- How come eye witnesses to the gassings survived? Why didn’t the Nazis kill them?
The answer is rather simple – the SS did kill almost all of them. After the war, for instance, there were about 70 survivors from Treblinka (more than 700,000 victims, see also file with excerpts from ruling of German courts – get pub/camps/aktion.reinhard/reinhard.faq1 and ~/reinhard.faq2). These survivors escaped from the camp, mostly during the rebellion they carried out. Same for Auschwitz: nearly all the members of the “Special Commando” who saw the gassings and had to carry out and cremate the victims, were killed by the SS, but a small number of them escaped, mostly during the rebellion of October 1944. Another factor is the fact that in the end of the war Auschwitz was in total chaos – the Soviets were approaching fast, and they even bombed the camp. Thus there was no time to kill all the occupants, and some were transferred to camps within Germany. Many of them died in those forced “death marches”.