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Extermination Camp Treblinka

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It was in 1939 during the renaissance of the second world in Berlin, Germany when German dictator Adolf Hitler solemnly vowed to wipe of the entire Jewish people. He recounts the number of times the Jews laughed as his prediction of taking over the world and more decisively Poland. The Germans mostly conquered European countries through internal relations and use of their advanced weaponry. Therefore in the beginning of September 1939, Hitler raided Poland and by the end of October 6th 1939 took over Poland. It is at this juncture that the Poland now came face to face with six years vile horror at the hands of the Germans. This was veritable by the atrocities of Jews living in Poland. (London, 2007).According to Raul hilberg Book “the destruction of the European Jews “the Nazis plan in dealing with the Poland Jews was the creation of the Treblinka among other centres which included Belez, Sobibor, Auschwitz, Chemo MAdjanek. Treblinka was divided into two Treblinka 1 also known as the labour camp and Treblinka 2 which was the death camp. Treblinka 2 was mainly built for execution and it is at this place that over half a million Jews lost their lives. The Jews as seen by Hitler did not support the German agenda with their increase in number all over Europe thought to be a threat a conference was therefore held by deputy head of Security Main office General Reihard Von Heidich and deputy of the colony of the now known Czech Republic(Arad,1987).

Jews in Poland

After the invasion of Poland in 1939 the Nazis under their ruler Adolf Hitler went on a shooting spree through the pole streets committing wide spread killings of in communities and forcing Jews into slums. These resulted in a sharp decrease in the numbers of Jews in Poland. The soviet government offered the resident Jews the options of either acquiring citizenship of the soviet or face deportation.Harsh conditions of deportees like starvation, disorders and chilly weather resulted in the death of thousands of Jews. Those who chose the option of returning to their homes were instead resettled in other parts of the Soviet Union.These faced pressures such as privatisation of personal property and businesses, imposition of additional taxes, forced labour and oppressive financial policies these ultimately led to resettlement in concentration camps such as Treblinka. (Institute of Jewish Researching, 2005)       Building contractors: The construction of Treblinka 2 or the execution camp was set out as a fraction of Aktion Reinhard and began between the end of may and beginning of June 1942.The deal was awarded to local German companies  “Schonron(Leipzig)” and “Schmidt-Munsterman” .Also ‘’Deutsche Seil-und Drahtfabrik” firm were the ones responsible for bringing the fence. Neighbours, Warsaw Jews inmates and prisoners from the labour camp (Treblinka 1) were employed in the construction of the rail road. Charged with this duty was SS Hauptsturmfuhrer, Thommalla Richard, Reinhard Aktion and senior chief officer (Wilenberg 2006).        

Commanders

Dr Irmfried Eberl was the First senior officer of the Treblinka death camp. His credentials accredited him the post as he used to work for execution camp euthanasia in Bernbug. It is in 1942 where the collapse of the killing machines at Treblinka, and the importation of excess goods that were beyond the capacity of Treblinka that led to the sucking of Dr Eberl. Before the end of August senior sergeant Franz Stangl a former Subibor Commander was hired as the new commander. The poor execution of dutied By Dr Eberl called into action Wirth, a Christian who together with Franz Stangl and Hackenholt began the restoration of Treblinka Death camp to its earlier state. (Wilenberg 2006).

Camp force

The Treblinka camp had over 20 supervisors and between 80 and 12o security officers. The chief supervisors were mostly from Germany and Australia with records also revealing that security officers were form Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Moldavia and other countries(not just from Germany).The “SonderKommandos “was an organised group of Jewish prisoners numbering between seven to eight hundred who were organised by the officers to carry out specific functions in the camp.                                                     

After a train arrived, a group of prisoners known as “the blue squad” were delegated the duty of offloading the wagon and ensuring that it is dirt free. On the other hand were the “red troops” whose function was to remove the clothes from passage and keeping them in the store.  Any cash, Incoming supply including jewellery of any nature was handled by the “Geldgjuden” .These so called Moneyed Jews also were involved in conducting searches before prisoners entered the gassed chambers. Others known as dentists removed and jewellery found in the mouth of their fellow prisoners.          

