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Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Treblinka Defined - Malagon Interrogation
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Archive/File: camps/aktion.reinhard/treblinka malagon.001
Last-Modified: 1995/08/18
Source: United States Department of Justice

Record of Questioning of Witness
City of Zaporozh'ye, March 18, 1978 

On instructions from the Procuratorate of the USSR concerning the
request made by organs of Justice of the USA, and in accordance with
the requirements of Article 85, 167 and 170 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure of the Ukrainian SSR, Senior Investigator of the
Procuratorate of the Zaporozh'ye Region and Senior Councillor of
Justice Litvinenko interrogated as witness:

      Malagon, Nikolai  Petrovich, born in 1919, native and resident
      of the village of Novo-Petrovka, Berdyansk Rayon, Zaporozhe
      Oblast', Ukrainian, citizen of the USSR, manual worker,
      married. 

The interrogation started at 3.30 a.m.

The obligations enumberated in Article 70 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure of the Ukrainian SSR were explained to the witness and he
was warned of the criminal responsibility encurred under Art. 179 of
the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR for refusal to testify, and
under Part 2, Article 179 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR
for knowingly giving false testimony.

Before the interrogation started, the witness declared that he knows
the Russian language well and wishes to testify in Russian.

   Most probably he was a Pole, because he spoke Polish well. The
   commander of our squad was Brovt, I do not remember his first name
   and patronymic; he was a teacher by profession and lived before the
   war in the Volga area. The commanders of the other companies were
   likewise Germans. In the Trawniki camp it was explained to us that
   we were to be trained for service in the German army to guard
   camps. Two or three weeks after their arrival at the Trawniki camp
   all four companies of war prisoners gave a pledge of loyalty. A
   German officer read the text of the pledge, a translator translated
   and then each war prisoner signed his name under the text of the
   pledge and left a finger print. The pledge said something like the
   following: "We war prisoners enter voluntarily into the German 'SS'
   troops and will defend the interests of Great Germany". Then we
   learned that we were to be trained to become wachmans, i.e. guards
   or sentries. At first we wore our own clothing, then we were given
   the uniform of Belgian soldiers, a sometime later we were all given
   a special uniform: a black suit /trousers and jacket/, a black
   overcoat with grey collar and cuffs and black forage caps. We were
   also given buttons on which was engraved a skull and crossed bones.
   These buttons were sewn to the cap. In the camp we were trained by
   the company commanders; we were mainly engaged in drill exercises.
   We walked about the streets, sang German songs and at the same time
   were given military drill training. We did not attend shooting
   practice. We were not given weapons during training, but during
   this time we studied the parts of a German rifle. After having
   completed my training in the Trawniki camp, I was given the rank of
   "wachman". I remained in the Trawniki camp from October-November
   1941 to March 1942 and ten, together with ten other wachmans, we
   were sent to the small town of Zamoscie, where we guarded the
   property of a colonel.

   After a month we returned to the Trawniki camp, but of the four
   companies of guards, nobody was left except the servicing
   personnel. As I learned later, part of the guards had been sent to
   the Treblinka concentration camp and the rest to the Belzec and
   Lublin camps. After some time I was also sent to the Lublin camp
   where a team of guards (wachman) was being collected. After about
   five days some 50 men were assembled and we went to Warsaw where we
   took on guard duty for an entire train, the cars of which contained
   Jews: men, women and children. At that time I was armed with a
   French rifle with about 30 cartridges in it. Our team was headed by
   a certain Komarkin, the first name and patronymic of whom I do not
   know, but he spoke Polish well. We brought the train with the Jews
   to the Treblinka camp, which was situated near the station  of
   Treblinka on Polish territory. A one-track railroad extended from
   the railroad station to the camp. Some of the train's cars were
   driven into the territory of the camp and part remained at the
   station. 

   When we arrived to the camp, other guards were already in the
   cordon and these began to receive the Jews we had brought. From
   this day I started my service in the Treblinka camp. This camp was
   created by the Germans with the express purpose of destroying
   citizens of Jewish nationality. I saw that trains carrying citizens
   of Jewish nationality: men, women, children, old man and woman
   arrived regularly at the camp. These citizens were driven into a
   special barrack, where they removed all their cothing and threw
   their valuables into specially placed suitcases. Then they were
   chased naked to the gas chambers through special passages made of
   barbed wire covered with pine branches. Pipes carrying exhaust gas
   from running diesel motors were installed in the gas chambers and
   the people inside perished. The dead were then thrown into special
   pits and later burnt on pyres. 
   
   This work was performed by special teams composed of individuals of
   Jewish nationality. In this camp there was also a so-called
   "infirmary" which was situated near the barrack where the people
   arriving undressed and not far from the unloading area. The
   infirmary was in appearance an area fenced in by barbed wire which
   as camouflaged with pine branches. In this area there was a pit; 
   there were no other constructions on the on the territory of the
   infirmary. Those among the newly arrived were placed in the
   infirmary who could not reach by themselves the barracks in which
   they undressed and gave away their valuables. The principle worker
   in the infirmary was a man by the last name of Rebeka, I do not
   know his first name and patronymic; he resembled a Jew. This was
   the man who exterminated in the infirmary the citizens who were
   ailing and could not walk without help. Rebeka sometimes boasted
   that he worked so hard the barrel of his sub-machine gun had become
   red. I did not participate personally in the shooting of the Jews
   brought in, but was only in the cordon, took part in the unloading
   of the Jews from the train cars, and mostly, together with the
   team, prepared pine and fir branches that camouflaged the barbed
   wires, a single line of which extended around the entire camp, and
   the wire of which were made the passages leading from the barracks
   to the gas chambers. The barbed wire around the so-called infirmary
   was similarly camouflaged with branches. 

