Survivors and Escapees from the Treblinka Death Camp

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Reunion of Treblinka Survivors in 1944

Left to Right: Standing: Rosenthal, Brothandel,Shimon Goldberg, Chaim Ciechanowski, Schneiderman

Sitting  Domb, Oskar Strawczynski, Rajzman, Kudlik, Goldberg, Lejzer Ciechanowski

 

AUGUSTYNIAK, Czeslaw. Last heard of in 1979 living in Sweden.

BERGER, Oskar. Businessman from Katowice, Upper Silesia. He moved early in the war to Kielce, Poland. He was deported from Kielce to Treblinka in August 1942, together with his wife and son who were killed immediately on arrival in the camp. In September 1942, Berger, together with a young boy, escaped hidden beneath a pile of prisoners clothing being shipped to Germany. Arrested again in July 1943, he was incarcerated in Buchenwald concentration camp, where he was liberated in 1945.

BERKOWICZ, Yechiel. Deported from the Czestochowa ghetto. In Treblinka, together with Abraham Bomba and Yechezkel Cooperman, prepared a hideaway in the piles of clothing in the Sorting Yard, and escaped at night through the Lazarett, sometime in January 1943. Berkowicz successfully made it back to the Czestochowa ghetto.

BLAU, Adele. She was born on 18 February 1898, nee Wallisch, in Schaffa, Moravia. She was deported from Vienna to Kielce in Poland, together with her husband Karl on 19 February 1941, and from there to Treblinka. In the death camp they had the unique distinction of being the only husband and wife couple permitted to live. While her husband was appointed Oberkapo, she was employed in the camp as a cook. Later, they were both taken to the Sobibor death camp, to assist with the dismantling of the camp. When that task was completed in November 1943, she committed suicide with her husband.

BLAU, Karl. He was born on 15 February 1892, in Kollersdorf, Lower Austria. Together with his wife Adele, they were deported from Vienna to Kielce in Poland on 19 February 1941 and from there to Treblinka. In the death camp they had the unique distinction of being the only husband and wife couple permitted to live. He was appointed Oberkapo, and was most feared by the other prisoners because of his network of informers. Later, Karl and his wife  were both sent to the Sobibor death camp, to assist with the dismantling of the camp. When that task was completed in November 1943, he committed suicide along with his wife.  

BOMBA, Abraham. Born on 9 June 1913, in Beuthen, Upper Silesia. His family moved to Czestochowa where he became a barber by profession. Together with his wife Reizl and infant son Berl, Bomba was deported to Treblinka, where they arrived on 30 September 1942. His wife Reizl and 4-week old son were gassed on arrival. Bomba was assigned first to sorting the clothes and belongings of the victims, and later assigned as a barber cutting the women’s hair before they were gassed. Together with Yechiel Berkowicz and Yechezkel Cooperman, prepared a hiding place among the bundles of clothes in the sorting barracks and escaped via the Lazarett in January 1943. All three men returned to the Czestochowa ghetto, via Warsaw. In Czestochowa, Bomba was employed as a forced labourer in the HASAG factory until the camp was liberated. He testified at the trial of SS-NCO Josef ‘Sepp’ Hirtreiter in Frankfurt-am-Main in 1951 and at the First Treblinka Trial in Dusseldorf 1964-65 against Kurt Franz and other members of the camp staff.

BOORSTEIN, Moshe. Escaped from Treblinka with Simcha Laski at the end of July 1942 by hiding in bales of clothing stacked in a freight car. They jumped from the train along with two others who were killed. Boorstein and Laski reached Warsaw on the day of the so-called ‘Children’s Operation’ (Kinder Aktion) on 6 August 1942.

BORAKS, Gustav. Born in 1901 in Wielun, a small town near Lodz in Poland. He trained as a barber. He was deported from Czestochowa with his wife and two sons, Pinhas and Yossef, they arrived in Treblinka on Yom Kippur, 21 September 1942. His wife and two sons were gassed on arrival. Boraks was selected to work as a barber, cutting the women’s hair before they were gassed. He also worked at sorting clothes and in the Camouflage Brigade. Boraks escaped from Treblinka during the revolt on 2 August 1943. He testified at the Feodor Fedorenko denaturalisation hearing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the United States of America in 1978. He also appeared as a prosecution witness at the trial of John (Ivan) Demjanjuk in Israel in 1987.

BRENNER, Henryk (Henry). In Treblinka he was assigned to the Camouflage Brigade. He was one of thirteen survivors who gave evidence in 1946 for the Main Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland. After the war, Brenner settled in the USA.

BROTHHANDEL. He was pictured in the Treblinka survivor’s reunion photograph in 1944.

BULKOWSTEIN, Adek. He was bornon 16 October 1914 in Bialystok. He moved to Warsaw and married Lila and they had a daughter Malka. He worked in the Schultz factory in the Warsaw ghetto. In August 1942, he was deported to Treblinka. His wife and daughter went into hiding, but he never saw them again. After a couple of weeks in Treblinka, he escaped with another prisoner in a freight car carrying clothes and returned to Warsaw. Along with three other Jews he went into hiding, until he was liberated by the Soviet Red Army. He remarried and his wife and daughter emigrated to Australia.

CIECHANOWSKI, Chaim and Lejzer. Theywere photographedat the Treblinka reunion in 1944. Both settled in Buenos Aries, Argentina.

