Treblinka II - Transports

From 22 July 1942, announcements of the Jewish Council about the resettlement were put up on the walls of the ghetto houses in Warsaw, and every day a train with “displaced people”, known as a shuttle train, started to run between Warsaw and Treblinka.

On 23 July 1942, in the morning hours, the first transport of Jews from Warsaw arrived at the camp, bringing 7,400 people. It consisted partly of residents of accommodation facilities for refugees and serving various penalties, mostly administrative ones, in the central prison at 24 Gęsia Street. On 23 July 1942, the first phase of murdering the people brought here began. It lasted until 28 August 1942.

The daily quota, initially set at 6,000 people, grew rapidly. According to the documents of the Jewish Council, 241,000 Jews were deported to Treblinka only from the Warsaw ghetto from the end of July to the middle of September 1942 during many displacement actions. Jews from other ghettos, such as Białystok, Grodno, Kielce, Radom, Łuków, Włoszczowa, Sędziszów, Szydłowiec, Kozienice, Częstochowa, Łochowa were also deported here. They were mainly Polish Jews from the General Government, brought here in freight wagons with barbed-wired windows. Those who tried to escape were shot. The railroads Małkinia – Treblinka and Siedlce – Treblinka were covered with bodies. The guards fired at the escaping people, and the wounded were killed by German military policemen from the posts in Kosów Lacki and Bielany, sent deliberately to the vicinity of the railway tracks.
The trains were escorted by the SS men or military policemen, and the guards were Ukrainians, Latvians or Lithuanians. The commandant of the transport was always a German. Only transports from Germany and Austria were escorted by the German police. Some of the deportees, aware of their fate, threw the torn money, clothes, cards with names and a request to inform their families out the windows. The corpses of those who died during the transports were burned in the lazaret.

Jews from the West were arriving at Treblinka in different conditions. They were transported in passenger wagons. They had bought tickets, and the train manager handed over the sections of those tickets at Treblinka station. They were counted and sent back to the Railway Directorate in Warsaw. These people were allowed to take large amounts of luggage, including all kinds of materials and food. Not only Jews from Poland, but also from Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Yugoslavia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belgium and France died in Treblinka.

Transport costs were borne by the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA), to which the Reich Railway (Reichsbahn) granted a special fare, up to a quarter of the normal transport costs. The RSHA, on the other hand, if possible, ordered the Jews themselves to pay for travel to extermination camps, otherwise it paid from the extraordinary budget of the Reich’s security police, allocated by the Reich minister of finance.