Search for Treblinka victims’ graves

On 12 November 2019 prosecutor of the Department Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation in Szczecin within the framework of the investigation regarding crimes committed during years 1941-1944 against prisoners of German Forced Labour Camp Treblinka I, proceeded with inspection of the place, where the Camp operated and the area of the so-called Execution Site.

The objective of this inspection will be to establish places, where mass and single graves of victims might be located, as well as execution places.

The inspection will consist of surface survey involving experts in the fields of: photogrammetry, systems of spatial information, archeology, forensic science, anthropology and forensic medicine, with use of specialized equipment. To carry out those tasks prosecutor appointed a team of experts from domestic and foreign scientific facilities as follows: Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Warsaw University of Technology, University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Austrian Academy of Sciences and Staffordshire University.

The inspection will not include the recovery of possible human remains, that may be found at the examined places, since the goal of the planned activities is to only to establish places where victims’ graves and execution sites were located.

Chief Rabbi of Poland and the president of Polish Roma Association were informed about the launch  date of the inspection.

Penal Labour Camp Treblinka I operated from summer 1941 till the end of July in 1944. The exact number of the Camp’s prisoner is unknown. It is assumed, that over 20 000 prisoners were confined there, of which about 10 000 died due to diseases, slave labour, extreme living condition or were battered or shot.

The Execution Site was initially a cemetery for the prisoners of the Penal Labour Camp who were sentenced to death for camp violations, died during heavy work or due to sickness and exhaustion. People from Gestapo prisons in Sokołów Podlaski and Warsaw were also brought there. On 2 March 1942, about 100 people from the Pawiak prison and Al. Szucha were shot here. Among the murdered were activists from Labour Party (among others: member of parliament Stanisław Ratajczyk), educationalist Jędrzej Cierniak, officers of Polish Army and other prisoners. The executions were carried out by order of governor of Warsaw District Ludwig Fischer. The executions on Roma and Sinti were also carried out in the area of the Penal Labour Camp Treblinka I. The exact number of murdered people in this case is also unknown. Executions in the vicinity of the Treblinka I camp were carried out until the last day of its existence.

25 November 2019