The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/06/08

Q. Did you believe that you were in an extermination camp?

A. At the beginning I did not believe it.  When I arrived, I
saw what was going on there.  Later on, the train again
moved on, and we continued our journey for almost the whole
night.  Towards morning, we reached the station at Malkinia.
By then, I was standing near the window, and I noticed that
Polish men, railway workers, were making signs to us that we
were travelling to our deaths.  They drew their hands across
their throats, as a sign for being slaughtered.  At all
events, no one wanted to believe it.  "How could it be that
they could take young, fit people and send them straight to
their deaths?"  We did not want to believe this.

Once again, the carriages moved, and we came to a certain
place.  Suddenly we heard shouts in German: "Everybody out,
and take all your possessions and parcels with you."  Of
course, they began immediately hitting people with their
rifles and clubs, shooting people who did not manage to get
out quickly, most of them elderly people, sick persons, and
those who had fainted, and those met their deaths in the
freight cars or near the platform.  And then we assembled on
the platform, and they made us run in the direction of the
gate.  The gate led into a large yard.

Q. Was this already inside Treblinka?

A. Yes, this was inside the Treblinka camp.

Q. Please look behind you.  Are you able to identify the
illustration behind you?

A. Yes, only a certain part, not the whole picture.

Q. Do you recognize a certain section?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you recognize the part through which you entered?

A. Yes.  I recognize it.

Q. Would you please show the Court where it is?

Presiding Judge: Perhaps it would be more convenient in the
second illustration.  Compare the two illustrations.

Witness Teigman:   The train came in up to this point [he
points it out on the sketch] in this direction, through the
gate which was here.  Here was the platform.  From the
platform, we continued walking towards the gate.  At this
point, there was a fence with a gate, and here was the yard.
Thats right: Here there was a well, and two huts also stood
here.  These are the two huts which were placed inside the
yard, and near them there was a well.  I am almost certain
that this is how it was.  Here there was a garage, a motor
repair shop, a hut where they repaired vehicles.  Here,
later, were the buildings in which we lived, the staff and
the prisoners.  Here were the workshops.

Q. What was the name of this section of the camp where you
were?  By what number was it called?  Treblinka 1 or
Treblinka 2?

A. They called it Camp 1.

Q. And the second section?

A. They called the second section Camp 2.

Q. And you were in No. 1?

A. Yes.
Q. You arrived at the platform.  What happened to you at the

A. As I have already said, they opened the freight cars and
shouted at us to come out and take with us our personal
belongings and parcels.  A large number of people were
killed on this platform or inside these freight cars, such
as those who fainted or those who were not quick enough.  On
the double, at lightning speed, they made us run towards the
courtyard in which those two huts stood.  Next to the gate,
men were standing, men of the SS and Ukrainians, and here,
right away, the sorting began.  They shouted to the women to
go to the left, and to the men to go to the right.  I did
not want to part from my mother so soon.  Precisely at the
gate, I received a blow on my head from something, I think
it was from a stick, and I fell down.  I got up immediately,
for I didn't want to receive another blow, and by then my
mother was no longer at my side.

Q. After that, did you see your mother again?

A. After that, I did not see her again.

Q. How many young people were there with you?

A. When we entered the camp, out of the entire transport,
they took four hundred people - of course, after sorting,
after selection.  Two hundred remained in Camp 1, and two
hundred young people were sent to the camp where there were
the gas chambers.  This I learned afterwards, for I did not
know about it at the beginning.

Q. Do you want to add something about the Lazarette?  Did
something happen in connection with the Lazarette
immediately after you arrived?

A. Yes.

Presiding Judge: Where was that?

Witness Teigman:   I see it here. [He points it out].  And,
in fact, it was here, at the end of the camp, next to the
second gate.  This Lazarette was a pit that had been dug out
and fenced with barbed wire, and near it, at the entrance,
stood a hut painted white, with markings of the Red Cross,
and there was also a sign there, Lazarette.

