The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-066-08

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

Presiding Judge: In each such building were there several

Witness Rosenberg:  I have already said that this building
had three chambers.  Here, there were five on this side and
five on that side.  Once - and I remember this well - all
the gas chambers were operating.  Ten thousand people
entered all at once, within forty-five minutes.  This was a
transport of thirteen thousand persons who had arrived on
that day.

Q. Was each chamber hermetically sealed?

A. Yes, every chamber was sealed absolutely hermetically.

Q. How?

A. Here, there was a kind of folding door.  Before the
people went inside, we closed it.  This was a door that
opened downwards.  We extracted the "clins."

Q. What are "clins"?

A. They were pieces of wood that used to hold the doors in
place.  When the door was folded and fell to the bottom,
there were actually two boards there.  One was on top of the
door and the other at the bottom, and again, with these
pieces of wood, these clins, we closed it hermetically and
stood to the side.  After thirty to forty minutes...

Q. Did you attend to this hermetic closing?

A. Yes, Sir.  We closed it from the outside.  Before that,
the Germans stood on the ramp and watched what was going on
inside.  When they said "alles schlaeft," we opened it up
and stood aside for three minutes until the fumes had
dispersed, and then we removed them.  We threw them down
from this ramp.

Presiding Judge: Mr. Rosenberg, you have concluded your

Yesterday, a question arose concerning that book from Ramat
Gan.  What about it?

Attorney General: The man is here, perhaps we may hear him
after the next witness, if the Court pleases.

Attorney General: I call the witness Avraham Lindwasser.

Presiding Judge: Do you speak Hebrew?

Witness Lindwasser:   Yes.

[The witness is sworn.]

Presiding Judge: What is your full name?

Witness: Avraham Lindwasser.

Q. How old are you now?

A. Forty-two.

Attorney General: You live in Givatayim, and you are an
electrician by profession, is that correct?

Witness Lindwasser:   Yes.

Q. You work for the Ministry of Defence - is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. On 28 August 1942, you arrived at Treblinka from Warsaw?

A. Correct.

Q. Was there some notice at the station, in German and

A. Correct.

Q. What did it say?

A. "Jews, after you have bathed and changed your clothes,
the journey will continue to the east, to work."

Q. Did they allow you to alight quietly?

A. No.

Q. What happened?

A. They opened the freight cars, we heard the order:"Get
out," there were shouts.  We began getting off.  They struck
us with clubs all the time we were getting off, so that they
did not give us an opportunity to understand where we were
or what was happening; we were chased straight away to the
square, and there we were ordered to hand over our money and
jewellery; we were then told to remove our shoes.

Q. Who gave the orders?

A. We heard a voice - who it was, exactly...

Q. No, but who - to what unit did these people belong?  Were
they Germans or others?

A. Germans, SS men.

Q. And you did what you were ordered to do?

A. Yes.

Q. What happened to you after that?

A. Suddenly, we heard an order to line up.  We lined up.  We
were made to stand there - again, all the time, I want to
stress, with blows - they arranged us in rows, in threes.
One of them passed through the ranks - later I heard that he
was called the Hauptmann with the glasses, and he did wear
glasses.  He began asking us, one by one, what was his
profession.  When he reached me, he looked at me - I also
wore glasses, in a gold frame.  He asked me if that was
gold.  I said: "Yes."  "And do you know what gold is, do you
know what silver is, do you know what jewellery is?"  I
said: "Yes."  I received a further blow from a club, and he
told me to step forward.  Next to me stood a Jew who was an
electrical engineer, and he was also ordered to step
forward.  The two of us left the line.  Apart from us, none
of the transport stepped forward.

Q. How many people were there in that transport?

A. It is hard for me to say, but more than one thousand.

Q. Please look behind you.  Are you able to tell the Court
whether you recognize it, whether you can tell what it is?

A. Yes.

Q. What is it?

A. That is the Treblinka camp.

Q. Can you show the Court where, on the photograph, that
incident occurred where that man approached you and asked
you whether you knew how to distinguish between gold and

A. It was at this spot [points to the photograph].

Q. In front of the huts where the people undressed?

A. Yes.

Q. You may return to your place.

When you came there, did you know what was the place you had
arrived at?

A. No.  I knew it was Treblinka, but we did not know the

Q. Had you heard about Treblinka in Warsaw?

A. We had heard about Treblinka.

Q. Did you know that Jews were being exterminated at

A. We did not believe it.

Q. You did not believe it.  Why?

A. Why?  This would, perhaps, be difficult to answer.
Possibly, it is an individual matter for each person.  One
simply could not grasp that such a thing was possible -
actual extermination.  Rumours reached Warsaw that the
Germans were sending people out to work.  And simply, it was
better to cling to this idea.

Presiding Judge: What is the distance between Warsaw and
Treblinka, approximately?

Witness Lindwasser:   About sixty kilometres.

Attorney General: Did you, already on that day, notice

Witness Lindwasser:   Yes, after I was brought into the
death camp.