CIENKI Brothers. Two brothers from Miedzyrzec Podlaski, Poland. They were deported from  Miedzyrzec to Treblinka during the second Aktion which took place between 6-9 October 1942, together with about 7,000 other Jews from Miedzyrzec and the surrounding area. They managed to escape from the camp and returned to Miedzyrzec Podlaski where they informed the Jewish Council (Judenrat) about Treblinka and the fate of the deportees. The Chairman of the Jewish Council, Klarberg, informed the Germans about the two escapees, who were arrested and shot by the Gestapo. Because some of the Jews from Miedzyrzec Podlaski had heard the accounts by the brothers, some of them decided to jump from the trains during the course of the subsequent deportations.

COOPERMAN, Yechezkel. Together with Yechiel Berkowicz and Abraham Bomba prepared a hiding place among the bundles of clothes in the sorting barracks in January 1943 and escaped through the Lazarett. They returned to the Czestochowa ghetto, via Warsaw.

CZARNY, Jozef. Born on 27 July 1926, in Warsaw. He was deported to Treblinka during September 1942, and selected to work at sorting clothes before being appointed as one of the ‘Court Jews’ (Hofjuden) where he was a servant to Kurt Franz, and also looked after the chicken coop. He escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943 and settled in Israel. He gave evidence at the Fedor Fedorenko denaturalisation trial in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States of America. He was also a witness at the trial of John (Ivan) Demjanjuk in Jerusalem in 1987.

CZECHOWICZ, Aaron. Arrived in Treblinka on 9 September 1942. He was one of the thirteen survivors who gave evidence in 1946 to the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland. He settled in Caracas, Venezuela, South America.

DIAMANT, Nachum. He escaped from Treblinka together with Wladyslaw Salzberg in the summer of 1942. He informed the Kielce Jewish Council about the death camp.

DOMB, Jakob. In Treblinka, he drove a horse-drawn wagon to collect rubbish in the Lower Camp. While driving near the Upper Camp on the day of the uprising, he shouted out in Hebrew to the prisoners working across the fence, “End of the world today, the day of judgement at 4 o’clock!” He appears in the Treblinka reunion photograph taken in 1944.

EINSHINDLER, Israel. Originally from Lodz, Poland, he moved to Czestochowa in southern Poland and was deported from there in 1942 to Treblinka. He worked in the sorting yard and showed Oskar Strawczynski how to sort the clothes and luggage from the murdered Jews. Shortly after Oskar Strawczynski’s arrival in Treblinka, Einshindler escaped from the camp.

EISNER, Jakob. Deported to Treblinka from Czestochowa. He escaped in January 1943, with Moshe Rappaport and returned to the Czestochowa ghetto. He settled in Israel.    

EPSTEIN, Pinchas. He was bornon 3 March 1925, in Czestochowa. He was deported from Czestochowa on 22 September 1942, along with other members of his family. On arrival at the death camp he was selected to live, and his brother David tried to join him, whereupon an SS- man hit him with the butt of his rifle and killed him and this was witnessed by Pinchas. After only a few days in the Lower Camp he was assigned to the Upper Camp, where he carried corpses. After the revolt on 2 August 1943, he escaped and returned to Czestochowa. Under false documents he was employed as a labourer in Germany. In July 1948, he settled in Israel and in 1978 gave evidence at the Fedorenko denaturalisation hearing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States of America. He also appeared as a witness at the John (Ivan) Demjanjuk Trial in Jerusalem in 1987. He died in Israel during 2010.

FINKELSTEIN, Leon.  He was deported from the Warsaw ghetto on 22 July 1942, the first transport from Warsaw to be sent to the Treblinka death camp. According to Chil Rajchman, Finkelstein was a dentist in the Upper Camp. On one occasion he was tortured by Ivan Marchenko, who used an auger on his buttocks. He escaped after the revolt on 2 August 1943, and is possibly the Leon mentioned by fellow-escapee Berek Rojzman. He was one of the thirteen survivors who gave evidence in 1946 to the Main Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland. After the war he was a butcher by profession in Paris, France.

FISCHMANN, Michael. He was from Biala Podlaska. He escaped from Treblinka with Edi Weinstein and Gedalia Rosenzweig on 9 September 1942.  His fate is unknown, but it is unlikely he survived.

GALEWSKI, Alfred.(some survivors claim his name was Marceli). He was bornin Lodz, he was a member of a wealthy and completely assimilated family. An engineer by profession, he was one of the main employees in the head office in Warsaw of CENTOS, a Jewish charity organisation. He was deported from Warsaw to Treblinka, where he was selected for work and appointed Camp Elder (Lageralteste) by the SS. He was involved in the camp Underground and helped plan the revolt, which took place on 2 August 1943. He escaped during the revolt, but according to Leon Perelstein, his nerves failed him and after running a few kilometres he committed suicide by taking poison.

GELBERD, Aron. He was deported from Czestochowa to Treblinka together with Moshe Lubling on 2 October 1942. He was selected to work with the‘Gold Jews’ (Goldjuden). He escaped from the death camp on 21 October 1942, and returned to Czestochowa. He settled in Israel.

GLAZAR (GOLDSCHMID), Richard. He was bornon 29 November 1920, in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He was accepted at the University of Prague in 1939, but the Germans closed the universities after students’ demonstrations. Thereafter, he worked on a farm near Prague. On 2 September 1942, he was ordered to report to the Mustermesse – a big exhibition hall in Prague. After a stay of two or three days in the Mustermesse he was sent to the Theresienstadt transit ghetto on transport number ‘BG-417’. After working for four weeks in the refuse disposal unit, he was deported to Treblinka on transport ‘Bu’ which left Theresienstadt on 8 October 1942. Glazar had the registration number 639. The transport arrived in Treblinka, two days later, on 10 October 1942.