Q. That we do not see here, so it seems.

A. We do not see it here, there is only a number here, 10 or

All these people who were killed on the platform, or those
who fainted or who still showed signs of life but were
unable to walk, we had to carry them to the Lazarette. They
cynically gave it this name, as if they were going to the
doctor.  There was this pit, and we had to throw all these
bodies into the pit.  Those who were still alive were shot
at the edge of the pit and were thrown inside.

Attorney General: You may now return to the witness stand.
On the following day, you went out to work?

A. Yes.

Q. What kind of work?

A. At first, we had to take logs of wood and to carry them
from place to place.  Afterwards, they sent us to sort out
personal effects.

Q. What personal effects?

A. The personal effects of the people they had brought
there, the victims who had gone to the gas chambers.  They
left all these articles in our camp, Camp 1, before they
entered the...

Q. What was the quantity of personal effects that you saw,
when you first came there?

A. An enormous quantity.  There were actually heaps outside
on the ground, several storeys high.

Q. Clothes, personal possessions?

A. Clothes, personal possessions, children's toys, shoes.  I
think there was nothing that...everything that one could see
was there - medicines and instruments, everything.

Q. Meanwhile, did further transports arrive on the day
following your arrival?

A. Yes, all the time.

Q. Transports were arriving all the time?

A. At first, there were many transports, almost every day.
There were also instances of two transports a day.  Later
on, after a number of months, the number of transports
decreased, there were less.

Q. And so, you say, your work was to carry logs of wood?

A. It was only at the beginning that they gave us that work.

Q. Afterwards, what was your work?

A. We worked in sorting personal effects.  There were also
people whose work was in preserving fur coats; we also
worked on renovating aluminium ware.

Q. Where did all these articles go to?

A. As far as we knew, as the talk went in the camp, all of
it went to Germany.

Q. Who shot the people at the Lazarette?

A. There were SS men: Scharfuehrer Mentz or Minz - I do not
remember his exact name; they called him Frankenstein, since
he had a face which really was frightening to look at - I
think his name was Scharfuehrer Minz.  The second was
Scharfuehrer Miete, he was from Berlin.  The third was
Scharfuehrer Blitz.  And they were helped by one of the
Ukrainians, but I don't remember his name.

Q. Once a transport of children arrived, do you remember?

A. Yes.  A transport of children arrived.  There were two
freight cars.  The children were almost suffocated,
actually.  We had to remove their clothes and take them -
that is to say, we transported them - into the Lazarette,
and there the SS men whom I have mentioned shot them.  It
was said that these were orphans who came from an orphanage.
I don't know.

Q. Generally speaking, what was the size of the transports?

A. Generally, sixty freight cars would arrive, and into each
freight car they put about one hundred persons.  I imagine
that there were up to six thousand persons, or even more.

Q. Was it always Jews only?

A. No.  There was also a transport of Gypsies.

Q. One?

A. In fact, there were two, but I remember one well.

Q. Apart from the Gypsies, were all the others Jews?

A. They were Jews.

Q. Do you remember a transport of Jews from Grodno?

A. Yes.

Q. What happened?

A. The transport of Jews from Grodno arrived, that is to
say, it was already the second transport.  It arrived
towards evening.

Q. Before that, was it preceded by another transport?

A. The transport that preceded it was much larger,
apparently from the environs of Warsaw - I don't know.

Q. Did they go to the gas chambers?

A. They went to the gas chambers.  After that, came the
transport from Grodno.  This was already towards the
evening, and the people who entered the courtyard between
those two huts refused to undress.  They were told to remove
their clothes, to tie their shoes well together; they were
given rope, wire, and they were strict about that.

Q. That they should tie their shoes together?

A. That they should tie their shoes together.

Q. Were the people there told why they were being asked to
do this?

A. Yes.

Q. What did they tell them?

A. There was also a large notice in the yard which said that
all the people were going to take a bath, that they would be
disinfected, and all their papers, valuables and money
should be handed in to the camp safe which was there on this
path that led to the gas chambers.  They called it
Himmelstrasse (Road to Heaven), or Schlauch (hosepipe), or
Himmelallee (Avenue to Heaven).  This building was a small
hut.  These people who had to receive all the papers, all
the money, and all the documents stood there.

