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January 1, 2013

Kurt Franz, the last Commandant of the Treblinka extermination camp

Filed under: Buchenwald, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 10:49 am
Kurt Franz the last Commandant of Treblinka

Kurt Franz the last Commandant of Treblinka

I have been doing some more research on Treblinka II, one of the Nazi “death camps,” and Kurt Franz, the last Commandant of Treblinka II. (Treblinka I was a “labor camp.”) From this website, I have found a description of Kurt Franz, which mentions that he served in the Buchenwald camp in 1941, the same year that the zoo in Buchenwald was built by Karl Otto Koch.  I am now ready to concede that the photo that was found in the private album of Kurt Franz was taken at Buchenwald.  So The Black Rabbit of Inlé , who is a regular reader of my blog, is correct in identifying the photo of bears in a zoo, as a photo taken at Buchenwald, not Treblinka.  The photo of the bears was incorrectly identified by the Yad Vashem museum.

Photo of bears in the Buchenwald zoo

Photo of bears in the Buchenwald zoo

Why is all this important? It is important because there is a wealth of misinformation about the Holocaust and numerous Holocaust and World War II photos that are fake or misidentified.  It has gotten to the point that you can’t trust anything anymore.  A big Thank You to all the revisionists who are working hard on the Holocaust story. I happen to know that “the Black Rabbit” is young and British.  He is doing some fantastic work in setting the Holocaust story straight.  Thank God that there are young people today who are carrying on this important work.

The following quote is from the website:

FRANZ, Kurt Hubert SS-Untersturmführer SS-Number: 319 906
17/01/1914 – 04/07/1998

Not a member of NSDAP or affiliated organizations. Belonged to the Waffen-SS.

Born in Düsseldorf. Extended elementary school from 1920-1928 in Düsseldorf.
Since 1929 he was trained as a cook, at first in the restaurant “Hirschquelle”, then in “Hotel Wittelsbacher Hof” in Düsseldorf without final examination. Soldier during 1935 – 1937. In October 1937 he joined the Waffen-SS (3. SS-Totenkopfstandarte Thüringen). End of 1939 summoned to the Führer’s Chancellery and detailed for service as cook in the euthanasia institutes at Grafeneck, Hartheim, Sonnenstein and Brandenburg.
As member of the 6th battalion he served at the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1941 (SS Clothing Department, perhaps cook).
On 30 January 1940 he was promoted SS-Unterscharführer, in 1941 (?) SS-Scharführer. During Spring 1942 ordered to the Generalgouvernement.

Treblinka is very important to the Holocaust story because it is second only to Auschwitz in the number of Jews who were allegedly killed by the Nazis. Between 700,000 and 900,000 Jews were allegedly killed at Treblinka, compared to an estimated 1.1 million to 1.5 million who died of all causes at Auschwitz.

The first Commandant of the Treblinka “death camp” was SS-Obersturmführer Irmfried Eberl, who held this position from July 1942 to September 1942. He was succeeded by SS-Obersturmführer Franz Stangl, who served as the Commandant from September 1942 to August 1943. Prior to his service at Treblinka, Stangl had been the commander of the Sobibor death camp and before that, he was on the staff at Schloss Hartheim, where mentally and physically disabled Germans were sent to be killed.

The 3rd and last Commandant of the Treblinka “death camp” was SS-Untersturmführer Kurt Franz who was the commander from August 1943 until October 3, 1943. Franz was a handsome man who was nicknamed “Lalka” by the Jewish prisoners at Treblinka. The word Lalka, or Lalke, is the Yiddish word for doll.

The Treblinka “death camp” was located 62 miles northeast of Warsaw, near the railroad junction at the village of Malkinia Górna, which is located 1.5 miles from the train station in the tiny village of Treblinka.

Raul Hilberg stated in his three-volume book, The Destruction of the European Jews, that there were six Nazi extermination centers, including Treblinka. The other extermination camps were at Belzec, Sobibor, Chelmno, Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau. All six of the “death camps” were located in what is now Poland. The last two camps in the list also functioned as forced labor camps (Zwangsarbeitslager), and were still operational shortly before being liberated by the Soviet Union towards the end of the war in 1944 and early 1945.

