Treblinka: Extermination Camp or Transit Camp?


By Carlo Mattogno
The theme of the present study is Treblinka, which was situated not far from the hamlet of the same name, approximately 80 km northeast of Warsaw. Treblinka is without a doubt the best known of the four ‘pure extermination camps’; in public consciousness, imprinted by media reports, it has become one of the darkest hallmarks of the ‘Holocaust,’ second only to Auschwitz. 
Two of these camps, Auschwitz and Majdanek, are supposed to have originally been established as normal concentration camps, but later served as ‘extermination camps’  as well, in which the able-bodied jews were used in forced labor, while those unable to work were gassed. Furthermore, as the official historical version would have it, there were four ‘pure extermination camps,’ namely Treblinka, Sobibór, Bełżec, and Chełmno (Kulmhof), serving the exclusive purpose of annihilating jews. Except for a handful of ‘labor jews,’ who were necessary for keeping the camp in operation, all jews transported there, regardless of age or state of health, were murdered without any record being made of them. 
Treblinka, Sobibór, and Bełżec, often designated in the literature as ‘camps of Operation Reinhardt,’ were located in the east of the General Gouvernement, thus in German-occupied Poland. In these three camps, mass murder was supposedly committed in stationary gas chambers by means of exhaust gasses from diesel engines. On the other hand, in Chełmno, situated northwest of Lodz, gas vehicles were supposed to have served as murder weapons. According to the official version of history, in all four ‘pure extermination camps’ the corpses of the murdered were initially buried in enormous mass graves, but later, when it became clear that the military defeat of the German Reich was impending, exhumed and burned in the open air. 
The claims regarding mass murder and the disposal of bodies are based entirely and exclusively upon eyewitness testimony. Documents from these camps are almost completely missing, which the official version of history explains by saying that either the National Socialists did not compile any or – in the case that documents did exist – they destroyed them in time, enough not to leave behind any proof of their atrocities. For the same reason, it is claimed, Treblinka, Sobibór, Bełżec, and Chełmno were also totally destroyed before the German retreat. In fact, the visitor finds almost no tangible traces at the sites where these camps once were.
Under these circumstances, an historian who wishes to check the picture of the four ‘pure extermination camps’ outlined here with scientific methods sees himself confronting a far more difficult task than a researcher who has set himself the same goal with respect to Auschwitz or Majdanek. The latter can study the documents of the camp administration, which are available in great number; he can examine the facilities – some of them preserved in undamaged condition, others in ruins – which according to the prevailing notion served as gas chambers for killing human beings, to see whether their structure was suited for such a function and whether the crematoria were capable of turning into ashes the number of bodies claimed. All of these possibilities are denied to the historian of the ‘pure extermination camps.’
The Treblinka camp consisted of two camps, Treblinka I and Treblinka II. It is undisputed that Treblinka I served purely as a labor camp. The alleged ‘extermination camp’ bore the designation Treblinka II. This was about 4 km distant from the village of the same name, less than 2 km from the Bug River; it was on the train line running from Ostrów Mazowiecki to Siedlce, which intersected with the more important railway line from Warsaw to Białystok at the Małkinia Station. All three of the alleged ‘eastern extermination camps’ were erected in a border zone: Treblinka near the border between the General Gouvernement and the Białystok region, Sobibór not far from the border between the General Gouvernement and the Reichskommissariat Ukraine, and Bełżec between the district of Lublin and the district of Galicia.
Treblinka II was situated in an area that was by no means particularly remote, and it concealed few secrets. The train line leading from the village of Treblinka to Siedlce ran at a distance of only 300 meters from the camp, parallel to the nearby road; a branch of this train line led to the camp, and from there to the labor camp Treblinka I. Scarcely two kilometers farther on is the village of Wólka Okrąglik; in the opposite direction, approximately 2 km distant from Treblinka I, were the hamlets of Grady and Poniatowo.
The few material traces of Treblinka II, which still existed at the arrival of the Bolsheviks in August 1944, were completely removed during the course of the years and no longer exist today. From 1959 until 1964, Treblinka attained its present form: a large sector of the camp ground was embedded in concrete and 17,000 cement blocks reminiscent of grave monuments were erected there. In the center, a gigantic monument of stone was built. At the entrance to the camp, stones proclaim in several languages that here “more than 800,000 jews” were killed between July 1942 and August 1943. Concrete railroad ties, flanked by a platform likewise made of concrete, symbolize the train tracks and the train platform of the camp. Otherwise there is nothing for the eye to see but a meadow rimmed by fir trees.
One reaches the area where Treblinka I once stood by a forest path of some two kilometers length, and along the way one can see the old gravel pit. Shortly before this, one comes upon a small cemetery where Polish prisoners rest who died in the labor camp. In an area of the former camp ground, surrounded by a forest of fir trees, concrete foundations can be found, approximately 12 m × 60 m in dimension, upon which former camp barracks stood. In Section 3 of Chapter III, the reader will find a detailed description of the area in which Treblinka I and Treblinka II were located. 
From time to time during the immediate postwar period, there was talk of up to three million people having been murdered in Treblinka II. The two most important standard works of contemporary ‘Holocaust’ historiography mention the number of victims as 750,000 (Raul Hilberg), or as 870,000 (Encyclopedia of the Holocaust).
We have set ourselves the task of subjecting the portrait of the ‘extermination camp’ of Treblinka as summarized above to a critical examination, and should it not stand up to this examination, of offering an alternative thesis regarding the real function of the camp.
In 1987, Robert Faurisson wrote the following noteworthy lines:
 “‘Shoah’-business will continue to prosper. The Holocaust Museums are going to multiply and Holocaust propaganda will continue to invade the high schools and universities. The concentration camps will become attractions comparable to Disneyland. […] Tour operators are beginning to calculate the profit they can derive from these places, at which there is in reality nothing to see but where, as a result, they will fill the void with ‘symbols.’ The less there is to see with your eyes, the more they will give you to see in your imagination. From that point of view, Treblinka is an ideal place. Everything there is symbolic: the entrance to the camp, its boundaries, the railway line, the access ramp, the path to the ‘gas chambers,’ the ‘open air funeral pyres,’ and the sites of the ‘chambers’ and ‘funeral pyres.’” 
Yes, Treblinka is, in fact, the most fitting landmark of the ‘Holocaust,’ a mirage of a million-fold genocide in gas chambers, of which not the slightest documentary or material trace exists and about which we would know nothing without the tales of a handful of ‘eyewitnesses.’ From the beginning of the ‘Holocaust’ propaganda, Auschwitz has had first rank and Treblinka second; there has always been far less discussion of the other four ‘extermination camps.’ 
The facts and circumstantial evidence assembled so far lead to the conclusion that Treblinka was mainly a transit camp established for the jewish population of the Warsaw district, which fits within the framework of National Socialist policy of the resettlement of jews to the east. The verifiable deportations to Treblinka can be explained in this sense.
Above all, it is entirely unclear where the jews deported to Treblinka ultimately wound up. That Treblinka served as a transit camp is proven, but for the most part we are still in the dark as to the details (the number of those resettled, their destinations, and their fate during the war and afterwards). In coming years, it is to be hoped that the improving access to archives in the successor states of the Soviet Union will make it possible for researchers to shed more and more light into this darkness. When we speak of researchers, we of course mean the revisionists, for their opponents will hardly be doing such work.

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