Q. Can you point out where this Schlauch or this Himmelallee
was situated?

A. Yes.  I can see it [points to the sketch].  Here we see a
certain line, these two buildings.  And here is the
Schlauch, this Himmelallee.

Q. And here [pointing] the people walked after they had
already undressed?

A. Yes.  Here the people entered this path, it was called
Schlauch or Himmelstrasse.

Q. Can you identify it in the second picture also?

A. In the second picture, one sees it differently from here
[points to it].  The people inside the small building who
received all the documents and money used to be called
Goldjuden (gold Jews).  The person in charge was someone
named Scharfuehrer Suchomit.  I believe he was from
Sudetenland, for he spoke with a Viennese or Austrian

Q. Was it there that they told the people that they would be
taken to work, and that they had to take a bath?

A. First of all, they were going to take a bath, and
afterwards they should come to retrieve their belongings,
and then they would go out to work.

Q. Did the people who reached that point still believe that
this was the truth?

A. There were some who, I think, still believed, for at
first there was no reaction.

Q. Even after the blows at the railway station, after the

A. People were confused, for it was done at tremendous
speed.  I think the people did not even have time to think.
Each one fled and ran fast, so as not to receive blows.  But
perhaps we can pass on to the transport from Grodno.

Q. Let us go back now to the transport from Grodno.

A. Amongst them there were men who called out to the others
not to get undressed.  Apparently, they realized what was
going on and they knew.  And so they refused.  Then the
Germans and the Ukrainians began beating them.  They also
shot them.  I also remember SS men and Ukrainians who were
sitting on the roofs on the two huts I mentioned, with
automatic weapons, and they also fired into the crowd.
Despite all this, the people were not ready to undress.  We
stood some distance away and saw it all.  We were near the
yard.  Later we heard an explosion.  Apparently, someone had
thrown a grenade or I don't know what.  At any rate, they
removed a seriously wounded Ukrainian from this yard.
Afterwards, the Germans somehow overpowered them and put
them  onto this path by force.  But most of them walked in
their clothes.

Q. When was this?

A. This was several months after I reached Treblinka.  I
don't remember exactly when.

Q. In 1942?

A. Still in 1942.

Q. What did they do to the women, to the women's hair?

A. The women who came to the camp, as I have said, had to go
to the left and to enter one of the buildings in the yard.
There they had to undress and to continue walking.  There
was also a room there.  In a section of the room, there men
were who were called "barbers".  They had to cut off the
hair of these women before they entered this path.

Q. Please tell me, did the people who were brought in the
transports undergo some kind of selection in the camp,
either for work or dispatch?

A. There was no selection, apart from those who were taken
out for work.  Each time they took a number of people for

Q. For work in connection with the extermination?

A. Exactly.

Q. Was there no other work in this camp?

A. There was no other work.  It was all connected with the

Q. Do you remember the late Dr. Chorazycki?

A. I remember him very well.

Q. Who was he?

A. He was a doctor.  I think he came from Warsaw.  I'm not
sure.  He attended to the Ukrainians and also to the

Q. Was he together with you in Treblinka 1?

A. Yes.  I remember that, on one occasion, one of the
commanders, named Kurt Franz - he was an Untersturmfuehrer,
at first an Oberscharfuehrer and afterwards he was promoted
- searched him.  I don't know why he did this.  Perhaps
someone had informed against him, or perhaps this was just a
routine search which they made on most of the inmates of the
camp; money was found on his person.  Chorazycki knew right
away what was in store for him: Where money was found,
people were instantly shot, killed or hanged.

Q. Do you know for what purpose he was keeping this money?

A. He was one of those who wanted to carry out an armed

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