Scrapbookpages Blog

March 9, 2017

The horrors of Treblinka are well known

Filed under: Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 2:37 pm

Treblinka08.jpeg

My photo of the entrance into the Treblinka camp

The title of my blog post is a quote from this news article: http://www.cherwell.org/2017/03/09/shoah-how-do-you-understand-the-holocaust/

Begin quote

Of an estimated 300 inmates who escaped from Treblinka that day, about 100 survived the massive SS manhunt. Most of the Committee’s members, including Galewski, Bloch, and Kurland, perished during the uprising. Jankiel Wiernik escaped his captors and found shelter with a righteous Pole. The following year, with the assistance of Jewish underground leaders in Warsaw, he secretly published his memoirs of Treblinka and of the bold camp uprising, which were then smuggled to England and the United States. Wiernik died in Israel in 1972.

End quote

Treblinka15.jpeg

My photo of the bridge over the Bug river on the way to Treblinka

I wrote the following about Treblinka on my website:

Begin quote from my scrapbookpages.com website:

Many feared that the SS would soon liquidate the camp and its remaining prisoners so that all evidence of their heinous crimes would be destroyed.

To forestall this event, a group of Jewish prisoners, calling themselves the “Organizing Committee,” began planning an uprising and mass escape. Composed mainly of the camp’s prisoner functionaries, the Committee included over time former Polish army officer Dr. Julian Chorazycki, “camp elder” Marceli Galewski, former Czech army officer Zelo Bloch, as well as Zev Kurland, kapo at the camp’s “hospital,” and Jankiel Wiernik, a carpenter who worked in the extermination area.

In its preparations, the Jewish underground suffered some serious setbacks. In April 1943, the camp’s deputy commandant discovered Chorazycki, who was in charge of procuring weapons from the outside, with a large sum of money. In the struggle that ensued, the resistance leader chose to commit suicide by swallowing a vial of poison rather than risk the possibility that under torture he would reveal the identities of his comrades.
On August 2, 1943, the Committee launched their revolt. The prisoners seized weapons from the SS storeroom, attacked the German and Ukrainian guards, and set some of the buildings ablaze. Unconcerned with their own safety, the resistance leaders fought bravely to aid the escape of the inmates. Under gunfire from the watchtowers, many prisoners broke through the camp’s barbed-wire fences.

Of an estimated 300 inmates who escaped from Treblinka that day, about 100 survived the massive SS manhunt. Most of the Committee’s members, including Galewski, Bloch, and Kurland, perished during the uprising. Jankiel Wiernik escaped his captors and found shelter with a righteous Pole. The following year, with the assistance of Jewish underground leaders in Warsaw, he secretly published his memoirs of Treblinka and of the bold camp uprising, which were then smuggled to England and the United States. Wiernik died in Israel in 1972.

February 25, 2017

churches not too far away from every death camp

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 6:40 am

The title of my blog post today is a quote from this news article:

https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/02/24/70-years-later-still-no-answers-on-the-holocaust/

Stone path at Treblinka

Photo of stone path at Treblinka is included with news article

My photo of the same path at Treblinka

My photo of same path at Treblinka

A photo of the stone path at Treblinka is included in the news article. The Jews didn’t walk on this path; it was added years later as art work.

Begin quote from news article:

I’ve listened to the stories of Holocaust survivors, studied the history, and read many books about what happened 70 years ago. But for me, the learning never stops. [It never stops for me either]

[…]

So last October, I went to Eastern Europe. I flew to Berlin and took a train up to the Ravensbruck concentration camp, about an hour north of the city. Ravensbruck was the main death camp for women and girls. You may know the name Corrie Ten Boom. She was a Dutch Christian who hid many Jews in her family’s house, but was discovered and sent to Ravensbruck along with her sister. Corrie later watched as her sister was murdered and thrown into the ovens. [Why wasn’t Corrie murdered?]

At the [Treblinka] death camp, I stood where the first German women were trained to be members of the SS. I walked on weather-beaten stones where, years ago, ashes had been thrown. Underneath the stones, the ashes are still there — crying out for redemption. [No the stones were added much later; there are no ashes of Jews under these stones.]