   I remained in the Treblinka camp at least three or four months and
   saw that at least one trainload of citizens of Jewish nationality
   arrived there every day and were then exterminated in the gas
   chambers and in the infirmary. During this time many Jews died
   there, but I cannot state the exact number. There were cases when
   the Jews brought to the camp for extermination made armed
   resistance: shot from pistols or threw grenades. There was no
   rioting among the prisoners during my time of service in the
   Treblinka camp. I heard that some sort of revolt had taken place,
   but at that time I was no longer employed in the camp.

   The Treblinka camp had no accomodations in which to keep the
   prisoners brought there, because those that arrived were
   immediately exterminated. On the territory of the camp there were
   only two barracks in which the working teams lived. I can draw an
   approximate plan of the Treblinka camp which I request to be
   attached to the present report of the interrogation. On this plan I
   only cannot determine the location of the countries of the world.

   I met guard Fedorenko, I do not recall his first name and his
   patronymic, in the Trawniki as well as in the Treblinka camps. I
   met him only seldom, because he served in another platoon. I
   remember well his person and therefore can identify him on a
   photograph. In the Trawniki camp Fedorenko was also trained to be a
   guard (wachman) and wore a special "SS" uniform. After he had
   completed his training in the Trawniki camp, Fedorenko was given
   the title of wachman (guard). Each wachman was given 10 marks per
   month for tobacco. I cannot easily say how Fedorenko came to be in
   the Trawniki camp undergoing training for the duties of a wachman,
   because I did not speak to him about this. I did not meet Fedorenko
   in the Chelm camp and therefore I cannot say from which camp
   precisely he was sent to be trained in the Trawniki camp. I also
   met Fedorenko in the Treblinka camp, but I cannot at present
   remember if he was employed in this camp or brought there Jewish
   citizens for extermination. I remember Fedorenko only with the rank
   of wachman, and I do not know whether he was promoted to higher
   ranks and what was the attitude of the German authorities toward
   him. I find it difficult to say whether Fedorenko participated in
   the extermination of citizens of Jewish nationality in the
   Treblinka camp because I was not present at this. After the
   Treblinka camp in 1943 I did not meet Fedorenko again and his
   subsequent fate is unknown to me.

   When the prisoners were brought to the Treblinka camp, the trains
   were unloaded by Germans and guards with the rank of oberwachman,
   zugwachman who chased the prisoners from the cars with whips and
   pistols, beat them and shot at them. I hesitate to say whether
   Fedorenko participated or not in such actions, because I did not
   see this. I also did not see Fedorenko shoot down prisoners in the
   barracks or near the gas chambers. When the trains carrying the
   Jews arrived, the guards were usually in cordon formation, and the
   Jews were escorted to the barracks by Germans, while the Jews were
   exterminated by the working teams under the supervision of Germans.
   Near the diesel engines by the gas chambers there worked a guard
   (wachman) by the name of Nikolay Marchenko, and wachman Rebeka
   worked in the so-called "infirmary". I remember that Marchenko wore
   a leather jacket and carried a pistol. These two guards did
   exterminate prisoners, who else among the guards took part in the
   extermination of prisoners I find difficult to say. When one of
   the prisoners on the unloading area threw a grenade, one of the
   guards was killed. The other guards standing in cordon formation
   immediately retaliated against the prisoners who had thrown the
   grenade, that is they shot them then and there. Who of the guards
   participated in this action and was Fedorenko among them I do not
   know. The guards with the rank of oberwachman, zugwachman, and
   rotenwachman were closer to the Germans, they participated in the
   unloading of the Jews from the train cars, and in doing so they
   threw people out of the train cars and shot some of them right
   there. Together with the Germans they also escorted the prisoners
   to the barrack where these removed their clothes and handed over
   their valuables. I cannot personally say how many prisoners were
   exterminated daily in the camp, but the camp had no facilities to
   accomodate the prisoners. All the prisoners who arrived were
   exterminated on the day of arrival in the gas chambers. The bodies
   were thrown into pits and later burned. At least a trainload of
   people arrived everyday, but how many doomed persons it contained I
   find it difficult to say. I do not know whether Fedorenko was given
   the rank of oberwachman and rotenwachman; I did not see him in
   these ranks. I also did not personally see Fedorenko take a
   personal part in the extermination of prisoners in the gas chambers
   or in the "infirmary". I was not in the camp at the time the
   prisoners rioted and therefore I cannot say whether Fedorenko took
   part or not in the quelling of this riot. About March-April 1943 I
   started service at Oswiecim and then at Buchenwald.

   I do not know how the Treblinka camp was liquidated and where
   Fedorenko was sent on service after that. I did not meet Fedorenko
   after the war. I cannot speak in detail of the activity of
   Fedorenko in the Trawniki and Treblinka camps because we served in
   different platoons and companies, also met only a few times and
   moreover were not in close relationship. I was not present at any
   action of Fedorenko and other guards toward the prisoners and
   therefore I cannot say whether Fedorenko also stole from the
   prisoners or not.

   I cannot add anything more concerning the questions asked. The
   testimony is written down correctly and was read personally by
   witness Malagon, N.P.

   A map-diagram of the Treblinka camp is appended to the report.

   The interrogation was completed at 1.00 p.m.

   Interrogation was conducted by Senior Investigator of the
   Procuratorate of the Zaporozh'ye Region, Senior Councillor of
   Justice Ya . V. Litvinenko

   The xerox copy is true: Chief of USSR Procuratorate's Office G.M.
   Shvydak

   [Transcription note: Malagon's map and explanations of characters
   used within it are included with the testimony. knm]

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