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Hundreds of Lives Lost
in Treblinka Uprising

Web Research by Derek Hsiang,
Cold Spring Harbor High School,
New York, USA

[ Treblinka Memorial Stone -- 'Never Again'
Treblinka Memorial

Treblinka, a temporary death camp located fifty miles northeast of Warsaw, Poland, was completed and ready for slaughtering over 850,000 Jews starting on July 23, 1942. It is known to have murdered the second largest amount of people in a death camp. In early August, about 5,000 to 7,000 Jews from the Warsaw ghetto were transported in cramped train cars each day to the death camp. Later on, the number of Jews transported to the camp every day rose from 10,000 to 12,000. The prisoners were told that the train stop was a transit station in which they were supposed to be washed and brought to a labor camp. In reality, they were gassed in tightly sealed rooms by diesel fuel exhaust from a stolen Russian tank engine.

After a year of these killings, a small band of a hundred prisoners planned for an uprising. The uprising was to take place on August 2, 1943, at 4:30 PM, and the plan was to cut the phone lines and overthrow the German soldiers within the camp. Using a locksmith to create a key to get into the Nazis' arsenal, the prisoners smuggled a number of weapons. Other resistance members stole wire cutters and axes from a tool shed. Unfortunately, 30 minutes before the attack, a prisoner was being beaten by a Nazi guard for having money. One of the resistance prisoners shot the guard and killed him. Because of this, the uprising began too early, and the entire attack was less coordinated. Some prisoners did not even know the attack started, and the German soldiers were able to call for reinforcements.

Of the 800 prisoners who took part in the uprising, 400 were killed in the fighting, and 300 more were killed trying to escape into a nearby forest. One hundred prisoners survived to destroy the crematoria, but were later killed. Only forty German soldiers were killed. After the uprising was quelled, the entire Treblinka death camp was destroyed and a farm was put in its place to cover it up.

Web Site Resources

Grobman, Gary M. Resisters, Rescuers, and Bystanders

McVay, Ken. Operation Reinhard: Treblinka

No author given. Treblinka

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