Of Interrogation of Witness
18 March 1978
City of Zaporozh'ye
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, Nikolay Petrovich, born in 1919, native and [**83] resident of the village of Novo-Petrovka, Berdyansk district, Zaporozh'ye Region, citizen of the USSR, Ukrainian, manual worker, married.
The interrogation stated at 3.30 a.m.
* * *
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 then, 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 Belsec 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. . . . 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 [**84] 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 have 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 men and women arrived regularly at the camp. These citizens were driven into a special barrack, where they removed all their clothing 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 [**85] 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 was camouflaged with pine branches. In this area there was a pit; there were no other constructions 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 principal 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 that 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 [**86] 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.
* * *
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. [**87] 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 with 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 [sic] 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 [**88] 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 Marchenko, Nikolay, 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 [**89] 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 traincars, 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 [sic] 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.
* * *
Interrogation was conducted by
Senior Investigator of the Procuratorate of
the Zaporozh'ye Region, Senior Councillor
Ya. V. Litvinenko.
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