Treblinka 2 inmates well known as “Totenjuden (Jews of death)”were obliged to transport the corpses of the dead inmates to the burial place where they were burned. They were also ordered to go through the burned bodies and dispose of any bones found on the ground. There were other groups which served the maintenance purpose of the camp. Finally is the “Kommando” group who were whipped a lot and contributed an enormous amount of inmates killed? Their function was to knit tree branches into the wire mesh to conceal the activities of the Nazis. “Kommandos” were mostly taken from the healthy batch of arrival inmates.           

A lot of suicide took place at the Treblinka labour  camp due to a statute known as the “Blue Rule” which stated that any prisoner with a face concussion was subject to death in the next day that is if the any facial injuries starts to appear (Wilenberg 2007).              

Camp zones

The Treblinka execution camp had various compartments that were almost similar in size. These zones include “Auffanglager” that was used as the inquiry desk SS and Ukraine residential area,” Wahnlager” for organising the camp, Jewish settlement and operational quarters and lastly ‘Totenlager” as higher camp site. Aside from this is an area separated by a wire mesh of 100m in length and width where Jewish captives slept.  The toilets were on the extreme end of parading area and Goods and services needed at the camp arrive from the reception located in the south side of the camp. At this point, is where the railroad and 200m stage, plus false stage are also found? (Chrostowski, 2007)                                

Treblinka was divided into two namely, Treblinka 1 and 2 Treblinka 1 was also split into sections with part 1 having the “SS-Totenkopfverbande” for security station guards, commander residence, storeroom, plus a garrison of 800 working prisoners. From the camp was a road that connected with the highway. Treblinka one Part 2 is where goods and services entering the camp. Close to the railroad were two other bases which served as a storage facility for prisoners. From a distance you could be cheated that one of the bases was a railway station.  Cash, Gold and all trinkets were kept at the teller office. The ill, elderly, bruised and the diseased were accommodated in a white painted infirmary “with a red cross” on it. (Grossman, 1994)       

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The road to pit as famously known was meshed with de Schlaunch and led to the deadly fumigating rooms. It is at this chamber that an approximately three thousand people lost their lives in a limited timeline of not more than 2 hours. The number of dead inmates used to increase each and every day to the point where they were discarded in the open field and left to rot. (Grossman, 1994) Extermination process: The victims of the holocaust were transported by railway and on arrival at the camp were divided based on their gender and ordered to undress under the low temperature which seemingly exceeded -20 degree Celsius. The choice as to who is legible to receive treatment was left to the guards in charge. Those resisting the infirmary, especially the Jews were assembled in the sanatorium and gunned down. On the other hand the ladies were shaven bold and their hair used to make socks for boat troops and shoes for the “Reich’s railway”. These were orders came into use in 1942 through all camp heads. . (Grossman, 1994)    

Victims of the Treblinka and other killing camps were executed by use of carbon monoxide which was produced by engines. This gas was produced in closed chambers which had small holes that offered audience to German soldiers who wanted to see the victims die. After this process lay the horrible appearance of bodies that lay over each other in different positions. These corpses were buried unceremoniously in stacks in mass graves while others on pillars made of concrete and also railway lines. Those who survived the ordeal were gunned down and burned. Over 700 corpses were smouldered at a time taking at least 5hours.(Grossman, 1994)  

It is the concentration camps that imposed compulsory manual labour with an aim of strengthening the German force while killing camps were made purposely to kill. At a distant, they appeared to be railway check point as a measure of deluding awareness of the fate of its victims. The execution camp also had a program of train arrivals and departures, where it is going and a travel clock. Vasility Grossman describes the railway station as “A Hell Called Treblinka” and issued to “the Nuremberg Trials”. (Grossman, 1994)       

The first killings took place when 356,000 Jews from the Warsaw slums and nearby region were vacated and executed at the Treblinka death camp. Districts such as Random Lublin Bialystostok have a record maximum total of 479,000 also facing execution.  Jewish Prisoners from other labor camps were also brought to and executed in the death camp Treblinka, for example camp Theresienstadk had 8000,Greece-4000 and Bulgaria’s Macedonia having 7000 Jews murdered in cold blood. ‘Gypsies” were not spared with over 2000 facing the hang. (Niss- 2009)        