I looked off into the distance, over the small lake, and saw a church steeple. In fact, I saw churches not too far away from every death camp I visited. The people in those churches knew what was going on.

Everywhere I went, it was grey, cold and drizzly. I traveled to the Ravensbruck, Dachau, Terezin, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Chelmno, Lodz, Treblinka, Plazkow and Majdanek death camps.[So did I.]

I also found my way to the small village of Jedwabne in Poland, which had a population of 1,200 before the War; half of these people were Jews.

On July 10, 1941, this village was the site of incomprehensible horror. The Poles forced rabbis to carry the Torah, marching and singing, as they brutally beat the Jews and drove them into a barn. They tied up children, stabbed live babies with pitchforks and threw them screaming into the barn. Then the Poles doused it with kerosene, and burned every Jew alive.

End quote from news article

What I found to be very strange about this woman’s story is that she apparently never questioned why these perpetrators of such violence had such hatred for the Jews. Why were these poor innocent Jews hated so much? Something wrong!

Could it be that the non-Jews in these places were so fed up with the Jews, who were lying, cheating and stealing, that they couldn’t take it any more? And that’s why these Jews were so brutally killed?

I have been to Germany many times, and I lived there for 20 months when my husband was stationed there with the US Army. I have always found that the German people do not get upset easily. They remain calm and do not kill people for no reason.

 

September 25, 2016

Treblinka memorial site is in today’s news

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 11:24 am

The first place that I visited, when I started traveling to Holocaust sites in 1998, was Treblinka, a camp in Poland where it is claimed, by Holocaust True Believers, that millions of Jews were killed. Holocaust deniers claim that Treblinka was a transit camp. I believe that it was a transit camp, but what do I know?

My 1998 photo of the huge monument at Treblinka

My 1998 photo of a huge monument at Treblinka

The huge monument at Treblinka, shown in the photo above, is located on the spot where the Jews were allegedly killed. No one is allowed to dig anywhere near this monument to prove, or disprove, that bodies were buried there.

You can read a news story about a trip to Holocaust sites in Poland, taken recently by Pam Kancher, on this website: http://www.heritagefl.com/story/2016/09/23/features/there-but-for-the-grace-of-god-go-i/6856.html

Begin quote

This past July, the Holocaust Center sponsored its first Jewish Heritage Tour to Poland and Prague. Thirty people joined me [Pam Karcher] on an emotional 10-day journey of reflection and remembrance. At our recent reunion we each shared a memory that stood out from all the rest. By far the most meaningful experience I had was visiting the Treblinka memorial.

Treblinka was the site of the Nazis’ second-largest extermination camp after Auschwitz-Birkenau. It is estimated that from July 1942 through November 1943 between 870,000 and 925,000 Jews were killed there-on average 2,000 men, women and children were gassed each day and their bodies burnt on huge, open-air cremation pyres.

Treblinka was not a work camp. It was built as a death camp. Jews were deported there from the Warsaw Ghetto as well as from other areas of Central Poland, primarily Warsaw, Radom and Krakow. Following an uprising by the prisoners in August 1943, the extermination camp was demolished and abandoned.

[The most important part of the news article is this quote:]

The Treblinka Museum of Struggle and Martyrdom, dedicated in 1964, was built in the shadow of the gas chambers, the original buildings having long ago been plowed and planted over. The only thing left were the ashes and memories. The outdoor museum is a symbolic Jewish cemetery made of 17,000 boulders of varying shapes and sizes-some say they represent the lost Jewish communities of the Holocaust. One hundred-forty of the boulders were engraved with the name of a town or village from which the Jews were deported.

End quote

My 1998 photo of the symbolic cemetery

My 1998 photo of the symbolic cemetery at Treblinka

There are no bodies that were buried in the location of the symbolic cemetery, shown in my photo above. That is why it is called a SYMBOLIC cemetery, not an actual cemetery where bodies are buried.  The purpose of this symbolic cemetery is to prevent anyone from digging up the ground to see if any bodies are  actually buried there.

In my humble opinion, there are no bodies buried in this area because Treblinka was a TRANSIT  camp, where no Jews were deliberately killed.

