Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Aaron Salzburg - July 24, 1984

Stories from Treblinka II

Singer explained exactly what had happened and how it happened. As a matter of fact, the walk between the city to the railroad station called uh, Jasice was painful. A lot of people were shot not being able to walk to the station. However, traditional--as soon as the people got in the trains, which were mostly made of cattle trains--as they got located and find their places in these trains our people sang the Hatikvah. It's ironically they uh, [pause] the courage was little up and uh, people start to relieve themselves while being in the train. I don't remember really how long it took them to get to Treblinka. It might have took a couple of days by train. As soon as they got to Treblinka, they opened wide the gates of the trains, and they were met by clubs--heavy clubs over the heads--"Undress! Undress!" And a person would ask himself the question--how they knew all about it when they came from a place like that. When they got there, and they start to hit these people over the heads to undress as fast as possible, in no time 7,000 people were undressed. When they got uh, they chose amongst the 7,000 people--they took out eighty-four people--ironically, I don't know how the Germans managed those things. They left eighty some people in our city--they left eighty some people in Treblinka--the youngest, the healthiest and they were assigned to the camp. All the others marched away to a different, different street to the gas chambers. This, Mr. Singer told me he had a conversation with one of the guards. The guards mostly were made up of Russian prisoners, prisoners of war, but they were uh, armed, and when the Russian guard asked this fellow uh, Singer where he--which direction his parents went, he told him. The Russian guard started to cry. Somehow Singer got out of there and came back alive to our city and related all what had happened. After Singer, a third person came back--a young fella. Unfortunately, I don't remem...remember the name, but I remember the boy well. And a fourth person. All together, four people came back. And that from--was from that group which survived, which were left to join--to do the dirty work in that camp. The exact function what they did, I don't remember what he told me what they did or what else. The only thing he told me--oh, all of them told me--that those people, which are working in the camp, they're being eliminated by hunger, terrible conditions and beatings. He has never seen one killed by a bullet and they are being interchanged. A group is being killed, a new group is being selected from the new oncomers.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn