The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 66
(Part 6 of 9)

Q. And for this reason he kept the money?

A. Yes, he kept the money for this object. Chorazycki knew what his fate would be. He fell upon Kurt Franz, even though he was a man of advanced age, and Kurt Franz was powerful and tall. Chorazycki jumped away from him, fled from this hut, but he did not run far before he fell. Apparently, he had taken some poison pills, or something else. They summoned all the detainees and personnel to assemble for a roll call. We were obliged to watch how they flushed Chorazycki's stomach, in order to revive him, to wake him up, and to torture him anew. The faithful assistant of Kurt Franz, a Ukrainian, Zugwachmann Rogozo, pulled out Chorazycki's tongue with some sharp instrument or a hook, I don't remember exactly. Kurt Franz poured water into his mouth from a bucket, after which he jumped on him with his boots, in order to flush out his stomach.

In the end, two members of the group had to raise Chorazycki by the legs in order to remove the water from his body. They repeated this operation several times. But they did not manage to resuscitate him. After all their efforts failed, they undressed him and continued beating him with clubs, after which they sent him off to the Lazarette.

Q. Did Kurt Franz have a nickname? Do you recall how you used to call Franz?

A. In Polish, he was called Lolka - he was a handsome man, tall, powerful.

Attorney General: [Holds up a photograph] Who is this?

A. That is Kurt Franz, definitely.

Presiding Judge: This document will be marked T/1303.

Attorney General: This Franz amused himself with the prisoners. Can you describe this?

A. Yes. He had a large dog named Barry. Upon a shout of Jude or Mensch, schnapp den Hund! (Man, catch the dog!), the dog would attack people and actually tear off pieces of their flesh.

Q. Were there many cases of escape from the camp?

A. Yes, there were.

Q. How did they end?

A. Most of those who succeeded in escaping were working in loading personal effects on to the freight cars. And it was in this way that they tried to escape. But they did not always succeed. Few succeeded, others were caught. I remember when they caught two men and hung them up by their legs. They remained hanging in this way for several hours - I don't remember exactly how long.

SS men and Ukrainians would come from time to time, flog them and beat them. Eventually, one of the SS men, Scharfuehrer Joseph Zehetreter - he was called Zet from Frankfurt am Main (he was sentenced to life imprisonment in Germany) - came there and shot them.

Q. At the railway station of Treblinka, were there means of camouflage?

A. Yes.

Q. Please describe them.

A. I think that half a year after I reached Treblinka, they altered the platform completely and planted flowers there. There was also a hut there. They put doors on it. They also added a large clock and a railway timetable. They also put up signs with arrows indicating where the trains were going to: "Zu den Zuegen nach Bialystok und Wolkowysk" (To the trains to Bialystok and Wolkowysk). In this way, they arranged matters so that those arriving would actually not know where they had come to.

Q. As if it were a transit station to other places?

A. Yes, as if it were a transit station to other places.

Q. When did they begin burning bodies at Treblinka?

A. I know that they began burning bodies several months after we arrived there. They spoke about it in the camp.

Q. Did they also disinter the bodies of people who had been killed before?

A. Yes. I know about that.

Q. But you did not see it?

A. I did not see it. That was in Camp 2.

Q. We shall ask someone who was in Camp 2. Please tell us about the plan for resistance and the uprising.

A. We began talking, in fact, about the plan for resistance immediately after we reached the camp. For, in my opinion, any man who is imprisoned in a camp or any other place at once thinks of escaping. But, at the beginning, this was not possible, since we did not know one another, and people were simply afraid to talk to each other, because there were many informers.

And, in addition to that, we - this group, this team - worked up there and slept in one of the huts, which I described previously, in the yard. Hence, at the beginning, it was very difficult.

Q. Were you permitted to establish contact with Treblinka 2?

A. No. But, at a later stage, someone, who was also one of the camp commanders, came to us. His name was Oberleutnant Stangl. He was from Austria. He made a speech and promised us that there were new buildings for the team inside our camp, and there we would have running water, and we would also be given bunks and would be able to sleep, and whoever worked would be able to live and go on living.