Symbolic cemetery behind Treblionka Monument

My 1998 photo of Symbolic cemetery behind Treblinka Monument

 

 

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.

May 21, 2016

What’s wrong with this map?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:12 am
Map of Poland

Map shows 3 Nazi death camps on the border of Poland

The map, shown above, identifies the locations of three of the alleged Nazi death camps: Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec. All 3 of these camps were very near the Bug river, which is not shown on the map.

Allegedly, the Nazis transported Jews to Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec for no reason, other than to kill them. But why waste trains and manpower to transport Jews to these Godforsaken places when it would have been more efficient, and cheaper, to gas them in Warsaw or at Auschwitz.

Transporting Jews from Warsaw to Treblinka and Belzec, both of which are right on the border of Poland, was highly inefficient, since the Jews could have been killed in a hidden gas chamber in Warsaw, and no one would have known about it.

Note that the locations of Warsaw and Auschwitz were easier to reach, than the three locations along the river. Auschwitz was the largest central railroad hub in Europe; trains from anywhere in Europe could go to Auschwitz without changing tracks.

If you have ever been to Germany, you know that the German people are very smart and very efficient. So why did the Germans come up with this stupid plan of transporting the Jews to Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec to be killed?  This is a trick question. The answer is that the Jews were not transported to these places to be killed; the Jews were sent, from these locations, into the eastern territories to get rid of them, but not to kill them.

So why am I writing about this now, you ask. It is because I have just read a news article about these camps: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/unearthing-the-atrocities-of-nazi-death-camps/

The following quote is from the news article, cited above:

Begin quote

During the Second World War, [Caroline] Sturdy Colls knew, more than 900,000 Jewish deportees had been killed at the Treblinka death camp, an unassuming site about the size of a suburban shopping mall. After closely guarded boxcars of arrivals passed through the gates of Treblinka or its sister camps, Beec [Belzec] and Sobibór, it took less than an hour for camp staff to exterminate them in engine-exhaust gas chambers.

All three of the Operation Reinhard camps were located within a few hundred miles of each other in formerly central (now eastern) Poland, and some 500 miles from the notorious Auschwitz death camp. Of the approximately 1.7 million Jewish people who arrived at the three Reinhard camps, scarcely a hundred survived the war, and they only made it because they staged desperate breakouts that succeeded against all odds.

End quote

Photo credit: Culture Club/Getty Images

Photo credit: Culture Club/Getty Images

My 1998 photo of the memorial stones at Treblinka

My 1998 photo of the memorial stones at the Treblinka camp

According to my tour guide, who accompanied me to Treblinka in 1998, the stones in the photo above cover the area where the ashes were buried after the Jews were gassed and burned at Treblinka. Each stone represents a town or a city from which the victims were taken to Treblinka to be killed. This monument prevents anyone from digging in this area to see if ashes or bodies are buried here.

March 24, 2016

“Trawniki concentration camp” mentioned in Holocaust themed opera

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:32 am

I doubt that one non-Jewish person in a million knows where Trawniki is located, nor the historical significance of this God-forsaken place.

I am writing about Trawniki today, in order to explain the following quote from a news article about a new opera which is based on the Jewish version of the Holocaust:

Begin quote from news article:

Weinberg, whose parents and sister were killed in the Trawniki concentration camp, fled to the Soviet Union in 1939. It was there that he became friends with Shostakovich, who used what influence he had to protect Weinberg, a vulnerable foreign Jew in a country where anti-Semitism remained strong. When Weinberg was imprisoned, Shostakovich intervened to get him out.

But if the influence of Shostakovich could spring Weinberg from prison, it could not make Soviet authorities love [the opera] The Passenger. The opera’s dark themes found little favor with a musical establishment that preferred uplifting, outward-looking works that celebrated working-class or communist heroes; a focus on the Holocaust deflected attention from the favored theme of Soviet sacrifices during “The Great Patriotic War.” Weinberg, who completed the opera in 1968, died in 1996 without ever seeing it performed.

End quote

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/entertainment/performing-arts/article67824407.html#storylink=cpy

When I visited the memorial site of the former Treblinka “death camp,” in 1998, I saw two large stones placed at an angle to form a gate into the former camp.