Resistance

Many” Ukrainians and SS men” were wounded as a result of revolt from inmates at Treblinka 1 and 2.one of the remembered defiance movements took place on the month of August 1943 when a set of seventy prisoners schemed  a  plan to steal weapons in “Camp armory”. The prisoners had planned to launch the strike with the hope that fellow inmates would adhere. The plans of the strike did develop for long as one of the “SS Guards” became wary springing the scheme into action. An exchange of fire ensued setting up some structures on fire. The escalation of the violence gave room to fellow prisoners who took their chances of escaping. (Niss- 2009)                                         

Unfortunately, most of the escapees were shot dead by the watch tower guards and surrounding armed forces. Six hundred and eighty prisoners were killed in the process with a seventy escaping. As this happened, Forces opposed to Germany came closer and closer leading to the closure and destruction of many camps as a means of shredding evidence of German involvement in mass murders. The two Treblinka sites 1 and 2 were later sold to a Ukrainian as farms. (Niss- 2009)                    

Casualties and Results

According to the report issued by Dr.Helmult Kraunsik in 1965 in Munich, the Dusseldorf court conducted investigations and concluded that over seven hundred thousand people lost their life in Treblinka. These investigations did not end there as another report was presented by Professor Dr Scheffler Wolfgang which increases the tally of killings in Treblinka by 200,000.Treblinka guards and also Germans added to this debate by ranging the death toll figures from 1-1.4million people. Going by this, is evident that determining the accurate number is difficult though travel documents and telegram from Hoefl offers somewhat of a basis. (Grossman, 1994) 

A search through the publicized confidential information of Hofle revealed a telegram he was sent by commanding officer Reinhard which revealed that by the end of December 1942, the number of murdered Jews was 713,555. Adding these to the number of listed transports in     “Yitzhak Arads book”brings the figure to around 800,000. Based on the 1943 data and telegram Mlynarcczyk Andrzej adds the number deaths to a record seven hundred and eighty thousand, eight hundred and sixty three. (Grossman, 1994).                 

Treblinka was in 1942 under the leadership of Franz Stangl who later run off to Brazil and got employed in a Volkswagen company, Sao Paulo. Very well known for his role in the massacre of prisoners, the Australian government was reluctant in tracking and arresting Stangl till the first year of 1960. Strangl was sent back to “West Germany” and questioned on his involvement in the death of close to 1 million people. He pleaded guilty and defended himself by saying that he was acting out of orders given. In October 22 1970, he was found guilty and given a life sentence at the Dusseldorf penitentiary which he only managed to serve for 1 year. He died of coronary complications(Grossman, 1994).Current Form: The current entrance to Treblinka is the same as it used to be. There are also structures resembling tombs where names of cities and number of murders committed at Treblinka are written. The evil atrocities that took place at Treblinka are represented by a cracked monument constructed in the middle of the grounds. 

Conclusion

Having been warned by the Britons, French ausies against invasion into Poland in 1939, the Germans under dictator Adolf Hitler defied these and went ahead to invade Poland.  All this is after addressing a spirited speech in which he vowed to entirely wipe the Jews from Poland. His entrance into Poland on October 6th 1939 proved to be the beginning of the holocaust and suffering of the Jews living in Poland (London, 2007).                                         According to Raul hilberg Book “the destruction of the European Jews “the Nazis plan in dealing with the Poland Jews was the creation of the Treblinka among other centres which included Belez, Sobibor, Auschwitz, Chelmo MAdjanek. Treblinka was divided into two Treblinka 1 also known as the labour camp and Treblinka 2 which was the death camp. Treblinka 2 was mainly built for execution and it is at this place that over half a million Jews lost their lives. The Jews as seen by Hitler did not support the German agenda with their increase in number all over Europe thought to be a threat a conference was therefore held by deputy head of Security Main office General Reihard Von Heidich and deputy of the colony of the now known Czech Republic(Arad,1987).

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