The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Aleksandr Yeger:
Palestine awaits you!

EXCERPT from Stenographic Report of Interrogation of defendant YEGER', A.I., dated April 2, 1948.

...From August to September 1942 I served as platoon commander in a company of guards in the Treblinka death camp.

The second section was the receiving point of the people destined to die. A railroad branch came there from the station of Treblinka. The railroad terminated with a platform and two barracks, near which unloading of the trains took place. Here the citizens of Jewish nationality were hustled out of the cars and into the barrack surrounded by barbed wire.

There was here also another barrack situated along the railroad line. This barrack was made to look like a railroad terminal. A wooden clock was nailed to the top of this building. A sign reading "station master" was written on the same barrack and arrows pointed to where to go in the waiting room of the railroad station.

There were also posters with slogans reading: "Palestine awaits you", "You are going to the Ukraine". They were also told they must undress, go to the bathhouse, receive other clothing and after this they wold go to work in Palestine and in the Ukraine.

Some prisoners at first did not believe that they had been brought here to die. When the prisoners had been unloaded, they were led into the second barrack and there they were ordered to remove their clothes. The men undressed in one barrack, the women in the other. Many citizens of Jewish nationality did not want to undress and they were undressed by force by the "working crew" and if this did not help, then we, the guards and the German policemen were brought in. We beat them up savagely and undressed them.

We took away to the infirmary some of those who showed obstinate resistance and there they were shot. When the people were being undressed, the women had their hair cut off at the end of the barrack. Naked and shorn they then went down a narrow path bordered with barbed wire, past the "cashiers".

In the barracks where the citizens of Jewish nationality were undressed, they were told that they must hand over all their valuables and money to the "cashier" and that after they leave the bath house, the valuables would be returned to them. And so, passing by the "cashier's booth" the prisoners handed over all their valuables to the "cashier's booth", where a German, especially appointed for this purpose, received them. First the women and children and then the men were hustled pas [sic] the "cashier's booth". Men and women who resisted were chased past the "cashier's booth" in one group. When the women passed by it, some of them tried to hide their valuables, but the Germans standing by the "cashier's booth" examined them cynically and took away their valuables.

Having passed the cashiers, the prisoners came to a special building without windows and were led in. The inside of the building had the appearance of a bathhouse with separate cabins on both sides of a corridor. Here the prisoners were pushed in already by force into the chambers.

These chambers resembled a batch chamber with a shower, but in reality, exhaust gas was fed through the pipelines and the shower vents. About 400 people, women, children, old men and adult men were pushed in together into each chamber. When the chambers had been completely filled, a motor was started which fed exhaust gas into the chamber. The doors of the chambers were hermetically closed and the people were immured in the chambers for 15-20 minutes after which they died.

In the doors of each chamber there were portholes through which specially appointed Germans watched the process of asphyxiation. When they were sure that all the people in the chamber had died, the chamber was opened on the other side and the "working crew" threw out the bodies which were then loaded on small flatcars and brought to pits prepared for this purpose on the territory of the camp. The pits were fenced in with barbed wire. The bodies were thrown into the pits and lightly covered with earth. When one pit was filled, another was prepared, and so the process of extermination continued on a daily basis.

The interrogation was ended at 3.00 p.m.

Written down correctly from my words, read by me and signed: (signature) YEGER'



"28" February 1978

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