Treblinka II - Staff

The camp staff consisted of only 30-40 people. They were mostly Germans and Austrians aged 30-40. Everyone had to sign a document about maintaining strict state secrecy. The first commandant was physician Irmfried Eberl who held this post from the time the camp was established until August 1942. He was released from the post of Treblinka commandant by Inspector Wirth for his incompetence and mess in the camp. After the reorganisation, Wirth appointed commandant Franz Stangl who was the commandant of the Sobibór extermination camp. He performed his function in Treblinka until the end of August 1943, after which Kurt Franz took over as the commandant. He managed the camp until November 1943, i.e. until its complete liquidation.

The managers of individual units – divisions were subordinated to the commandant. SS-Unterscharführer Gustav Münzberger and SS-Unterscharführer Alfred Löfler were responsible for the gas chambers. Herbert Floß was responsible for cremation.

Most of the German staff belonged to the SS, but some were police officers. In order to unify the organisational affiliation, the Action Reinhard headquarters adopted the principle of conscripting everyone into the SS as an elite formation. The Germans were armed with Walther or Nagant handguns and Finnish-made machine guns. Everyone had to wear whips.

The guards were mostly Ukrainians. They were recruited mainly from among Soviet prisoners, and they underwent ideological re-training in the camp in Trawniki near Lublin. Officially, they were called Trawnikimänner, and the local population called them “wachman” (watchmen) or “the blacks” (after the colour of their uniforms). They were armed with the Mauser vz. 24 rifles and bayonets. They were mostly young people aged 19-30. Their main task was to guard the camp.