The camps at Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor and Chelmno had already been liquidated by the Germans before the Soviet soldiers arrived, and there was no remaining evidence of the extermination of millions of Jews. The combined total of the deaths at Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor was 1.5 million, according to Raul Hilberg.

This quote, regarding the service of Kurt Franz at Treblinka, is from the website:

SERVICE AT BELZEC AND TREBLINKA: [Kurt Franz] Kommandant of Treblinka, from 27 August 1943 – November 1943.In spring 1942 (as SS-Scharführer) to Belzec. On 20 April promoted SS-Oberscharführer. He worked as cook, and trained the Ukrainian guards there. In August/September 1942 he was ordered to Treblinka where he took over the Ukrainian guard squads and rose to be deputy camp commandant. Commandant of Treblinka, from 27 August 1943 until November 1943. Promoted SS-Untersturmführer on 21 June 1943.Franz was the dominant personality in Treblinka when it came to the day-to-day running of the camp, and especially with regard to the prisoners. To the prisoners Franz was the cruellest and most frightening among the SS personnel in the camp. His physical appearance was extremely deceiving: he was nice-looking; he had a round, almost baby- face; and he was younger than most of the other SS men. He was therefore nicknamed “Lalke” (“doll” in Yiddish) by the prisoners. However, he was a murderer and a sadist who made the prisoners’ lives a nightmare.

Not according to the book Treblinka, written by Jean-Francois Steiner. In his book, Steiner devotes a lot of pages to the description of the parties and marriages in the Treblinka II camp.  Kurt Franz brought in women for the Jews who worked in the camp, but he performed marriages before men and women were allowed to live together.  This indicates to me that Kurt Franz was a very moral and considerate man.  He also set up an orchestra for the workers at Treblinka. How could a man like that be a “murderer and a sadist”?  I think that Kurt Franz was a decent man, and because of this, he had to be demonized by the Holocaustians.

This quote is also from the website:

Mostly, when Franz made the rounds of the Lower Camp and the extermination area, his dog Barry accompanied him (Barry’s first owner was Paul Groth, Sobibor). Depending on his mood, Franz set the dog on inmates who for some reason had attracted his attention. The command to which the dog responded was, “Man, go get that dog!” By “Man” Franz meant Barry; the “dog” was the inmate whom Barry was supposed to attack. Barry would bite his victim wherever he could catch him. The dog was the size of a calf so that, unlike smaller dogs, his shoulders reached to the buttocks and abdomen of a man of average size. For this reason he frequently bit his victims in the buttocks, in the abdomen and often, in the case of male inmates, in the genitals, sometimes partially biting them off. When the inmate was not very strong, the dog could knock him to the ground and maul him beyond recognition. But when the defendant Franz was not around, Barry was a different dog. With Franz not there to influence him, he allowed himself to be petted and even teased, without harming anyone. (Donat, p.313)

The dog named Barry

The dog named Barry

Note that the dog named Barry was at Sobibor at one time.  This settles another question about Barry, who was apparently at both Sobibor and Treblinka. However, I am not convinced that Kurt Franz actually commanded his dog to attack the prisoners.

If  Treblinka was not a “death camp,” what happened to the 900,000 people who were sent there? Treblinka was one of the Operation Reinhard camps, which the Nazis set up after the Wannsee Conference.  The Nazis claimed that these camps were set up as transit camps for Jewish “Transportation to the East.”

Is there any evidence that the Jews were resettled in the East?

Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the head of all the Nazi camps, was responsible resettling many people during World War II.  By March 1943,  he had resettled 629,000 ethnic Germans from the Baltic countries into the Polish territory that had been incorporated into the Greater German Reich in October 1939.

