The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-066-07

Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-066-07
Last-Modified: 1999/06/08

Presiding Judge: Did this team remain there permanently, or
was it replaced?

Witness Teigman:   Actually, they were replaced.  But, at
the end, when they took us into the building, after Stangl's
speech, they retained the team permanently, in fact.  But,
day after day, they would execute some and add others to the

Q. For a special reason, or just at random?

A. Usually, there were special reasons.  And there were also
times when they did so for their amusement.  It is
impossible to define this accurately.

Presiding Judge: Thank you, Mr. Teigman, you have concluded
your testimony.

Attorney General: I call the next witness - Mr. Eliahu

[The witness is sworn.]

Presiding Judge: What is your full name?

Witness: Eliahu Rosenberg.

Attorney General: You are a storeman by profession?

Witness Rosenberg:  Yes.

Q. Where do you work?

A. At Jaffa port.

Presiding Judge: How old are you now?

Witness Rosenberg:  Thirty-five.

Attorney General: Until 1942, you were in Warsaw?

Witness Rosenberg:  Yes.

Q. And on 11 July 1942, you were deported to Treblinka?

A. It was in the summer.

Q. When you reached the railway station at Treblinka, in the
midst of the great confusion, did a Jew come up to you and
say something to you?

A. He did not say it to me, but to his friend, an
acquaintance of his, in Yiddish: "Moshe, chap a besem un
rateve sich!" (Moshe, grab a broom and save yourself!)

Q. And what did that man do?

A. This man took hold of a broom that was lying at the side,
went into the freight cars and began sweeping the cars.

Q. What did you do?

A. I overheard this.  At that time, an SS man arrived, by
the name of Lolka, that's how he was called there.

Q. Who was he?

A. Kurt Franz.  He passed by with a Peitsche (whip) in his
hand, and took men from the ranks who were sitting on the
floor, several men, about thirty of them.  When I saw this,
I jumped into this group, with a parcel in my hand, and I
stood there together with them.

Q.  Were your mother and three sisters in the same

A. Yes, Sir.  When we alighted from the freight cars amidst
the shouting, they transferred my mother and my sisters to
the left-hand side.  I managed to exchange one word with my
mother: "If you reach any place, write a letter to a Pole
named Kowalski in Warsaw, and I shall also send a letter to
you, and in this way we shall know where we are."

Q. You thought you would meet again?

A. I thought we would meet again, and that I would know
where she was.

Q. You did not know that you were in an extermination camp?

A. No, Sir.  I did not know.

Q. Did you see your mother or your sisters after this?

A. No, Sir.  I got to know that they were in a particular

Q. Where were they buried - in Treblinka?

A. Yes.

Q. What happened to the group which you joined?

A. When Kurt Franz chose the working party of thirty men,
when he finished this selection, he began to shout and ask:
"Who came in here without permission?"  Naturally, none of
these men knew who the extra one was.  I was then saved from
certain death.  He made a sign to the Ukrainian standing by
his side, I don't know what it was, but they began chasing
us towards the first camp.  Inside the first camp, they told
us to throw down the parcels we had with us, and we began
sorting the parcels, an enormous heap of parcels: shoes
separately, clothing separately, children's wear separately,
gold separately, and all kinds of articles separately.  And
I worked in this way the whole day.

Q. And the next day?

A. The next day, we went out in the morning - it was 11
o'clock - to a roll-call.  After the roll-call, they
directed us to a heap, to do roughly the same thing - to
sort out all these goods.  After a short while, SS
Scharfuehrer Matthias appeared and shouted: "Twenty men
volunteers."  I was standing near him.  I was afraid that as
I was standing near him and if I did not step forward, he
would take revenge on me or strike me.  I stepped forward.
He said: "You are going out to light work for ten minutes."
They then took us to Camp 1, the death camp.

