Treblinka I - Staff

The camp crew consisted of several SS-officers and about 100 guards. SS-Hauptsturmführer Theodor (Theo) van Eupen was the camp commandant throughout the entire period of the camp’s functioning.

The deputy commandant was Sturmführer Karol Gustaw Preif (Fritz Pröfi), called “Old”, “Grandfather”, “Pigeon Fancier” by the prisoners – he was in the habit of whistling. In addition to his duties as deputy commandant, Fritz also took care of the utility compound of the camp.

The camp commandant’s personal assistant was SS-Untersturmführer Lundecke. He was one of those who organised “games” for SS-officers. These games took place mostly from Saturday to Sunday and always ended tragically for the prisoners.

The commanding officer was SS-Untersturmführer Herbert Stumpe with the very meaningful nickname “Laughing Death”.

The SS-Untersturmführer Franz Schwarz, known as “Executioner”, also stood out for his cruelty. He was the head of a group of prisoners working at the railway station in Małkinia, along the Bug river and at digging peat near Majdan Kupientyński. He selected prisoners and often carried out death sentences himself, killing them with a pickaxe or a wooden hammer.

SS-Unterscharführer Franz Leopold Lanz was the head of the craft workshops. He also trained the watchmen. SS-Unterscharführer Hagen was responsible for the economic affairs of the camp. He was particularly cruel to women.

SS-officer Dingelmann was responsible for the condition of prisoners; it was him who conducted daily roll calls. SS-Rottenführer Wilhelm Weishar was the head of the farm that occupied the grounds of the Socha and Milewek estates. SS-Unterscharführer Willi Velten and SS-Rottenführer Mehbiss (or Moebis) were drivers. Hans Heibusch was responsible for the Jewish compound of the camp. He carried out daily selection, assigned prisoners to appropriate groups, and housed them in appropriate barracks.

The guards in the camp were mostly Ukrainians, but also Lithuanians and Latvians. All of them voluntarily performed their duties and underwent training in the so-called Ausbildungslager Trawniki near Lublin, because the service in the camps was of a special nature and required “appropriate” preparation. The Germans were armed with handguns on the camp grounds, performing their service – additionally – with machine guns. Ukrainian guards, while on duty, were equipped with rifles and bayonets.