Excerpts from Judgements (Urteilsbegrundung)

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Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Treblinka Judgement
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Excerpts from Judgements (Urteilsbegrundung)

Passed on September 3, 1965 in the trial of Kurt Franz and nine others at the court of Assizes in Dusseldorf (First Treblinka Trial) (AZ-LG Dusseldorf: II 931638, p. 49 ff.), and the trial of Franz Stangl at the court of Assizes at Dusseldorf (Second Treblinka Trial) on December 22, 1970 (pp. 111 ff.,AZ-LG Dusseldorf, XI-148/69 S.)

Number of Persons Killed at the Treblinka Extermination Camp:

At least 700,000 persons, predominantly Jews, but also a number of Gypsies, were killed at the Treblinka extermination camp.

These findings are based on the expert opinion submitted to the Court of Assizes by Dr. Helmut Kraunsnick, director of the Institute for Contemporary History [page not ready] (Institute fur Zeitgeschichte) in Munich. in formulating his opinion, Dr. Kraunsnick consulted all the German and foreign archival material accessible to him and customarily studied in historical research. Among the documents he examined were the following:

(1) The so-called Stroop report, a report by SS Brigadefuhrer [Brigadier] Jurgen Stroop, dealing with the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. This report consists of three parts: namely, an introduction, a compilation of daily reports and a collection of photographs.

(2) The record of the trial of the major war criminals before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg.

(3) The official transportation documents (train schedules, telegrams, and train inventories) relevant to the transports to Treblinka.

The latter documents, of which only a part were recovered after the war, were the subject of the trial and were made available to Dr. Krausnick by the Court of Assizes.

Dr. Krausnick’s report includes the following information:

According to the Stroop report a total of approximately 310,000 Jews were transported in freight trains from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka during the period from July 22, 1942 to October 3, 1942. Approximately another 19,000 Jews made the same journey during the period from January, 1943 to the middle of May, 1943. During the period from August 21, 1942 to August 23, 1943, additional transports of Jews arrived at the Treblinka extermination camp, likewise by freight train, from other Polish cities, including Kielce, Miedzyrec, Lukow, Wloszczowa, Sedzizzow, Czestochowa, Szydlowiec, Lochow, Kozienice, Bialystok, Tomaszow, Grodno and Radom. Other Jews, who lived in the vicinity of Treblinka, arrived at Treblinka in horse-drawn wagons and in trucks, as did Gypsies, including some from countries other than Poland. In addition, Jews from Germany and from other European countries, including Austria, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Greece were transported to Treblinka, predominantly is passenger trains.

It has not been possible, of course, to establish the exact number of people transported to Treblinka in this fashion, because only a part of the transportation documents, particularly those relevant to the railroad transports, are available. Still, assuming that each of the trains consisted of an average of 60 cars, with each freight car holding an average total of 100 persons and each passenger car an average total of 50 (i.e., that each freight train might have carried an approximate total of 6,000, and each passenger train an approximate total of 3,000 Jews to Treblinka) the total number of people transported to Treblinka in freight trains and passenger trains might be estimated at approximately 271,000.

This total would not include the 329,000 from Warsaw. Actually, however, these figures in many instances were much larger than the ones cited above. Besides, many additional thousands of Jews – and also Gypsies – arrived in Treblinka in horse-drawn wagons and on trucks. Accordingly, it must be assumed that that the total number of Jews from Warsaw, from other parts of Poland, from Germany and from other European countries, who were taken to Treblinka, plus the total of at least 1,000 Gypsies who shared the safe fate, amounted to far more than 700,000, even if one considers that several thousands of people were subsequently moved from Treblinka to other camps and that several hundred inmates succeeded in escaping from the camp, especially during the revolt of August 2, 1943. In view of the foregoing, it would be scientifically admissible to estimate the total number of persons killed in Treblinka at a minimum of 700,000.

The court of Assizes sees no reason to question the opinion of this expert, who is known in the scholarly world for his studies on the National Socialist persecution of the Jews. The expert opinion he has submitted is detailed, thorough, and therefore convincing.