Entrance into Treblinka memorial site

My 1998 photo of memorial stones at the entrance into Treblinka memorial site

At the gate into the Treblinka memorial site, there are also 6 memorial stones, set close together. Each of the six stones is inscribed with a different language including Hebrew, English and Polish.

The English inscription says that the Treblinka camp was in operation from July 1942 to August 1943 and that during those 13 months, 800,000 Jews were killed there. The inscription also mentions the Aug. 2, 1943 uprising, calling it the “armed revolt which was crashed [crushed] in blood by the Nazi hangmen.”

It was this uprising, along with the uprisings at Sobibor and the Warsaw ghetto, which allegedly motivated the Nazis to execute all the Jews at the Trawniki forced labor camp near Lublin in November 1943.

Yes, Trawniki was a “forced labor camp” not a concentration camp.

Ashes of prisoners killed at Majdanek are under this dome

Ashes of 18,000 prisoners killed at Majdanek are under this dome

At the memorial site of the former Majdanek concentration camp, there is a small stone, near the Mausoleum shown in the photo above, which commemorates the deaths of around 18,000 Jews on that spot on November 3, 1943, an event that was code-named by the Nazis with the cynical word “Erntefest” which means Harvest Festival in English.

The Majdanek inmates called this day, November 3, 1943, “bloody Wednesday.” This was the largest mass execution carried out at any of the concentration camps in the history of the Holocaust. The victims were the last remnants of the Jewish population in the Lublin district.

According to the Majdanek guidebook, Heinrich Himmler ordered the liquidation of the Jews in the Lublin district after the insurrection on October 14, 1943 at Sobibor, one of the Operation Reinhard extermination camps on the Polish-Russian border, in which 300 Jews, led by a Jewish Russian Prisoner of War, escaped into the nearby woods.

In 1943, the three largest concentrations of Jews in Eastern Poland were at the camp at Majdanek and at the labor camp at Poniatowa, a tiny Polish village where 18,000 people were held, and at the Polish village of Trawniki where 10,000 Jews were imprisoned in a labor camp.

According to the Majdanek guidebook, “In the autumn of 1943, the Nazi authorities were alarmed by the uprisings in the Warsaw and Bialystok ghettos, by the activity of the resistance movement in the camps and by the rebellions in the death camps at Sobibor and Treblinka.” Their greatest fear was that the Jewish prisoners at Lublin would start a rebellion that would result in their escape to the forests where they would join the Polish partisans who were fighting the German Army.

The Nazis also feared that their plans to exterminate the Jews were being thwarted, by the cooperation of the camp resistance movement at Majdanek, with the Polish underground organizations fighting as partisans outside the camp.

The camp guidebook devotes a whole section to the activities of the camp resistance movement, which included activists from the Polish Home Army, and the main political parties: the Polish Socialist Party, the Peasant Party, the National Party, and the Polish Worker’s Party.

Along with the Polish civilian partisans, and the Jewish partisans hiding in the forests, there were also escaped Russian Prisoners of War, who would sometimes shoot the Jewish partisans. Although Poland had been conquered, within a month after the country was invaded, by the joint effort of the Germans and the Russians, guerrilla warfare continued in Poland until the Germans finally surrendered to the Allies in May 1945.

February 24, 2016

Monuments at Treblinka prevent digging for evidence

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:49 am
Stones with names of towns and villages, where the victims came from, are seen on the grounds of the former German Nazi Death Camp Treblinka, near the village of Treblinka, northeast Poland, Friday, Feb. 18, 2011. A German prosecutor has opened a murder investigation against a key witness in John Demjanjuk's trial on allegations the man may have been involved in mass killings at the Nazis' Treblinka concentration camp. Munich prosecutor Hans-Joachim Lutz told The Associated Press on Friday the probe is based on statements from former guards that Alex Nagorny, 94, took part in shootings at the camp in occupied Poland in 1941-42. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

Stones with names of towns and villages, where the victims came from, are seen on the grounds of the former German Nazi Death Camp Treblinka (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

The following quote is from the news story which includes the photo shown above:

“Stones bear the names of hometowns and villages of Jews at the site of the Treblinka death camp in northeast Poland. About 875,000 European Jews were killed at Treblinka in a one-year span at the height of World War II. (Alik Keplicz, Associated Press file)”

According to Holocaust True Believers, Treblinka was an extermination camp where Jews were brought from Warsaw, and many small towns and villages in Poland, to be killed in gas chambers.  Allegedly, their bodies were burned and the ashes were buried inside the camp.  Years later, the alleged burial site was covered with stones, bearing the names of numerous places from which the Jews had been brought to Treblinka to be killed.