Glazar and his close friend Karel Unger, worked at sorting the victims’ belongings and in the Camouflage Brigade. He and Unger took part in the revolt on 2 August 1943 and escaped. They made their way across Poland, but were arrested by a forester near Nowe Miasto- nad-Pilica in the south-western corner of the Mazovian Province. They convinced their captors that they were workers for the Organisation Todt, the Nazi construction brigades, and were sent to Germany as labourers. They travelled from the assembly camp in Czestochowa, through Moravia to Vienna and onto Mannheim in Germany, where they arrived on 24 September 1943.They worked for the Heinrich Lanz firm which manufactured agricultural machinery. After liberation by the US Army at the end of March 1945, Glazar returned to Prague. After the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Army in 1968, he and his family fled to Switzerland where he became an engineer. He wrote a book about Treblinka entitled ‘Trap with a Green Fence – Surviving Treblinka’, which was published in several languages. After the death of his wife Zdena, he committed suicide in Prague on 20 December 1997.

GOLDBERG, Shimon. He was born during 1914, in Warsaw. According to Oskar Strawczynski, he was a carpenter from Radomsko in Lodz Province, who worked in the Upper Camp for four months. He escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943, and ten months later met Strawczynski in a forest where they had been hiding. Goldberg appears in the Treblinka reunion photograph taken in 1944. Goldberg died in 1976.

GOLDFARB, Abraham. He was fromBialystok, in north-eastern Poland. He arrived in Treblinka on 25 August 1942, with his wife and four children. A cobbler by profession, he was selected to work in the Upper Camp, at first at the mass graves and later cremating the bodies. He escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943, by breaking through the north gate. He settled in Israel.

GOSTYNSKI, Zygmunt. Settled in Israel

GRABINSKI, Sonia. Settled in Israel.

GRINBERG, Tanhum. He was born in Blonie, near Warsaw in 1913. In 1941 he was relocated to the Warsaw ghetto with his mother, three younger brothers and a sister. Although a cobbler by profession, he was employed in the workshop of the Fritz Schultz firm, a Gdansk based fur company. On returning home from work one day, he found their apartment empty. His entire family had been taken away, probably to Treblinka. A short time later, Grinberg himself was deported from Warsaw to Treblinka, where he was selected for work as a cobbler. He was active in the preparation for the revolt on 2 August 1943, and he escaped from the camp and sought refuge in the village of Sterdyn, only 18 kilometres from Sokolow Podlaski, and later joined a partisan unit. He was a witness at the First Treblinka Trial in Dusseldorf during 1964-65 (Kurt Franz and others). He settled in Israel and was killed in an automobile accident in 1976.

GRINSBACH, Eliahu. An electrician. Settled in Israel

GROSS, Yosef.  A mechanic by trade. Settled in Israel.

GUTMAN, Jozef. He was born in Warsaw in 1919. He was deported during July 1942 from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka, where he spent only two weeks, but was an eyewitness to the murder of the Kielce and Siedlce Jews in the death camp. He was employed at carrying the bodies of those who had died on the transports to the mass graves. After two weeks, together with four other prisoners, he escaped from a train transporting the clothes of the murdered victims to Lublin. He returned to the Warsaw ghetto and tried to warn people about what was going on in Treblinka, but most did not believe him. During the Warsaw ghetto uprising in April-May 1943, he was deported to the Poniatowa labour camp in the Lublin District, but escaped from the train and returned to Warsaw where he spent several months in hiding. He obtained ‘Aryan’ papers from Polish friends and was sent to Vienna as a Polish forced labourer, where he worked until the liberation. After the war, he returned to Warsaw.

HELFING, Isadore. He was deported with his family from Kielce to Treblinka in 1942. He avoided on arrival being sent to the gas chambers by joining a group of prisoners carrying bodies out of the cattle cars. He was later employed in the SS stable. He escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943.

HELLMAN, Shlomo. He arrived in Treblinka from Warsaw in September 1942. He worked on the construction of the new gas chambers and later in burying the dead in the Upper Camp. He escaped from Treblinka during the revolt on 2 August 1943. He settled in Israel.

HERSCHKOWITZ. They were father and son, remembered by Abraham Krzepeicki as they helped him escape from the death camp hiding amongst the bales of clothes in a freight car, on 13 September 1942 They parted from Krzepeicki, and their fate is unknown.

ISHKAH, Elena Leo. Deported from Skopje, then in Macedonia.

JAKUBOWICZ, Jakob. No further details known

JANKOWSKI, Kalman. No further details known

KELIN, Judah. No further details known

KOHN (KON), Stanislaw – Shulem. He was born during 1909 in Praszka, near Lodz, Poland, where he lived until 1939. He fought in the Polish army during the September 1939 campaign, when the Germans invaded. He returned to Lodz, but in March 1940, together with his wife and child moved to Czestochowa where they lived until 1 October 1942.On this day the Germans carried out a deportation Aktion, and Kohn and his family were deported to Treblinka, where his wife and child were gassed on arrival. He was selected to work at sorting the clothing of the murdered Jews. Kohn escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943, and was one of the survivors who provided details of the revolt in the death camp. His testimony was also one of the first to be collected in 1944 in liberated Lublin. In 1945, long extracts from his memoirs were published in the Jewish newspaper Dos Naje Lebn (The New Life), a Yiddish newspaper published in Warsaw.

KOLSKI, Abraham. He was deported to Treblinka from Czestochowa on 2 October 1942. He was employed in the Camouflage Brigade. He escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943. He attended the Treblinka Trials in Duseldorf during 1964-65, and 1970.