Q. Where did they take you?

A. They took us towards the gate which was camouflaged with
pine branches.

Q. Please look behind you, Mr. Rosenberg, are you able to
identify what this picture is?

A. That is the Treblinka camp.

Q. Please be good enough to approach the picture.  You say
this is the Treblinka camp.  Which way did they take you to
the camouflaged gate?  Will you please point to it?

A. [Points] The gate was here, at this place, camouflaged
with pine branches.  We reached this point.  When they
opened the gate, we went in, here.  All of us were
automatically in a state of shock, for we saw a pile of
corpses.  And the German Matthias began shouting to this
group - "An die Tragen" (to the stretchers).  We did not
understand what was going on.  We began running around the
bodies.  The Germans and the Ukrainians who were present
there hit us.  We did not know what we were supposed to do.
The Jews who worked on removing the bodies said to us: "Take
hold of the stretchers and put a body on each."  We seized a
stretcher, another person and I, I don't know what his name
was, we went up to this pile, and we took a body away on a
stretcher.  We walked to the graves at this spot - 150 to
200 metres to the grave, and we threw the bodies down below.

Q. Please show us where you lived in Treblinka 2

A. In this hut [points to the hut between the building
containing the gas chambers and the watch tower].

Q. What was the depth of the grave into which you cast the

A. The grave was six to seven metres deep.  It was built
with a slope, in a conical shape.

Q. And throughout the day you worked moving the bodies?

A. The entire day I worked in transferring the bodies from
the gas chambers to the graves.

Q. And you also worked on this afterwards?

A. The work was somewhat strange.  When we left for work in
the morning, SS men divided us into working groups.  There
were three kinds of labour there: there were the gas
chambers, the transfer of the bodies to the graves, and
after that, there was the burning of the bodies.

Q. On the first night, the men who arrived together with you
could not overcome the shock?

A. Correct.

Q. What did they do?

A. Many of them hanged themselves with their belts.  One
asked the next to pull the chair from underneath him, so
that he should not suffer; we helped each other.

Q. Did you witness the whole process of the extermination?

A. I saw the entire process.

Q. Describe it briefly to the Court.

A. The people arrived from this famous "Himmelstrasse,"
which led from Camp 1 to Camp 2.  In the Himmelstrasse, SS
men, the entire staff of Camp 2, stood there with dogs, with
whips and bayonets.  The people walked past in silence.
That was at the beginning, in summer 1942.  They did not
know where they were going.  When they entered the gas
chambers, two Ukrainians stood next to the entrance - one
was Ivan and the other was Nikolai.  They introduced the

Q. Where did the gas come from?

A. The gas came from an engine.

Q. They did not bring it from outside - it was produced on
the spot?

A. It was Ropa - Ropa gas.

Q. Was it manufactured by an engine, from the exhaust of a
diesel engine?

A. Yes.  It was gas from an engine.  They put in Ropa, which
was a kind of oil, a crude oil, and the fumes entered the
gas chambers.  The people who were the last to enter the gas
chambers, the very last, received stabs in the bodies from
the bayonets, since the last persons already saw what was
going on inside and did not want to enter.  Four hundred
people were put into one small gas chamber.  And when they
forced them in, they, on their part, pressed inwards and in
this way reached the full capacity, so that only with
difficulty could the outer door of the chamber be shut.

When they shut them in, we were standing on the outside.  We
only heard cries of "Shema Yisrael,"  "Father," "Mother";
thirty-five minutes later they were dead.  Two Germans stood
there listening to what was going on inside.  Afterwards
they said, "Alles schlaeft" (They are all asleep).  They
ordered us to open the door.  We opened the door and removed
the bodies.

Q. At a certain stage they began burning the bodies in the
camp.  Is that correct?

A. That was in February 1943.

Q. Did someone visit the camp?

A. In January 1943, Himmler arrived with a group of senior
officers.  They inspected the camp.  After their visit  an
order was given to remove the bodies from the graves.

Q. After the visit, did they begin exhuming the bodies from
the graves?

A. After the visit, they began removing the bodies from the
graves with dredgers.

Q. Where did they remove them from - are you able to point
that out on the sketch?

A. Yes.  Here [he points to the pits] were the graves, and
here were the incinerators.  The dredgers removed the
bodies, dumped them on the ground, and here, using wooden
stretchers, we threw the bodies and parts of bodies down
next to the incinerators and with pitchforks threw the
bodies into the incinerators which were set alight with

Presiding Judge: What are these walls between the pits - was
this how it was?

Witness Rosenberg:  These were piles of sand which were dug
from the graves.

Attorney General: Please return to the witness stand, Mr.

During the time you were in Treblinka, did a transport
arrive every day?

Witness Rosenberg:  In 1942, a transport arrived every day,
until the winter of 1943.  Then the daily transports
stopped, and they used to arrive once in two or three days.

Q. How many men worked with you in removing the bodies from
the gas chambers?

A. In Camp 2, there were roughly two hundred men.

Q. How many were engaged in this work?

A. All of them.

Q. Did the people who arrived at Treblinka remain there
overnight, or were they exterminated the same day?

A. They were exterminated the same day.  And when a large
transport arrived, they put them into the gas chambers, and
we took them out the next morning.  They did not remain
alive until the following morning.

Presiding Judge: I did not understand that.  When were these
people from the last transport exterminated - that same

Witness Rosenberg:  When the last transport arrived, it was
already night-time - they evidently were afraid to let us
work at night, so they put us into our huts, and those who
arrived in the evening were put into the gas chambers at
night, and we transferred them to the graves in the morning.

Q. When did they introduce the gas?

A. At night.

Attorney General: Where did the people who were exterminated
in Treblinka come from?

Witness Rosenberg:  At the beginning, they came from Poland,
from Warsaw, Czestochowa, from the small towns.  Afterwards
from almost the whole of Europe - they came from Belgium,
Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Holland and Serbia.

Q. How do you know that?

A. When I removed the bodies from the gas chambers, the
people, mostly women, had hidden all kinds of documents and
money in their private parts, and they fell out afterwards,
and we saw them.  There were many cases of people from the
gas chambers who remained alive.

Q. What happened to them?

A. Those who survived were mainly children, small children
who slipped to the floor, and when we opened the gas
chambers and removed the bodies, we saw children underneath
who had remained alive.  The Germans took them away and shot

Dr. Servatius:  I have no questions to the witness.

Judge Halevi:  Which part of the camp did Himmler visit?

Witness Rosenberg:  We were then spread throughout the
entire camp; we were engaged then on all sorts of tasks.
The Germans came that day and made us go into our hut.  It
was about 11.00 a.m.  This is the hut here [indicates it on
the sketch].  On the other side, there were small apertures
in the door.  The hut was open.  Himmler stood precisely on
this spot with all his entourage.  From here, it was a
distance of seven to ten metres, and I looked at him.  He
stood speaking there for about ten minutes, he gave some
orders, he indicated something with his hand and left.

Q. Who put the people into the gas chambers?

A. I have already pointed out that these buildings were the
gas chambers.  There were three chambers in this one.  Four
hundred people went in here.  The people came from the
Himmelstrasse, from the place we called "Schlauch", they
went in here, there was a corridor inside, and they were
pushed into the gas chambers.  Ukrainians and Germans pushed
them with bayonets, so that they should enter more quickly,
so that they should press inside fast, and after that they
shut them in.

Q. Did SS men do that - or the Ukrainians?

A. Both together.

Q. Were the Ukrainians in uniform?

A. Yes, they were in uniform.

Q. What uniform?

A. Black.

Q. Like that of the SS men?

A. No, the SS men wore green uniforms.  And they had a
symbol - the death head.

Q. And who introduced the gas - only the two Ukrainians?

A. Yes, Ivan and Nikolai.

Q. Always?

A. Yes, always.

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