Holocaust deniers believe that Treblinka was a transit camp, where Jews were given a shower before being sent, to the east, across the Bug river into parts unknown.

Unfortunately, we will never know the truth, for sure, because the ground has been covered by stones in honor of the victims, so that no digging for evidence can be done.

Stones with names of towns from whence victims came

Stones with names of towns from whence victims were brought to Treblinka

Stone monument at Treblinka

Stone monument at Treblinka surrounded by smaller stones which prevent digging

The photograph above shows the back side of the memorial tombstone at Treblinka. When the death camp was in operation, there was a narrow dirt path through a “tube” covered with tree branches which led to the gas chamber building in this spot. Notice the Menorah at the top of the tombstone.

Stone monument on the site where gas chamber was allegedly located

Stone monument on the site of alleged gas chamber at Treblinka

Located on a knoll, at the top of a gentle slope, on the site of the former Treblinka extermination camp, is a large circular area with 17,000 stones of various sizes and colors set into concrete, which represents a symbolic cemetery, which is shown in my photos above.

When I visited Treblinka in October 1998, my private tour guide told me that 130 of the stones have the names of the cities or towns from which the victims were deported to the death camp. The guide told me that many relatives, of those who died here, come to the symbolic cemetery and are disappointed to find that their village is not named on any of the stones.

According to a pamphlet, which I purchased at the Visitor’s Center, “The great monument in Treblinka is a homage of the Polish people to those ashes lie under the concrete plates of the symbolic cemetery. It is one of the most tragic monuments of martyrdom in Poland.”

My tour guide informed me that the ashes of the 800,000 people, who were murdered at Treblinka, were dumped in this area and are now hidden underneath the concrete of the symbolic cemetery and under the grass and tiny flowers which cover the area.

One of the 17,000 symbolic stones represents the city of Kielce in central Poland, where 42 Jews were killed by a mob of Polish citizens in a pogrom on July 4, 1946, long after the Nazi occupation had ended.

Today Kielce is a modern industrial city with a population of 210,000, located between Warsaw and Krakow. In 1939, the Jewish population in the city was around 25,000, although until the early 1800s, Jews had been barred from living in the city. After the 1946 pogrom, many of the 300,000 Polish Holocaust survivors fled Poland and settled in other countries.

In 1968 there was more violence against the Jews in Poland, and almost all of the survivors were forced to leave.

Since my visit to Treblinka in 1998, I have learned that some tour guides now tell visitors that the number of 17,000 stones in the symbolic cemetery represents the highest number of Jews that were gassed in a single day when the camp was in operation. Others say that the number 17,000 represents the number of Jewish communities that were destroyed in the Holocaust.

According to the pamphlet which I obtained from the Visitor’s Center, the Treblinka memorial site was built between 1959 and 1963. In February 1960, the Warsaw Regional Council selected the designs of Polish sculptor Franciszek Duszenko and Polish architect Adam Haupt for the memorial stone and the Symbolic Cemetery.

According to the Warsaw Regional Council, the design of the symbolic cemetery would create a field of jagged stones that suggest a cemetery consisting of 17,000 stones with 700 of the stones inscribed with the names of the Jewish villages and communities in Poland that were obliterated by the Holocaust.