KON, Abe. No further details known

KOSZYCKI, Jacob. No further details known

KRZEPICKI, Abraham. He was born in 1918 in Danzig (Gdansk). He was deported from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka on 25 August 1942. On arrival at Treblinka he was employed at clearing up the backlog of corpses that had occurred during late August 1942. When that work was completed he was assigned to sorting the clothes and personal belongings of the Jews who had been murdered. He was then assigned to clean up the ‘Tube’ which led to the gas chambers. He was thus able to observe the old gas chambers, and the construction of the new gas chambers.He then managed to join the Holzfellerkommando, the woodcutters who worked in the forest and he managed to escape with three other prisoners on 13 September 1942, by hiding in a freight car full of the murdered Jews clothing. He alone succeeded in returning to the Warsaw ghetto. During December 1942 and January 1943, the leaders of the ghetto Underground archives under the historian Emanuel Ringelblum entrusted Rachel Auerbach with the task of recording Krzepicki’s testimony. The manuscript, written in Yiddish, was buried in the rubble of the ghetto, together with other documents from the second part of the Ringelblum archives.

Krzepicki was a member of Hanoar – Hatzioni, a Zionist Youth organisation, headed by Jakob Praszker, which fought under the auspices of the Jewish Combat Organisation (Zydowska Organizaja Bojowa – ZOB). During the shelling of the Brush makers’ workshop on Swietojanska Street, during April 1943, he was wounded in the leg. His comrades, forced to evacuate the burning building, had to abandon him and other wounded insurgents. The manuscript with his account was recovered on 1 December 1950, by Polish construction workers beneath the ruins of 68 Nowolipki Street and is now housed in Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.

KRUK. Remembered by Chil Rajchman, he was from Plock, who escaped with him following the revolt on 2 August 1943.

KUDLIK, Arie. He was deported to Treblinka from the Czestochowa ghetto on 12 October 1942. He was selected to work, and was assigned to sorting the clothes of the murdered victims. He escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943, and was photographed at the Treblinka reunion in 1944.

LACHMAN, Salek. He was from Dzialoszyn, near Czestochowa. Along with his family they were deported from Czestochowa to Treblinka in September 1942. On arrival he was employed first in the Sorting Brigade, then in the Camouflage Brigade. He settled in New York. He testified in San Diego, California, USA, in 1980, under the name of Sol Lackman in the denaturalisation cases against John (Ivan) Demjanjuk and Fedor Fedorenko.

LAKS, Moszek (Mietek). He escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943. He drew a plan of Treblinka which he gave to the Central Jewish Historical Commission (Centralna Zydowska Komisja Historyczna – CZKH) in Warsaw in 1946. He settled in Israel.

LASKI, Simcha. He was deported from Warsaw to Treblinka at the end of July 1942. He escaped four days later by hiding in bales of clothing being transported out of the camp. He jumped to freedom with Moshe Boorstein. Laski reached the Warsaw ghetto on 6 August 1942, the dayof the so-called ‘Children’s Operation’ (Kinder Aktion).    

LEWI, Leon. No further details known

LEWKOWICZ, Sonia. She was born on 11 March 1922, in the city of Dombrovar, Bulgaria. She was deported to Treblinka in December 1942. She was initially selected to work in the Lower Camp laundry, but on 5 March 1943, was transferred to the laundry in the Upper Camp. She escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943. After the war she settled in Israel and in 1978 she gave evidence at the denaturalisation cases against Fedor Fedorenko.

LINDWASSER, Avraham. He was born in 1909. He was deported from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka, and he arrived there on 28 August 1942. He was selected for work and he was assigned to the Dentist Brigade in the Upper Camp. After the revolt on 2 August 1943, he escaped from the camp and hid in the forest. After the war, he volunteered to serve in the Polish army. He settled in Israel in 1948, and testified at the Adolf Eichmann Trial in Jerusalem during 1961.

LUCK, Moshe.  No further details known

MEDRZYCKI, Anshel. He escaped from Treblinka and teamed up with Abraham Krzepicki in the forest during September 1942.

MILGROM, David. He escaped during August 1942

MILLER, Jakob. He was born during 1918 in Wlodzimierz, Volhynia, eastern Poland. He was deported to Treblinka from the Siedlce ghetto on 22 August 1942. He participated in the revolt on 2 August 1943, and escaped with Kalman Teigman. He testified before the Jewish Historical Commission in Lublin during 1945. He settled in Uruguay, South America.

MITLEBERG, M.

Moishele. He was a tailor who escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943, as recalled by Jerzy Rajgrodzki, who escaped from the death camp with him:

He had a rifle without bullets. He was wounded near the heart.... A short while later he lost consciousness and died. ‘

MORDSKY, Leizer. Hewas the son of the owner of an olive curing plant and he lived with his family on Miedzyrzecka Street, in Losice until he was deported to Treblinka. He helped Edi Weinstein and others escape during 1942. He escaped by the same method, but was murdered in the Konstantinow area , by members of the Polish Home Army (AK) in early July 1944.

NOWODWORSKI, Dawid. He was born during 1912 in Warsaw. He was a member of the Jewish Youth Guard (Hashomer Hatzair), a Socialist – Zionist, secular Jewish youth movement, and in the ghetto was an active member of the Underground. He lived at Leszno Street 6 where he listened to the radio, which could incur the death penalty, and passed information to the Underground press. He was deported to Treblinka in August 1942. He managed to escape and returned to the Warsaw ghetto, where he participated in the ghetto uprising in April 1943, in which he commanded the Hashomer Hatzair combat unit group, which was based at Nowolipie Street 67.

On 29 April 1943, he and other Jewish fighters escaped from the ghetto through the sewers, and later commanded one of several partisan units in the Wyszkow forest, about 60 kilometres north-east of Warsaw. He returned to Warsaw before the liberation to organise the emigration of Jews through Hungary to Palestine. He was denounced to the Germans, by an ethnic German (Volksdeutsche) and shot.