Q. Was that Treblinka 1 or 2?

A. It was 2.

Q. What did you think it was?

A. At the beginning, when I entered the place - I was
brought in by a German, also one of the SS - whose name I
subsequently learned was Matthias.  He took me inside, and
we were immediately ordered to take hold of bodies and drag
them towards the graves.  At first, I thought that the
corpses came from the freight cars, people who had died, who
were suffocated in the cars, and I was certain that they
were undergoing some kind of disinfection here and then

Q. Towards evening, you again came across the Hauptmann with
the glasses?

A. Correct.

Q. What did he say to you when he saw that you were dragging

A. Why was I carrying bodies?  After all, I was a dentist.

Q. You were a dentist?

A. Yes.  But that was the first time I heard this word

Q. What did he do to you?

A. He pulled me by the sleeve, seized me by the hand, by the
sleeve, dragged me by force, again with blows - I want to
stress this, although I have already stressed it - and he
brought me to a well.  Next to the well, there were basins
with gold teeth and also pairs of forceps for extracting
teeth.  He ordered me to take a pair of forceps and to
extract the teeth from the bodies by the side of the cabins.

Q. This was adjoining the gas chambers?

A. Next to the small gas chambers.

Q. Before the men transferred the bodies to the pit?

A. Before they were taken to the pits.

Q. And you did this?

A. Yes.

Q. And you were doing this work until the outbreak of the
revolt in Treblinka?

A. Not exactly.  I was occupied in this work for
approximately one month, a month and a half, perhaps less,
perhaps more, until once I recognized my sister's body.

Q. She was lying there, dead?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you do then?

A. Then, the commander of our group was Dr. Zimmermann; I
asked him to take me back to the cabin, I could not continue
with this.

Presiding Judge: Who was this Zimmermann?

Witness Lindwasser:   Dr. Zimmermann was the Kapo of the

Q. A Jewish Kapo?

A. A Jewish Kapo, yes, but nevertheless one deserving of

Q. What did you request of him?

A. That he should take me off teeth extraction and put me on
to cleaning the teeth in the cabin, inside the building
where we were living.

Q. Teeth were being cleaned there?

A. Teeth were being cleaned there.

Attorney General: And you were transferred there?

Witness Lindwasser:   Yes.

Q. How much gold from teeth was sent out of Treblinka each

A. Each week two suitcases were sent off, each of them
containing about eight to ten kilograms.

Q. Where were they sent to?

A. They were delivered again to this Matthias, who was the
chief of our camp - in fact, the chief of our barracks, of
the building where we lived - and he told us that they were
dispatching them to Berlin.

Q. Were they gold teeth only?

A. Gold teeth and also false teeth, that is to say, they
were removed from the artificial frame.

Presiding Judge: They used to remove false teeth as well?

Witness Lindwasser:   False teeth as well.

Q. Made of what material?

A. The artificial frame itself...

Q. What was the value of this material?

A. For them, the value was evidently that of the teeth only,
for they ordered us to throw the artificial frames into the
pits.  We used to remove the teeth only, with a flame.  We
used to heat them, the teeth would come out, and the frames
were thrown into the pits.

Q. You removed the gold teeth from the frames?

A. Not only gold - porcelain also.

Attorney General: Rings, wedding rings?  Did you handle

Witness Lindwasser:   There were some, but not many.  They
hardly reached us.  As far as we knew, they removed them
already in Camp 1.

Q. How did the Germans describe the transports of Jews?
What was the expression?

A. They called these bodies Die Figuren (the figures), and
they called the actual transport by all kinds of
disreputable expressions.

Q. Such as?

A. "Die Scheisse, die Lumpen" (the shit, the scoundrels),
and other such terms.

Q. What did you do on the first night you reached the place?

A. After I knew what my job was to be, I could not stand it.
I tried to commit suicide.  I was already hanging by my
belt, when a bearded Jew - I don't know his name - took me
down.  He began preaching to me, that while the work in
which we were going to be engaged was contemptible and not
the kind of thing one ought to do, nevertheless, we should
tolerate it and ought to make efforts, so that at least
someone should survive who would be able to relate what was
happening here, and this would be my duty, since I had light
work and would be able to go on living and be of help to

Q. Were you working near the gas chambers?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you notice anything at the entrance?

A. The entrance to which chambers?  For while we worked at
the gas chambers, inside the corridor of the small gas
chambers, we also could see the gas chambers at the end.  On
one occasion, I was even taken - again by that Matthias - to
the first camp, in order to fetch pairs of forceps for
extracting teeth, since extra men had been added to our
group.  We passed by the large chambers and, on the way
back, I saw a big curtain at the entrance to the large
chambers, a curtain used to cover the Ark containing the
Torah Scrolls with the Shield of David on it, and on the
curtain there was the inscription: "This is the gate of the
Lord, through which the righteous shall enter."

Q. In Hebrew?

A. Yes.

Presiding Judge: Was that a curtain of the Ark from a

Witness Lindwasser:   It was a curtain for the Ark - whether
it was precisely from a synagogue, I do not know.  But it
was of quite large dimensions - it measured three by four
metres, something like that.

Attorney General: Was there normally contact between you and
Treblinka 1?

A. Not normally.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.