Himmler was also responsible for deporting 365,000 Poles, from the part of Poland that was incorporated into the Greater German Reich, to occupied Poland. He also deported 295,000 citizens from Luxembourg and the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, after these places were incorporated into the Greater German Reich.

All of this had been accomplished by Himmler by March 1943 when Dr. Korherr, who was Himmler’s chief statistician, made his report on what had happened to the Jews who were living in Eastern Poland.

In 2000, a document called the Höfle Telegram was discovered by Holocaust historians in the Public Records Office in Kew, England. This document consists of two intercepted encoded messages, both of which were sent from Lublin on January 11, 1943 by SS-Sturmbannführer Hermann Höfle, and marked “state secret.” One message was sent to Adolf Eichmann in the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) in Berlin and the other to SS-Oberststurmbannführer Franz Heim, deputy commander of the Security Police (SIPO) at the headquarters of German-occupied Poland in Krakow.

The encoded messages gave the number of arrivals at the Operation Reinhard camps during the previous two weeks and the following totals for Jews sent to the Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor and Lublin (Majdanek) camps in 1942:

Treblinka, 71,355; Belzec, 434,500; Sobibor, 101,370; and Majdanek, 24,733.

The number for Treblinka, 71,355, was a typographical error; the correct number should be 713,555, based on the total given. The total “arrivals” for the four camps matches the total of 1,274,166 “evacuated” Jews in the Korherr Report.

So there is proof that 1.275 million Jews were transported to the East, but where is the proof that they were killed?

December 30, 2012

The Buchenwald concentration camp and the Treblinka “extermination camp” both had a zoo

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 6:23 am

There is an on-going discussion in the comments section of my blog about the mislabeling of photos by Holocaust Museums.  For example, the photo below, which is shown on the Yad Vashem Museum website here.

Bears in the Treblinka zoo

Photo of the Treblinka zoo on Yad Vashem website

Photo of bears, enhanced in PhotoShop

Same photo of bears, enhanced in PhotoShop

I have added an enhanced version of the photo. Notice the background, which shows a stone structure, like the one at Buchenwald zoo.

Here is the caption on the photo above, as it is written on the Yad Vashem website:

Treblinka, Poland, Bears in the menagerie belonging to the camp command.
Belongs to collection:
Yad Vashem Photo Archive
Additional Information:
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.
Justizverwaltung des Landes Nordrhein- Westfalen
Yad Vashem
Name of submitter:
Leitender Oberstaatsanwalt-Dusseldorf

One of the regular readers of my blog believes that the photo, shown above, is mislabeled and that the photo was actually taken at Buchenwald, a concentration camp which also had a zoo.

The photos below were taken by me in 1999 when I visited the Buchenwald Memorial Site.

Bearpit in the Buchenwald zoo

Bear pit in the Buchenwald zoo

House for bears at Buchenwald

House for bears at Buchenwald

The zoo at Buchenwald was built in 1938, as soon as the camp was opened. Commandant Karl Otto Koch ordered the construction of a park area for the SS guards, just outside the camp fence. The park featured a birdhouse, a water basin, and a zoo for four bears and five monkeys. The bears were in full view of the prisoners, and there was also an elaborate falconry in another area outside the camp where the SS kept birds of prey.

Commandant Koch may have been a cruel, ostentatious embezzler, but he was soft-hearted when it came to animals. The Buchenwald camp guidebook contains the following order by Commandant Koch, concerning the animals at Buchenwald:

Commanders’s Order No. 56 dated 8th September 1938 (Extract)

1. Buchenwald zoological gardens has been created in order to provide diversion and entertainment for the men in their leisure time and to show them the beauty and peculiarities of various animals which they will hardly be able to meet and observe in the wild.

But we must also expect the visitor to be reasonable and fond of animals enough to refrain from anything that might not be good for the animals, cause harm to them or even compromise their health and habits. (…) In the meantime, I again received reports saying that SS men have tied the deer’s horns to the fence and cut them loose only after a long while. Furthermore, it has been found that deer have been lured to the fence and tinfoil put in the mouth. In the future, I will find out the perpetrators of such loutish acts and have them reported to the SS Commander in Chief in order to have them punished for cruelty to animals.