PACANOWSKI, Moshe. He settledin Israel

PERELSTEIN, Leon. In Treblinka he managed the tool-store for the Construction Brigade. He escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943. He testified at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem about the suicide of Galewski, after their escape from the death camp.

PETAKOWSKIY, Marek. No further details known

PLATKIEWICZ, Marian. He was fromPlock on the Vistula River in central Poland. He served in the Polish army from 1938 and was taken prisoner by the Germans during the Polish Campaign in 1939, after which he returned to Warsaw. He was deported from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka in July 1942. He was employed first in the Sorting Brigade and later with the small sized ‘potato- cleaning’ Brigade. He participated in the revolt on 2 August 1943, and he escaped from the camp. He settled in Israel where he drew a plan of the camp, which was given to the Central Jewish Historical Committee in Poland.

PORZECKI, Moshe. He arrived in Treblinka, among a transport of 6,000 men, women and children, and he described his arrival in the Death Camp Treblinka book by Alexander Donat:

We were met by a crowd of SS-men and Ukrainians, all armed. We got off the train. In the rush, whoever happened to turn around or look behind them was beaten at once. Women and children were led away in one direction, men in the other. We had to get down on our knees. Whoever tried to get up was shot immediately. No resistance was possible. There was no help for us.

POSWOLSKI, Henryk. He was from Warsaw. After the war he settled in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

RABINOWICZ, Jakob. He was a journalist who escaped from the Treblinka death camp and wrote a report about it. The Jewish Bund in Warsaw sent an emissary to Kosow and Sokolow Podlaski both in the vicinity of Treblinka, to check on the accuracy of the report. In Sokolow Podlaski the emissary met another escapee from Treblinka, by the name of Azriel Wallach, and from him received verification of Rabinowicz’s report.

RAJCHMAN, Yekhiel, Meyer (Chil). He was born on 14 June 1914, in Lodz in central Poland. He was deported to Treblinka with his sister Rivka from Ostrow Lubelski in the Lublin District in October 1942. His sister was gassed on arrival. Chil was selected for work and employed in the Sorting Brigade, and then as a barber, cutting of the women’s hair before they were gassed. He was transferred to the Upper Camp, first working with the Corpse Carrying Brigade and then as a Dentist. He escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943, together with Kalman Teigman and Jakob Miller. In 1946, after testifying before the Central Jewish Historical Commission, he emigrated to Uruguay, South America. He testified at the trial of John (Ivan) Demjanjuk in Jerusalem during 1987. Rajchman died in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 2004.

RAJGRODZKI, Jerzy. He was born in Siedlce, Poland. He was deported from Warsaw, after working as a draftsman. He escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943.

RAJZMAN, Samuel. He was born during 1902, in Wegrow, Poland. Wegrow is located between Warsaw and Sokolow Podlaski. Before the war, he lived in Warsaw with his wife and daughter. He was employed in an import-export business. On 21 September 1942, he was deported to Treblinka with his wife, but their daughter was taken in by another Jewish family. She was eventually murdered in the Poniatowa labour camp which was located in the Lublin District.

In Treblinka, Rajzman was recognised by Galewski, the Camp Elder, who put him to work cleaning spectacles and microscopes. He was a member of the prisoners Underground Committee, responsible for planning the revolt. On the day of the revolt, 2 August 1943, Rajzman was working in the lumberyard from where he escaped, out of the death camp. In 1944, he wrote one of the first reports about Treblinka, which was published in the Lublin literary weekly Odrodzenie (Revival). He was the only witness to testify about Treblinka at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial. After the war ended, he worked in Germany as director of personnel with the Central Committee of Liberated Jews. He later moved to Paris, and then in 1950, finally settled in Montreal, Canada. He also testified at the Treblinka Trials in Dusseldorf, and was a witness at the Fedorenko denaturalisation hearing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States of America in 1978.

RAK, Meir. He was possibly from Mlawa, Mazowian Province in north-central Poland.    

RAPPAPORT, Moshe. He was deported from Czestochowa, to Treblinka on 2 October 1942, together with Aron Gelberd. He escaped with Jakob Eisner during January 1943 and he returned to the ‘small ghetto’ in Czestochowa. He settled in the United States of America.

RICHTER. He escaped from Treblinka and returned to the Czestochowa ghetto and in October 1942 tried to kill the German officer Rohn, who was one of those in charge of the deportation ‘Aktion.

ROJTMAN. He recalled that his old parents, his three sisters, his three brothers and his brother –in-law were all murdered on arrival.

ROJZMAN, Berek. He was born on 5 March1912, in Grojec, a town to the south-east of Warsaw. A butcher by profession, he arrived in Treblinka on 2 November 1942, and he was employed in the camp supply store. He lost his entire family in Treblinka. He escaped from the death camp during the revolt on 2 August 1943, and he hid in the forests for a year with five other escapees. Unlike virtually every other survivor of Treblinka, after the war he remained in Poland, and did not emigrate.

ROSENBERG, Eliahu (Eli). He was born on 10 May 1924, in Warsaw. He was deported from the Warsaw ghetto during September 1942, along with his mother and three sisters. He was selected to work in the Upper Camp, while the rest of his family were gassed on arrival. In the Upper Camp he worked as as part of the Corpse Carrying Brigade, but later worked at cleaning the gas chambers. He escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943.

