The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Operation Reinhard:
Treblinka Deportations

The most accurate figures available regarding the numbers killed at the Treblinka camp are found in the judgements (URTEILSBEGRUNDUNG) from the first and second Treblinka trials, held in Dusseldorf in 1965 and 1970:

Passed on September 3, 1965 in the trial of Kurt Franz and nine others at the court of Assizes in Dusseldorf (First Treblinka Trial) (iAZ-LG Dusseldorf: II 931638, p. 49 ff.), and the trial of Franz Stangl at the court of Assizes at Dusseldorf (Second Treblinka Trial) on December 22, 1970 (pp. 111 ff.,AZ-LG Dusseldorf, XI-148/69 S.)

Number of Persons Killed at the Treblinka Extermination Camp:

At least 700,000 persons, predominantly Jews, but also a number of Gypsies, were killed at the Treblinka extermination camp.

These findings are based on the expert opinion submitted to the Court of Assizes by Dr. Helmut Krausnick, director of the Institute for Contemporary History (Institute für Zeitgeschichte) in Munich. In formulating his opinion, Dr. Krausnick consulted all the German and foreign archival material accessible to him and customarily studied in historical research. Among the documents he examined were the following:

  • The so-called Stroop report, a report by SS Brigadeführer [Brigadier] Jurgen Stroop, dealing with the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. This report consists of three parts: namely, an introduction, a compilation of daily reports and a collection of photographs.

  • The record of the trial of the major war criminals before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg.

  • The official transportation documents (train schedules, telegrams, and train inventories) relevant to the transports to Treblinka.

The latter documents, of which only a part were recovered after the war, were the subject of the trial and were made available to Dr. Krausnick by the Court of Assizes.

Dr. Krausnick's report includes the following information:

According to the Stroop report a total of approximately 310,000 Jews were transported in freight trains from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka during the period from July 22, 1942 to October 3, 1942. Approximately another 19,000 Jews made the same journey during the period from January, 1943 to the middle of May, 1943. During the period from August 21, 1942 to August 23, 1943, additional transports of Jews arrived at the Treblinka extermination camp, likewise by freight train, from other Polish cities, including Kielce, Miedzyrec, Lukow, Wloszczowa, Sedzizzow, Czestochowa, Szydlowiec, Lochow, Kozienice, Bialystok, Tomaszow, Grodno and Radom. Other Jews, who lived in the vicinity of Treblinka, arrived at Treblinka in horse-drawn wagons and in trucks, as did Gypsies, including some from countries other than Poland. In addition, Jews from Germany and from other European countries, including Austria, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Greece were transported to Treblinka, predominantly in passenger trains.

It has not been possible, of course, to establish the exact number of people transported to Treblinka in this fashion, because only a part of the transportation documents, particularly those relevant to the railroad transports, are available. Still, assuming that each of the trains consisted of an average of 60 cars, with each freight car holding an average total of 100 persons and each passenger car an average total of 50 (i.e., that each freight train might have carried an approximate total of 6,000, and each passenger train an approximate total of 3,000 Jews to Treblinka) the total number of people transported to Treblinka in freight trains and passenger trains might be estimated at approximately 271,000. This total would not include the 329,000 from Warsaw. Actually, however, these figures in many instances were much larger than the ones cited above. Besides, many additional thousands of Jews - and also Gypsies - arrived in Treblinka in horse-drawn wagons and on trucks. Accordingly, it must be assumed that the total number of Jews from Warsaw, from other parts of Poland, from Germany and from other European countries, who were taken to Treblinka, plus the total of at least 1,000 Gypsies who shared the same fate, amounted to far more than 700,000, even if one considers that several thousands of people were subsequently moved from Treblinka to other camps and that several hundred inmates succeeded in escaping from the camp, especially during the revolt of August 2, 1943. In view of the foregoing, it would be scientifically admissible to estimate the total number of persons killed in Treblinka at a minimum of 700,000.

The court of Assizes sees no reason to question the opinion of this expert, who is known in the scholarly world for his studies on the National Socialist persecution of the Jews. The expert opinion he has submitted is detailed, thorough and, therefore, convincing.

In the fall of 1969 another expert, Dr. Scheffler, submitted for the second Treblinka trial an opinion which was based on more recent research, estimating the total number of victims at about 900,000.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.