The Camp Commandant of Buchenwald Concentration Camp

signed by Koch


Note that “loutish” behavior by the SS guards was not tolerated. The German army was the best disciplined of all the armed forces fighting in World War II, and the elite SS troops were held to an even higher standard. Note that the Commandant is threatening to report them. He did not have the power to punish the guards nor the prisoners without approval from headquarters in Oranienburg.

Photo of Buchenwald taken after the liberation of the camp

Photo of Buchenwald taken after the liberation of the camp

The old photo above was taken shortly after the liberation of the Buchenwald camp. On the far left, you can see the Buchenwald zoo, which was just outside the camp. On the far right is the Buchenwald gatehouse, which is the entrance to the prison enclosure.

The camp inmates were not allowed to visit the zoo, but they could see the bears and monkeys through the fence, which is shown in the photo above.

As for Treblinka, a book by Jean Francois Steiner, entitled Treblinka, mentions that there was a zoo, which had been built at Treblinka by Commandant Franz Stangl for the amusement of the SS staff and some of the privileged prisoners, called Kapos, who assisted the Germans in the camp. Treblinka also had a camp orchestra and a brothel for the SS staff, just like the concentration camps.

Aerial photos taken by the Soviet Union while the Treblinka “death camp” was in operation show that there were Polish farms adjacent to the camp and that the whole area of the camp was devoid of trees. Today, the area of the Treblinka Memorial site is completely surrounded by a forest and the section of the camp where the guards once lived is now covered by trees.

Jean Francois Steiner wrote in his book Treblinka that the privileged prisoners in the camp had “a great life.” They were allowed to marry in the camp, and Kurt Franz conducted the wedding ceremonies. After one of the wedding celebrations, the prisoners got the idea of “a kind of cabaret,” where there was music, dancing and drinking on the Summer nights.

The book Treblinka reads like a novel and I am not sure if it is truth or fiction. The Treblinka II camp, where the zoo was located, was supposed to be an “extermination camp” where Jews were brought for the sole purpose of gassing them immediately upon arrival.

The following quote is from Steiner’s book.  It describes how the privileged prisoners (Kapos) and the SS men were having parties at the “death camp.”  The Commandant, Kurt Franz, was nicknamed “Lalka,” which means doll.  He was given this nick name by the prisoners because he was a very handsome man.

When Lalka heard about what was going on, far from forbidding it, he provided the drinks himself and encouraged the SS men to go there. The first contact lacked warmth, but the S.S. men knew how to make people forget who they were, and soon their presence was ignored. In addition to the dancing, there were night-club acts. The ice was broken between the Jews and the S.S. This did not prevent the S.S. from killing the Jews during the day, but the prospect of having to part company soon mellowed them a little.


The high point of these festivities was unquestionably Arthur Gold’s birthday. An immense buffet was laid out in the tailor shop, which the S.S. officers decorated themselves. Hand written invitations were sent to every member of the camp aristocracy. It was to be the great social event of the season and everyone was eager to wear his finest clothes. […] The women had done each other’s hair and had put on the finest dresses in the store, simple for the girls and decollete for the women. […] Arthur Gold outdid himself in the toasts that preceded the festivities. He insisted on thanking the Germans for the way they treated the Jews.


One evening a Ukrainian brought an accordion and the others began to dance. The scene attracted some Jews, who with the onset of Summer, were more and more uncomfortable in their “cabaret.” The nights were soft and starry, and if it were not for the perpetual fire which suffused the sky with its long flames, you would have thought that you were on the square of some Ukrainian village on Midsummer Eve. Everything was there: the campfire, the dancing, the multicolored skirts and the freshness of the night. Friendships sprang up. Just because men were going to kill each tomorrow was no reason to sulk.

Does the photo in the Yad Vashem museum show the Treblinka zoo or the Buchenwald zoo?  I will leave it up to the readers of my blog to decide.