continued to fight underground as partisans in the Polish Home Army.

Raul Hilberg wrote the following in his book, The Destruction of the European Jews:
Begin quote

The Polish underground thereupon contacted the Ghetto. The answer of the Jewish leaders was that perhaps 60,000 Jews would be deported, but that it was “inconceivable that the Germans would destroy the lot.” The Jews had one request, which the Polish Home Army was glad to fulfill. They handed to the Poles an “appeal addressed to the world and to the Allied nations in particular.” The Jewish leadership demanded that the German people be threatened with reprisals. The appeal was immediately transmitted to London, but the BBC maintained complete radio silence. As we shall have occasion to find out later, the Jews did not have many friends in London, or for that matter, in Washington.
End quote

UmschlagplatzSideView

My photo above shows a side view of the memorial at the Umschlagplatz. According to my tour guide, the design is supposed to represent a freight car with the door open. This memorial is located right on the sidewalk of a very busy street; notice the trolley car tracks on the street just a few feet in front of it, which you can see in the photo at the top of this page.

The photo below shows the interior of the memorial with a single bouquet of flowers left by a visitor. The inside is the same rectangular shape as a railroad freight car, although much bigger. The 7,000 Jews who assembled here daily were crowded into 60 freight cars for the train trip to the Treblinka extermination center. The daily deportations continued until Sept. 12, 1942.

When I was there in 1998, guards are posted near the memorial, but even so, the inside walls of this memorial had been defaced with a Nazi swastika when I visited it in October 1998. I was afraid that I might be accused of painting the swastika there, so I wanted to get out of there in a hurry. My tour guide took forever to turn the car around, so that we could escape as soon as possible.

7 Comments »

  1. FG quotes the following;- “On July 22, 1942 the Warsaw Ghetto was surrounded by Ukrainian and Latvian soldiers in German SS uniforms, as the liquidation of the Ghetto began in response to an order given by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler that “the resettlement of the entire Jewish population of the General Government be carried out and completed by December 31.”

    It is interesting that the Nazis chose Latvian and Ukrainian personnel for this task, because if the Germans were carrying out a highly secretive extermination program and were deporting 6 or 7,000 people per day to their deaths, then surely they would use their own trained and fully indoctrinated troops for this role. They wouldn’t use soldiers from different nationalities, whose loyalty and commitment to such a murderous enterprise would be questionable to say the very least.

    But then again, Ukrainian soldiers – called “Hiwis” – were also largely responsible for the actual security at the Rheinhardt alleged “death camps” themselves.

    Now, to me, this confirms that what was really taking place, was not an extermination program at all, but a deportation of people via transit camps to various work camps scattered throughout eastern Poland and the occupied Soviet Union. And that is why there was no need for German SS guards. Only lower-level security was required for this kind of operation, and thus Latvian and Ukrainian men were chosen for the role.

    The contemporary photo that shows people being assembled for deportation also indicates that nothing deadly serious, or threatening, was being undertaken. There are no guards brandishing guns, or dogs straining at the leash – in fact, what we are witnessing is a bustling scenes of crowds being organised by members of the unarmed Jewish Ghetto Police. The only two military guys in the image stand just to the center-right in the photo, and they carry no fire-arms but just stand around monitoring what is taking place.

    Comment by Talbot — June 19, 2016 @ 9:15 am

  2. How could you be accused of painting the swastika if no paint (container) or brushes were present (and no paint on you)? Or would it have been easy to dispose of such evidence nearby? Or maybe you were afraid you’d be accused of having been there previously?

    Do/did you LOOK like a Nazi? I take it you (like me) look “Goyish,” or non-Jewish (and don’t wear a yarmulke/beard/tzitzit).

    Comment by Jett Rucker — June 18, 2016 @ 1:33 pm

  3. Quote of quote…by FG……. The 7,000 Jews who assembled here daily were crowded into 60 freight cars for the train trip to the Treblinka extermination center. The daily deportations continued until Sept. 12, 1942

    I also don’t believe the high transports of people..I don’t think the train engine was capable of that much weight.
    They were not like the trains we have today. I read maybe 1000 or so people per train engine. Sixty box cars seems a little bit over the top.
    They need to have the high figures to make their Hoaxacaust work….Once you lie on one point you have to lie on all the others…..

    Comment by jim Rizoli — June 18, 2016 @ 1:30 pm

    • Yes, where does all this kind of information come from in the first place. We really have no idea at all if these numbers are true or not. Do they originate from genuine official German documents of the time, or have they been invented by so-called “survivors” who have told their stories to Soviet and Polish investigators, from which Jewish sponsored journalists, historians and writers have faithfully published without question in newspapers, books and magazines.

      In Gitta Sereny’s book, entitled “Into that Darkness”, the author interviews some of the former inmates of Treblinka, and they say that on Mondays no transports arrived from Warsaw, because Sunday was a day of rest when there were no deportations, and thus no train departures which would arrive at Treblinka early next day.

      So, whose right ?

      Comment by Talbot — June 18, 2016 @ 2:16 pm

    • A locomotive could EASILY handle the weight of 7000 people. A locomotive can easily handle 1 ton cargo per hp (at any time in history). That’s why trains are so economical – with their smooth tracks. If the people averaged 200 lbs each (high estimate), 7000 people would be 700 tons. Locomotives of the time were surely more than 700 hp. The smallest at the time were probably around 3000 hp. 60 freight cars in length (probably about 1/2 mile) was not too long for the time either – 50 cars was the average at the time. Only one locomotive would have been required for this 60 freight cars of people and it would’ve been able to drive pretty quickly with the ample horsepower it would’ve had.

      Comment by blake121666 — June 19, 2016 @ 9:25 am

      • On second thought, not TOO quickly – given its length; but quickly enough. With the 60 car length, braking would be a problem at high speeds. It probably kept under 50 mph or thereabouts.

        Comment by blake121666 — June 19, 2016 @ 9:30 am

  4. More truth…Why would people in a death camp get food parcels etc….I guess they wanted to make them feel good before they were killed….LOL

    http://www.polskawalczaca.com/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=18054

    JR

    Comment by jim Rizoli — June 18, 2016 @ 1:01 pm


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