Symbolic cemetery with simulated burning pit in foreground

Symbolic cemetery at Treblinka has simulated burning pit in foreground

Stone commemorating victims from Sandomierz

Treblinka stone commemorating victims from Sandomierz

Symbolic cemetery in Treblinka

Stone in honor of victims sent from Warsaw

The 800,000 bodies, which had allegedly been buried previously at Treblinka, were later dug up and then cremated on the orders of Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, after he had visited the camp in 1943, according to Martin Gilbert. This project allegedly required three months of intense labor by 1,000 Jewish workers who were forced to perform this grisly task in an attempt to destroy the evidence of alleged mass murder at Treblinka.

Monument at Treblinka recreates the burning pits

Monument at Treblinka recreates burning pits where the bodies of Jews were burned

According to my tour guide, on my trip to Treblinka in 1998, the first gas chambers at Treblinka used carbon monoxide. The 10 new gas chambers used the poison gas known as Zyklon-B, according to the pamphlet which I purchased at the Visitor’s Center.

According to the True Believer version of history, Treblinka did not have delousing chambers; all the clothing taken from the prisoners was sent to the Majdanek camp to be disinfected with Zyklon-B before being sent to Germany. What? The Nazis couldn’t spare some of the Zyklon-B, used at Treblinka, to delouse the clothing?

A short distance farther up the slope, to the east of the gas chambers at Treblinka, was located the “cremation pyres” according to a map in the camp pamphlet which I purchased at Treblinka.

Strangely, none of the three Operation Reinhard extermination camps had a crematorium for burning the bodies of the 1.5 million Jews who were killed in these camps. Of the other five extermination camps which were in operation during the same period (Chelmno, Sobibor, Belzec, Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau), only Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek, which also functioned as forced labor camps, had crematoria with ovens for burning the bodies.

It is hard for me to believe that the Nazis did such poor prior planning of the extermination of the Jews in the death camps.

One of the 40 prisoners who escaped from Treblinka, and lived to tell about it, was Abraham Bomba, a Jew who was born in 1913 in Germany, but raised in Czestochowa, Poland. Bomba was one of the 1,000 Jews who lived in the barracks in a separate section of the Treblinka II camp and worked for the Germans who ran the death camp. Bomba was a barber and his job was cutting the hair of the victims inside the gas chamber, just before they were gassed. In 1990, he told about his experience in the camp in a video-taped interview for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. The quote below is from the transcript of his interview:

“And now I want to tell you, I want to tell you about the thing…the gas chamber. It was, they ask me already about this thing. The gas chamber, how it looked. Very simple. Was all concrete. There was no window. There was nothing in it. Beside, on top of you, there was wires, and it looked like, you know, the water going to come out from it. Had two doors. Steel doors. From one side and from the other side. The people went in to the gas chamber from the one side. Like myself, I was in it, doing the job as a barber. When it was full the gas chamber–the size of it was…I would say 18 by 18, or 18 by 17, I didn’t measure that time, just a look like I would say I look here the room around, I wouldn’t say exactly how big it is. And they pushed in as many as they could. It was not allowed to have the people standing up with their hands down because there is not enough room, but when people raised their hand like that there was more room to each other. And on top of that they throw in kids, 2, 3, 4 years old kids, on top of them. And we came out. The whole thing it took I would say between five and seven minute. The door opened up, not from the side they went in but the side from the other side and from the other side the…the group…people working in Treblinka number 2, which their job was only about dead people. They took out the corpses. Some of them dead and some of them still alive. They dragged them to the ditches, and over there they covered them. Big ditches, and they covered them. That was the beginning of Treblinka.”

After each gassing, the Jewish workers at Treblinka had to clean up in preparation for the next batch of victims, according to Abraham Bomba. The clothing that had been taken off by the victims had to be removed and put into piles for sorting before being sent on the next empty transport train to Lublin. Everything was done with great efficiency in this assembly-line murder camp, and nothing was wasted. All of the clothes and valuables, taken from the Jews when they arrived at Treblinka, were sent to the Majdanek camp in a suburb of Lublin where everything was disinfected before being sent to Germany and given to civilians.