In 1945, he wrote a report about Treblinka in Polish, and in 1947, a German version of one of his subsequent reports was published. He wrote a longer version in Yiddish, which was published in Bleter far Gezichte (Historical Notes) and describes events in the Warsaw ghetto, as well as in Treblinka, and events following the revolt. He settled in Israel and testified at the Adolf Eichmann Trial in Jerusalem during 1961 and at the trial of John (Ivan) Demjanjuk in 1987. He was the last survivor of the Upper Camp, he died in 2010.

ROSENKRANZ, Sol. He was from Grabow in Lodz Province. He settled in the United States of America.

ROSENTHAL, Lejbel. According to Abraham Bomba, Lejbel escaped from Treblinka, but returned to the camp and explained to Alfred Galewski, the Camp Elder, how he had managed to escape. He then escaped again from the death camp. He was photographed at the Treblinka prisoners reunion in 1944.

ROSENZWEIG, Gedalia. He was from Losice and was remembered by Edi Weinstein, the son of Shaya, the builder. He escaped from Treblinka with Edi Weinstein and Michael Fischman on 9 September 1942. His fate is unknown, but it is unlikely he survived.

SALZBERG, Heinrich (Heniek). He was the sixteen-year old son of Wladek Salzberg, who was in charge of the ghetto and workshops area in the Lower Camp, while his brother Welwel worked in the laundry. According to Stanislaw Kohn, Salzberg managed to obtain weapons from the German quarters and is believed to have survived the camp revolt on 2 August 1943. His father and older brother were killed in the revolt. Richard Glazar believed that Salzberg was living somewhere in Spain.

SALZBERG, Wladyslaw. He escaped from Treblinka with Nachum Diamant in the summer of 1942.

SZNAJDMAN (SCHNEIDMANN), Wolf. He was deported from Stoczek, near Wegrow in Mazowian Province to Treblinka penal labour camp in June 1942. He participated in the construction of the Treblinka death camp and became one of the ‘Court Jews’ (Hofjuden). He escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943. He was included in the photograph of the Treblinka survivors’ reunion in 1944. He settled in New York, United States of America.

SHARSON, Lazar. During the night of 31 December 1942, an escape took place from the Upper Camp through a tunnel; five prisoners successfully reached a nearby village. The Germans and Ukrainians pursued the escapees and caught most of them, one was shot on the spot, three were returned to the camp to be hanged, and one –Lazar Sharson – managed to get away. He returned to the Warsaw ghetto and fought in the ghetto uprising during April –May 1943.

SIEDLECKI, Joseph (Joe). He was a soldier in the Polish army. He was deported with his wife from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka in July 1942. She was gassed on arrival, while Siedlecki was selected to work in the ‘Red Brigade’ in the undressing barracks. Later he worked in the disinfection room which was located in a part of the undressing barracks. He escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943 and using false papers obtained employment with a Polish construction unit attached to the German army. He settled in the United States of America.

SPERLING, Hershl (Henry). He was born on 10 March 1927, in Klobuck, Silesia. In early October 1940, the Sperling family moved into the Czestochowa ghetto. Hershl together with his father, mother and sister arrived in Treblinka in late September or early October 1942. He was selected for work in the Sorting Brigade, but the rest of his family were murdered in the gas chambers. He escaped from Treblinka during the revolt on 2 August 1943, and he managed to get to Warsaw via Rembertow. He was recaptured by the Germans in Koluszki, Lodz Province, and was sent to a penal camp in Radom, in central-eastern Poland.

From there he was sent to Auschwitz concentration camp, where he arrived on 2 October 1943, and he was tattooed with the prisoner number 154,356. In October 1944, he was transferred to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, but a month later on 17 November 1944, he arrived in Dachau concentration camp, near Munich. After a short time there, he was sent to one of Dachau’s sub-camps at Kaufering, near Landsberg-am-Lech in Bavaria. After the war ended he settled in Glasgow, Scotland. He committed suicide in Glasgow on 26 September 1989.

STRAWCZYNSKI, Oskar. He was born in Lodz, Poland during 1906. He became a skilled and accomplished artisan whose abilities as a tinsmith eventually saved his life and that of his brother Zygmunt in the Treblinka death camp. Oskar’s immediate family perished in the Holocaust; only Oskar, his brother Zygmunt and a younger sister survived. Oskar was deported from the Czestochowa ghetto, along with other members of his family, and they arrived at the death camp on 5 October 1942. His wife Anka, two children Guta and Abus, and his parents Yoseph and Malka were all gassed on arrival.

Oskar was selected to work and worked initially at sorting the clothes and belongings of the murdered Jews, and later he worked in the blacksmith workshop. He participated in the revolt on 2 August 1943, and he escaped from the camp, and joined a partisan group in the forest. He was one of the Treblinka survivors photographed at the reunion in 1944. Two years later in 1946, he gave evidence along with twelve other survivors to the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland. He settled in Montreal, Canada, but returned to Europe to testify at the First Treblinka Trial in Dusseldorf during 1964-65. He died in Montreal, Canada in 1966.   

STRAWCZYNSKI, Zygmunt. He was the brother of Oskar, and they both lived in Czestochowa, but during the ‘Aktion’ in September 1942, Zygmunt fled the ghetto along with his wife and daughter, heading for Bochnia, a small town in the sub-Carpathian mountains in southern Poland. They left the train en-route , and were captured by the Germans and taken to Radomsko in Lodz Province. From there they were deported to Treblinka between 10 -12 October 1942. Zygmunt’s family were gassed on arrival, but Zygmunt was selected to work, initially at sorting the clothes and the belongings of the murdered Jews. He was then employed with his brother in the blacksmith workshop. They escaped together during the revolt on 2 August 1943 and they made their way to Warsaw, where they were re-united with Treblinka escapee Samuel Willenberg. After the war the Strawczynski brothers settled in Canada. Zygmunt died in Montreal in 1975, some nine years later than his brother.

