It seems that everything about this dark and piercing place has been written and told, but I don’t think so. How someone could narrate the individual stories of almost one million people who were there, who died there, is beyond me. What was the German Nazi “pioneering scheme”, the “resettlement”, or “final solution”, as they called it. Their only aim was to wipe the “inferior race” from the face of the earth for the greatness of the thousand-year III Reich. They applied a three-stage policy against the Jews: segregation, concentration – ghettoization, and finally, annihilation.
In July 1942, in a remote part of occupied Poland, shrouded in a veil of mystery, the worst had come. There, on this silent and invisible piece of land, in the shadow of the great battles, somewhere on the sideline of the world’s military conflict, a small staff of Germans materialised the worst, demonic project imaginable. More than one hundred criminals set in motion the meticulously planned, and constantly modified process of the “conveyor belt killings”. It was a nightmare – having no right to be in the history of mankind.
This is what Treblinka has to say to the world.
The Operation Reinhard, the systematic killing of Jews by Nazi Germany in death camps : Beżec, Sobbibor and Treblinka. It is estimated that 1.7 milion Jews were gassed to death in those camps in just two years – 1942 and 1943.
TREBLINKA extermination camp was located in a forest north-east of Warsaw. The camp operated between 23 July 1942 and 19 October 1943. During this time between 700,000 and 900,000 Jews were killed in its gas Chambers.
Duration – 9 hours
Distance from Warsaw: 111 km
Additional materials: maps, images, photos with the structure of the Treblinka extermination camp, list of personel of the Operation Reinhard
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This place is unimaginable, and its essence lies outside of understanding, as if it were from another world, but wasn’t. The Germans used a mechanical digger to raise the camp area to the ground, and after this, they sowed plants. They knew that they were losing the war and they wanted to hide their inhumanity, every trace of these terrible crimes.
During our tour we let our imagiantion work: there was a ramp, here, tracks, sorting barracks, showers, in the distance the chambers. Here, people had come in the overloaded cattle cars, some of them on the edge of their endurance or already dead, others still alive. Among them were those who still believed, even if their inner voice alerted them, that they would take a job. This is what Germany said at the Umschlagplatz, in Warsaw – “it’s just a resettlement, you’ll work in the East”. Some of them had their house keys, they believed that they would return to their homes.
WHAT WAS THE NATURE OF TREBLINKA ?
The evil became for the perpetrators a simple thing: transport, unloading, sorting, chambers, supervision, then, after this “work” – relaxation with a bottle of good wine. The assembly line ended at the factory of death, with the managers. But evil is not trivial, except for a narrow group of executioners, for the victims the evil was sophisticated in every detail, every millimetre of its presence. A succession of cruel deceptions, creating an imaginary reality, ambiguity, robbing people of their dignity, humiliation, false hopes, all inseparable components of evil.
It all was done with one aim: to cause the victims to fully realise the location, their fate when the chamber doors were closed, dozens of seconds before their death – too late for any sign of protest.
This is what the Treblinka extermination camp was.