In his 1990 interview at the USHMM, Bomba described what happened next. Below is a quote from the transcript of his interview:

“People went in through the gate. Now we know what the gate was, it was the way to the gas chamber and we have never see them again. That was the first hour we came in. After that, we, the people, 18 or 16 people…more people came in from the…working people, they worked already before, in the gas chamber, we had a order to clean up the place. Clean up the place–is not something you can take and clean. It was horrible. But in five, ten minutes this place had to look spotless. And it looked spotless. Like there was never nobody on the place, so the next transport when it comes in, they shouldn’t see what’s going on. We were cleaning up in the outside. Tell you what mean cleaning up: taking away all the clothes, to those places where the clothes were. Now, not only the clothes, all the papers, all the money, all the, the…whatever somebody had with him. And they had a lot of things with them. Pots and pans they had with them. Other things they had with them. We cleaned that up.”

 

February 21, 2016

Funeral of Samuel Willenburg, famous survivor of Treblinka death camp, will be on Monday, Feb. 22, 2016

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 2:08 pm

Read more about the life of Samuel Willenburg here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3456255/Last-survivor-Treblinka-dies-aged-93-73-years-daring-escape-Nazi-death-camp.html

Samuel Willenburg as a young man

Samuel Willenburg as a young man

Recent photo of Samuel Willenburg shortly before he died

Recent photo of Samuel Willenburg shortly before he died

You can read about the death of Samuel Willenburg in this news article:  http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4768494,00.html

The following quote is from the news article cited above:

Begin quote:

Samuell Willenburg, the final survivor of the Treblinka extermination camp revolt, passed away in Israel on Saturday at the age of 93. His funeral is to take place on Monday at 3:00 PM at Moshav Udim. He leaves behind his wife, daughter, and three grandchildren.

At the age of 17, Willenburg joined the Polish army and fought against the Nazi invaders in 1939. After surviving the Holocaust, he worked as a sculptor and commemorated one of his statues to the Trebelinka uprising, when prisoners launched a revolt that resulted in the successful escape of 67 of them.

He recounted his stunning escape to Ynet’s sister site Xnet in an interview: “They shot at me, but I continued to run away.” He added: “Some of the people who escaped with me ran to the left and others ran to the right; I ran straight ahead, alone.”
After the revolt, the Nazis murdered 900,000 Jews within 13 months at Treblinka. Willenburg later participated in the Polish Warsaw Uprising in 1944. His tale has been immortalized in an autobiography, “Surviving Treblinka,” published in Hebrew, Polish, and English in 2002, and the documentary film “The Final Witness”. The president of Poland also granted him the highest military decoration bestowed by Poland.

End Quote

You can read about Treblinka on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Treblinka/introduction.html

and on this page of my website:  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Treblinka/Treblinka07.html

and on this page:  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Treblinka/Treblinka06.html

Rest in Peace, Samuel Willenburg, famous Holocaust survivor.

 

February 20, 2016

Treblinka as it looked in 1998 when I first saw it

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: — furtherglory @ 12:46 pm
The entrance into Treblinka in 1998

The entrance into Treblinka camp in 1998

When I went to see what was left of the former Treblinka extermination camp in October 1998, the entrance road into the camp looked like an old logging road. When my tour guide and I finally arrived at the site of the Treblinka extermination camp, it looked as if we were on another old logging road, which went  through another dense forest. If someone had wandered into this area by mistake, that person might have thought that he had just entered a campground in a national forest.

Everything at the site of the former Treblinka camp was very quiet and serene with only the sound of a few birds.

The photo below shows the Bistro, which was not open when I was there in 1998.

Bistro inside the Treblinka camp

Bistro inside the Treblinka camp

Just beyond the Bistro, shown in the photo above, is a narrow parking lot and a small building where you can buy postcards or a three-page pamphlet printed in several languages. The car that is shown in the photo was the car that was driven by my tour guide.  We were the only visitors there.

Tourist center at Treblinka in 1998

Tourist center at Treblinka in 1998

The photo above shows a small building where tourists can buy postcards or a three-page pamphlet printed in several languages.

There is a covered arcade area open to the elements in front of the building, where huge blowups of several famous Holocaust photographs are hung, along with a poster with some information about Janusz Korczak, a Jewish director of an orphanage, who accompanied a group of orphans to the Treblinka camp, and died along with them.