SUKNO, Bronka. She was deported from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka on 18 January 1943. She was selected by SS- Unterscharführer Franz Suchomel to work in the laundry, and then in the tailors workshop in the Lower Camp. She also worked in the Ukrainian guard’s kitchen. She escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943. She settled in Israel.

SZEJNBERG, Wolf. He settled in France.

SZMULOWICZ, Jakob. He settled in Israel

SZTAJER, Chaim. He worked in the Upper Camp and escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943. He settled in Melbourne, Australia. He constructed a model of the Treblinka death camp

TEIGMAN, Kalman. He was born on 24 December 1922, in Warsaw. He lived with his family on Twarda Street in the Muranow district of Warsaw, that later was included in the ghetto. Teigman worked at the Okecie airfield on the southern outskirts of the city, together with his comrade Slamek Rozenblum, and in the Astra –Werke company at Wildstrasse 30 (Zamenhof Street 30).

He was deported from the Astra-Werke factory along wih his mother Tema, on 4 September 1942, and they both arrived at the Treblinka death camp the following day. He was selected for work, but his mother was gassed immediately. He worked at sorting the clothes and the belongings of the murdered Jews. He also worked at renovating aluminium wares, which was what he was working on when the revolt broke out on 2 August 1943.

Kalman escaped from the death camp together with Jakob Miller and others. After the war he spent some time in a refugee camp on Cyprus, before settling in Israel. He testified at the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem during 1961, and at the Treblinka Trials in Dusseldorf during 1964-65 and 1970. Kalman died on 26 July 2012.

TOBIAS, Mieczyslaw. No further details known

TUROWSKI, Eugen. He was born on 14 January 1914, in Lodz, Poland. He served as an NCO in the Polish infantry, and was captured by the Germans in the Poznan Province on 14 September 1939. He was released three weeks later, and he returned to Lodz, and then moved with his family to Czestochowa, where he was employed as a teacher in a professional technical school.

He was evicted from his home on the first ‘Aktion’ to Treblinka on 22 August 1942, the day after Yom Kippur, but at Czestochowa station Turowski and his son were singled out and placed among a group selected for work, a temporary reprieve from deportation. His wife, another son mother-in-law and two sisters-in-law were deported to Treblinka, where they were gassed on arrival. Turowski spent eight days in a temporary camp, after which the Germans discovered he was with his young son, and they deported both of them to Treblinka, where they arrived on 5 October 1942.

Through the promptings of his former students who told the SS that Turowski was a qualified mechanic, he was selected to work, although his young son was shot on the Undressing Square. Turowski worked for three weeks at sorting the belongings of the murdered Jews, after which he worked in the camp repair workshop as a mechanic. He claims it was he who made the duplicate key to the SS munitions bunker, a claim supported by Kalman Teigman. He escaped during the revolt on 2 August 1943 and in 1946 he testified before the Main Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland. He settled in Israel and testified at the First Treblinka Trial in Dusseldorf during 1964-65 and at the Fedorenko Denaturalisation Hearing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States of America, in 1978.

UNGER, Karel. He was born on 15 April 1921, in Olomouc, Czechoslovakia. He was deported from there to the Theresienstadt fortress ghetto on 30 June 1942 and from there onto Treblinka on transport ‘BU’ on 8 October 1942 (the same transport as his friend Rrichard Glazar). His parents and younger brother were gassed on arrival, but he was selected for work in the Sorting Brigade initially, and then the Camouflage Brigade. He participated in the revolt on 2 August 1943 and escaped from the camp with Richard Glazar.

They made their way across Poland, but were arrested by a forester near Nowe Miasto- nad-Pilica in the south-western corner of the Mazovian Province. They convinced their captors that they were workers for the Organisation Todt, the Nazi construction brigades, and were sent to Germany as labourers. They travelled from the assembly camp in Czestochowa, through Moravia to Vienna and onto Mannheim in Germany, where they arrived on 24 September 1943. They worked for the Heinrich Lanz firm which manufactured agricultural machinery. After liberation by the US Army at the end of March 1945, he settled in the United States of America, where he worked as a brew-master. He remained silent about Treblinka, and he passed away some time before his friend Richard Glazar.

WALLACH, Azriel. He was a nephew of the former Soviet Foreign Minister, Maxim Litvinov. He escaped from Treblinka and met Zalmen Frydrych, a member of the Jewish Underground, in Sokolow Podlaski, where he provided him with details of the death camp. A description of Treblinka, published in Oyf der Vakh (‘On Guard’), an Underground publication of the Bund, was evidently based on the information provided by Wallach.

WARSZAWSKI, Szyja. He was deported from the Warsaw ghetto on the first transport on 22 July 1942, he arrived the following day, and was selected to work at the mass graves. He was one of the thirteen survivors who gave evidence to the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland . In 1951, he identified former SS-NCO Josef ‘Sepp’ Hirtreiter at his trial in Frankfurt-am-Main.

WASSER. No further details known

WEINBERG, Boris (Kazik). He was deported from Warsaw on 4 September 1942, and was selected for work in the Sorting Brigade. Later he was employed in the ‘Blau Kommando’, receiving transports on the Ramp.

WEINER. He was a Hassidic Jew who escaped from Treblinka on 13 September 1942, along with Abraham Krzepicki.

WEINSTEIN, Edward (‘Edi’). He was born during 1924, in Losice, a town in Siedlce County. He was deported from Losice with his mother and brother, and they arrived in Treblinka on 24 August 1942. He escaped with Michael Fischman and Gedalia Rosenzweig on 9 September 1942. He settled in New York, United States of America and he died in 2010.

