Julian Eliasz Chorążycki – Prisoner T2
Julian Eliasz Chorążycki was born on August 19, 1885 in Szawle, in the then Russian Empire. He was a Polish doctor of Jewish origin. His parents, Julian and Anna, were Jewish, while Chorążycki was a Catholic. He was brought to the German Death Camp Treblinka II in 1942 from the Warsaw Ghetto, where he performed medical duties. Due to his profession, he was selected from transport and sent to work in the German sick bay. He was included in the group of so-called Hofjuden – court Jews – serving SS-men. Chorążycki used the privileges he received from the Germans to help sick prisoners, for which he gained respect from them. At the turn of March and February 1943, the establishment of the so-called Organizing Committee was initiated. It was a secret organization of prisoners, which dealt with the preparation of an armed uprising, combined with the mass escape of prisoners from the Treblinka II Death Camp. Doctor Chorążycki was one of the first members of the Committee.
Prisoners who were involved in the organization of the uprising collected money to obtain weapons and ammunition. Chorążycki planned to contact the Ukrainian guards and buy the necessary weapons in exchange for the collected valuables. The doctor’s plan failed. In April 1943, camp deputy commander Kurt Franz discovered a large sum of money with him, and in Treblinka II it meant an immediate death. The circumstances of these events are known only from the accounts of prisoners who managed to escape from the Death Camp. Most likely Julian Chorążycki threw himself at Kurt Franz and a fight ensued, during which the doctor took an ampoule with poison. In his account, Samuel Willenberg mentions that attempts were made to rescue the doctor in order to question him, but these actions were probably unsuccessful. In the accounts of former prisoners, there is also information about Franz’s order to, for example, chastise the corpse of Chorążycki on a specially called appeal.
The unexpected death of one of the members of the Organizing Committee was a big blow to the underground activities in the camp, but planning of the uprising was not stopped.
The plans for the uprising at the German Death Camp Treblinka II were kept secret until the last moment, i.e. until August 2, 1942.
In 1945, Julian Eliasz Chorążycki was posthumously awarded the Cross of Valor.
Arad Y., Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. The Operation Reinhard Death Camps, Bloomington i Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1999.
Willenberg: Bunt w Treblince. Warszawa, 2016.