Entrance into the Treblinka camp as it looked in 1998

Entrance into the Treblinka camp as it looked in 1998

The small pamphlet, which I purchased from the Visitor’s Center at Treblinka in 1998, says that “After the riot the camp was being slowly liquidated and in November of 1943 it was not existing already.”

By this time, the Germans were losing the war on the Eastern front and were in retreat. The Treblinka camp was completely dismantled and all the buildings were destroyed when it was liquidated, according to the Soviet Union whose soldiers discovered the site of the abandoned camp in 1944.

Among the few survivors of the camp were those who had escaped during the uprising and had joined the partisans hiding in the forests.

The photo below shows the forest, looking toward the east, on the left side of the cobblestone path as you enter. The line of stone markers delineate the original northern border of the camp. The area to the right of the stones is the former location of the barracks for the Treblinka SS staff members and the Ukrainian guards.

A line of stones marks the boundary of the former Treblinka camp

A line of stones marks the boundary of the former Treblinka camp which was in a forest

It was so quiet at the former Treblinka camp that the only sound that I could hear was my own footsteps on the cobblestone path. The peaceful setting, shown in the photos above, is near the site of the ashes of 870,000 Jews who were allegedly murdered here.

The map of the Treblinka camp has been turned so that the top of the map is East

The map of the Treblinka camp has been turned so that the top of the map is East

The map, that is shown above, shows the layout of the Treblinka camp as it is seen by visitors today who enter the area of the former camp along the route of the train tracks, shown at the bottom of the map.

Shown in gray on the left side near the bottom of the map is where the SS staff members and the Ukrainian guards lived. Around 1,000 Jewish workers lived in the barracks that are shown in black.

The fake train station where the clothing was stored is shown in blue; the undressing rooms for the Jews are also shown in blue. On the right side of the map, the burial sites are shown in brown.

The gas chambers are shown in red; the large red rectangle is where 10 new gas chambers were constructed near the original gas chamber. Today, a large monument is located in the spot where the original gas chamber once stood.

The pyres where the bodies were burned are indicated by the lines just above the red rectangle that denotes the gas chamber. The area where the barracks once stood is now covered with trees; the area at the top of the map on the right is where the symbolic cemetery is now located.

 

 

 

The last survivor of Treblinka, Samuel Willenberg, dead at 93

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:47 am
Samuel Willenberg

Samuel Willenberg, the last survivor of Treblinka camp

Symbolic cemetery at Treblinka

Symbolic cemetery at Treblinka

There are no graves for the Jews who were allegedly killed at Treblinka, but there is a symbolic cemetery that has been built over the ground where the bodies were allegedly buried.  No digging is allowed, so the bodies have never been found.

I blogged about Samuel Willenberg in this previous blog post:  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/samuel-willenberg-91-the-last-living-survivor-of-the-treblinka-extermination-camp/

I also blogged about his daughter who has designed an Education Center for tourists at the Treblinka Memorial Site on the grounds of the former Treblinka death camp. https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/90-year-old-survivor-of-treblinka-death-camp-unveils-foundation-stone-for-future-treblinka-education-center-designed-by-his-daughter/

The original sign at the Treblinka camp

The original sign at the Treblinka camp

The following quote is from a news article about Willenberg’s death:

Begin quote:
Samuel Willenberg, the last surviving prisoner of Treblinka — who managed to escape the Nazi death camp in 1943 — has died at the age of 93.

In 1941, Willenberg’s two sisters were arrested in Czestochowa, while his parents used false documents to escape the Nazi purge. At the age of 19, he was rounded up with the Jews during the liquidation of the ghetto in Opatow in southern Poland, and sent to Treblinka.

Acting on the advice of another Jewish prisoner, Willenberg posed as a bricklayer upon his arrival at the extermination camp. He was the only person from his transport not to perish in the gas chambers.

Willenberg took part in the 1943 revolt at Treblinka, becoming one of the few hundred who managed to escape the camp.

[…]

His daughter, Orit Willenberg-Giladi, was in 2013 named as the architect to design a Holocaust education center on the site of the Nazi death camp.

End quote

Huge monument at Treblinka in honor of the Jews who died there

Huge monument at Treblinka in honor of the Jews who died there

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