WIERNIK, Jankiel (‘Jakob’). He was born during 1887 in the Brisk district, now Brest, Belarus, although some accounts claim he was born in 1890 in Biala Podlaska, which is in the Lublin district of eastern Poland. He joined the Bund in 1904, was arrested and sent to Siberia. After his release, he served in the Tsarist army after which he settled in Warsaw, and became a building contractor.

He was deported to Treblinka on 23 August 1942. As a skilled craftsman he was selected for work by the SS, as a carpenter. He participated in the construction of the new, larger gassing chambers in the autumn of 1942, as well as the Tyrolean main guard-house, and the Polish country-style main gate in the spring of 1943. Wiernik played a leading role in the organisation of the revolt on 2 August 1943, because he was the only prisoner permitted free access between the Upper and Lower camps. He maintained contact between the conspirators in the two compounds.

He escaped during the revolt, but was shot in the shoulder by a Ukrainian guard from the Treblinka Labour camp (Treblinka I), but before the guard could shoot again, Wiernik killed him with an axe and he escaped into the forest. Wiernik made his way back to Warsaw, where he approached some Jews using a code word: ‘Amcha’ – a Yiddish word meaning ‘your people.’ Recognised as a Jew, he was accepted into the Jewish Underground. At the age of 56 he became a member of the Communist-led People’s Army (Armja Ludowa – AL) in Warsaw. He drew a plan of the Treblinka death camp and wrote about his experiences, first in Polish, then in Hebrew, in December 1944. English and Yiddish versions were published simultaneously. In 1946, Wiernik gave evidence to the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland. He moved to Palestine and during the 1950’s settled in Holon. In 1955, he met Zivia Lubetkin and Yitzhak Zukerman, two key figures in the Jewish Underground in Warsaw and founders of the Ghetto Fighters Kibbutz and Museum in Western Galilee. This encounter inspired him to construct a model of the Treblinka death camp for the museum. He testified at the Adolf Eichmann Trial in Jerusalem during 1961. He took part at the Treblinka memorial ceremony on 10 May 1964, at the site of the former death camp. He died in 1972.

WILLENBERG, Samuel. He was born during 1923, in Czestochowa, southern Poland. His father taught art at the Jewish Grammar school in the city. His mother hailed from an aristocratic background and was a Russian Orthodox, by faith, and had settled in Poland during the revolution. Aged sixteen at the outbreak of the Second World War, Willenberg volunteered to serve in the Polish army and was wounded in the fighting at Chelmno.

The Willenberg family was split up and Samuel went into hiding in Czestochowa with his mother and two sisters Itta and Tamara. His two sisters were arrested and subsequently deported to Treblinka, where they were both murdered. Samuel went into hiding in the Opatow ghetto, which is near Kielce. He was deported from Opatow to Treblinka on 20 October 1942. On arrival he was selected for work in the Sorting Brigade, which sorted the clothes and belongings of the murdered Jews. He also worked in the Camouflage Brigade. He took part in the revolt on 2 August 1943, and despite being shot in the leg he managed to escape into the forest. Making his way to Warsaw, he found shelter in Rembertow.  Eventually, he was re-united with his father and mother, who were both in hiding in Warsaw.

In 1944, he participated in the Warsaw Uprising, in the ranks of the Polish Home Army, during which time he was re-united with Treblinka escapee Zygmunt Strawczynski. After escaping from the virtually destroyed city through the sewers, he joined one of the several partisan units in the Kampinos Forest, a large forest complex, west of Warsaw. After the liberation of Poland, he joined the Communist Polish Army and served as a captain until 1947. In 1950, he emigrated to Israel, with his wife and mother. Willenberg’s book ‘Revolt in Treblinka’ was published in several editions, and he took up painting and sculpture. After the death of Kalman Teigman in July 2012, Samuel Willenberg is now the last living Treblinka survivor. The very last man standing from a total of 900,000 people murdered in the death camp.

ZIEGELMAN. No further details known

ZYMERMAN, Joseph. He settled in New York, United States of America.


Sources:


S. Adler, In the Warsaw Ghetto 1940 -1943. The Memoirs of Stanislaw Adler, Yad Vashem, 1982.

Y. Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka – The Aktion Reinhard Death Camps, Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis 1987

Dr. M.Burba, Ein NS-Vernichtungslager im Rahmen der Aktion Reinhard, Gottingen, 2000.    

A.Donat, The Death Camp Treblinka, Holocaust Library, New York, 1979

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Y.Lubling, Twice Dead, Peter Lang, New York, 2007

C.Rajchman, Treblinka – A Survivors Memory, Maclehose Press, London, 2011

G. Reitlinger, The Final Solution, Sphere Books, London 1971

J. Schelvis, Sobibor, A History of a Nazi Death Camp, Berg, Oxford –New York, 2007    

 G. Sereny, Into That Darkness, Pimlico, London, 1974

M. Smith, Treblinka Survivor – The Life and Death of Hershl Sperling, The History Press, Stroud, 2010.

O. Strawczynski, Ten Months in Treblinka

T. Teicholz, The Trial of Ivan the Terrible, St Martin’s Press, New York 1990.

C Webb & M. Chocholaty, The Treblinka Death Camp, Ibidem- Verlag, Stuttgart 2014

J. Wiernik, Rok w Treblince, Rada ochrony pamiec walk I meczenstwa, Warsaw 2003

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Websites

Yad Vashem Central Database of Shoah Victims

Warsaw Ghetto Database

Jewishgen


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