Within this camp, which contained the new buildings, there was a group who were called Hofjuden (Court Jews). This was a group of experts. Most of them were from the environs of Treblinka. They had erected this camp. Afterwards, when the deportations began, they remained inside this camp. But they enjoyed longer rest periods, greater liberty - they were not guarded so strictly, and they had ample food. They had a special hut for living quarters. These men did not want to come into contact with us. They did not want to come near us at all.

But, after this speech by Stangl, a change came about. He made a promise to us, and it actually happened. They brought us down from this hut up there into other huts, together with the Hofjuden, and there we really received blankets and bunks. And there was running water. There was a toilet, even though it was in the yard - but after we had been locked into the buildings, it was impossible to go out.

Q. Let us return to the story of planning the resistance.

A. When we arrived at this building and met the Hofjuden, they worked in the courtyard, they worked in the German quarters, they had access to all places. We knew that only with their assistance would we be able to accomplish anything, to get to a particular place, to escape or to carry out an armed revolt.

Q. Was there a young man named Moniek?

A. Yes, there was a young man there by the name of Moniek.

Q. What was his job?

A. He was the Kapo of the Hofjuden. But while it is usually thought that a Kapo was always an evil person, caused trouble, and beat up people, Moniek was not like that.

Q. Was he one of the organizers of the revolt?

A. Yes, later on he was one of the organizers of the revolt. There were a few others - there was also an engineer there by the name of Galewski - he was the camp elder. There was also a young man named Rudek - I don't know his surname - but I know that he came from Plock, and he told me then that he had a mother in Palestine.

Q. What was the plan you drew up for the revolt and the escape?

A. At first, there were two plans. Two children of the Hofjuden were employed in polishing the shoes of the Germans, and they worked in a hut where there was an arms store. This store was built by the experts amongst the Hofjuden, the fitters and the construction workers. An extra key to the store had to be made. And, in fact, they made a key, and the children were to go into the store, to remove arms in sacks, and to place them on refuse carts - guns, bullets, hand grenades and revolvers. They were to place the smaller items in buckets, items which could be carried by hand. The arms were to be distributed in various places in the camp, such as in the motor workshop or in the heaps of potatoes, and similar places. Thereafter, we were to ask the SS men to come to all the workshops and these places, under various pretexts, and to kill them inside the workshops, and in this way to rid ourselves of most of the SS men. And this is how it turned out, in fact.

Q. And in this way you carried out your plan?

A. Not altogether; we wanted to, but it did not succeed entirely.

Q. Who was the commander of the revolt?

A. I said there were a number of people.

Q. Who were they?

A. There was the engineer Galewski.

Q. Did he survive?

A. He did not survive.

Q. What happened to him?

A. Apparently he was killed during the revolt.

Q. Who else?

A. And there was Rudek, whom I mentioned - he was a mechanic.

Q. Did he remain alive?

A. He also fell. There was a young man named Djielo, a Jew from Czechoslovakia. It was said that he was a Czech officer.

Q. What happened to him?

A. He was also killed.

Q. Was the entire command killed?

A. I believe so, for I never came across any one of them. There was another one, whom it may be of interest to mention, Rudolf Masaryk - it was said that he was a relative of the President of Czechoslovakia. We did not know whether there was any truth in this. He was not a Jew, but his wife was Jewish. He used to take care of Kurt Franz' dog.

Q. What happened to him?

A. Apparently he, too, was killed.

Q. Was he also together with you?

A. He was - all the time.

Q. But did he also plan the revolt?

A. So I was told. I did not know everything, for not everybody was in the know.

Q. What was your role in the revolt?

A. I was to reach a particular spot and to receive arms.

Q. How did you carry out the revolt?

A. The revolt was to start at four o'clock in the afternoon, and between two and two-thirty, those children whom I mentioned were to enter the store. And, indeed, they went in and brought out some arms from the store, mainly hand grenades, and some revolvers, and also ammunition. At the same time, two men went into the building, that is to say the hut where we lived, and that was forbidden. These two men were caught and made to undress. Money was found on them; evidently, they wanted to prepare money for themselves, in case they succeeded in escaping. They were caught, and one of the camp commanders stripped them and began beating them. This was about half an hour before the commencement of the revolt.

A great commotion broke out. All the time people kept coming back and reported that they were beating them, and they would certainly reveal information - perhaps they had already done so - and if that was the case, there was nothing to lose, we should start right away. But most of the people had been advised that the revolt was to begin at four. However, as I ascertained - we were told this afterwards - Rudek fired at the SS man who was beating these two young men, and subsequently a grenade was thrown.

Q. Was that how it began?

A. This was the signal for the revolt to commence. And after that, the explosions began. There was a young man who used to disinfect the huts of the Germans and the Ukrainians. He had a receptacle on his back, with a hosepipe, with which he sprayed [disinfectant]. On that day, this young man was to mix the chemicals with fuel, petrol, and in fact he did so. In addition to that, there was a large tank of petrol near the garage. I think it must have contained several thousand litres of petrol. This tank was also set on fire. It exploded and spread flames along the fence which was covered with dried foliage, and it began burning.

I was at the workshop refurbishing aluminium utensils. I knew that I was to receive arms at the garage. I ran, in fact, towards the garage, but I could not reach it, for the fire from the tank prevented me from getting near. Then I turned around and ran in the direction of the Lazarette towards the second gate.

Q. And you escaped from there?

A. And I escaped from there.

Q. How did you break through the fence?

A. I simply climbed over the fence. There had already been people who had escaped that way, and on the fence there were already blankets and boards, and we climbed over on these.

Q. Did the Germans pursue you?

A. The Germans chased us on horses and also in cars. Some of those who escaped had arms. I also ran with a group that possessed a rifle and revolvers. These people returned the Germans' fire, and the Germans withdrew. In this way, we managed to reach the forest which was near this camp.

Q. How many people were saved from Treblinka at the time?

A. I think about a hundred and fifty men fled in the direction I took.

Q. Was there someone who was a liaison between Treblinka 1 and Treblinka 2, who was able to pass between the two camps?

A. There were a number of people who used to come inside the camp.

Q. Who, for example?

A. For example, there was one young man - his name was Shlomo Rosenblum - whom I had known back in Warsaw.

Q. Anyone else? Perhaps someone who now lives in Israel?

A. I did not know then, but today I know.

Q. But you did not see him then?

A. I did not see him.

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

Judge Raveh: I did not quite understand what you said about informers. Were you afraid of tale-bearing, or were there actual cases of informing?

Witness Teigman: We were afraid, and there were also cases of informers.

Q. What did they inform about?

A. For example, the food they gave us in the camp was like that in every camp - that was a known fact - but those of us who worked in sorting out the personal belongings always found food, and so on...

Judge Raveh: I understand.

Judge Halevi: You said that, when you arrived, about four hundred young people were chosen for work, two hundred at the second camp. Were those also chosen as a work team?

A. I think so. I don't know exactly.

Q. That means they did not go together with those who were sent to the gas chambers?

A. No, they did not go together with them; those who went to the gas chambers undressed, and the two hundred went in their clothes.

Q. You said they undressed. Where did the men undress?

A. The women undressed in the hut on the left-hand side, and the men undressed in the yard - next to the second hut.

Q. And, after that, they would take them along this channel?

A. Yes. There were instances where there was much work or there was a large transport, and they used the men who had already undressed to remove the clothes as well from the women's hut, and after that they sent them to this corridor.

Q. Did they cut the women's hair after they were naked, or beforehand?

A. It was before they went into the corridor.

Q. When they were still clothed?

A. No - they were already undressed.

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