Monday, July 23, 2012

22 July 1942

22 July 2012 was the 70th anniversary of an important milestone in the Nazi genocide of Europe's Jews, the start of deportations from Warsaw to Treblinka extermination camp.

The date is mentioned on page 3 of the Stroop Report:

The first large resettlement action took place in the period from 22 July to 3 October 1942. In this action 310,322 Jews were removed. In January 1943 a second resettlement action was carried out by which altogether 6,500 Jews were affected.

It is also mentioned in the correspondence between State Secretary Ganzenmüller and the head of Himmler's personal staff, SS-Obergruppenführer Karl Wolff, which is quoted in the Judgment LG Hagen vom 20.12.1966, 11 Ks 1/64:
In the summer of 1942 there was such a bottleneck in the availability of transports that the SS leadership had to emphatically insist with the Reich Ministry of Transport in order to be able to continue Aktion Reinhard at all. The Secretary of State in the Reich Ministry of Transport, Dr. Eng. Ganzenmüller, replied as follows to the head of the RFSS’ personal staff, SS-Obergruppenführer Karl Wolff, on 28 July 1942:

Dr. Eng. Ganzenmüller

Secretary of State in the Reich Ministry of Transport

Deputy General Director of the German Eastern Railways

Berlin W 8, 28 July 1942

Vossstrasse 35



SS-Obergruppenführer Wolf

Berlin SW 11 (Secret)

Prinz-Albrecht-Str.8 (Stamp)

- Personal Staff of the Reichsführer SS -

Dear Party Comrade Wolf!

With reference to our phone conversation on 16 July I hereby pass on to you the following report from the General Directorate of the Eastern Railways (Gedob) in Krakow for your information:

"Since 22.7 a train per day with 5,000 Jews goes from Warsaw via Malkinia to Treblinka, furthermore two trains per week with 5,000 Jews each go from Przemysl to Belzek. Gedob is constantly in touch with the Security Service in Krakow. This service agrees that the transports from Warsaw via Lublin to Sobibor (near Lublin) be interrupted for as long as conversion works on this route make transports impossible (about October 1942)."

The trains have been agreed with the Commander of the Security Police in the General Government. The SS and Police Commander of the Lublin District, SS-Brigadeführer Globotschnigg, has been informed.

Heil Hitler!

Yours faithfully


Wolff answered him on 13 August 1942:

Führer-Headquarters 13 August 1942


AR 10/19/42


Mr. Secretary of State in the Reich Ministry of Transport

Deputy General Director of the German Eastern Railways

Dr. Eng. Ganzenmüller

Berlin W 8

Vossstrasse 35

Dear Party Comrade Ganzenmüller!

For your letter of 28.7.1942 I thank you very much – also in the name of the Reichsführer-SS. I was especially pleased to take note of your communication that already since 14 days ago one train per day with 5,000 members of the chosen people is going to Treblinka and we are thus in conditions to carry out this population movement at an accelerated pace. I have myself contacted the entities involved so that a smooth execution of the entire measures seems guaranteed. I thank you again for your efforts in this matter and at the same time would like to ask you to also continue giving these issues your attention.

With best regards and

Heil Hitler!

Yours faithfully

From this date until the end of December 1942, a total of 713,555 Jews living in the occupied area of Poland known as the General Government were deported to Treblinka extermination camp. This number is stated in the radio message, intercepted by British intelligence, that SS-Sturmbannführer Höfle in Lublin sent to SS-Obersturmbannführer Heim in Cracow on 11 January 1943 (Peter Witte and Stephen Tyas, «A New Document on the Deportation and Murder of Jews during "Einsatz Reinhardt" 1942», Holocaust and Genocide Studies, V15 N3, Winter 2001, pp. 468-486), and probably does not include 8,000 deportees from the Theresenstadt Ghetto in October 1942, who must thus be added to the deportees mentioned by Höfle to obtain the camp's death toll in 1942.

Of the Jews deported to Treblinka during the second month of the camp's operation, two escaped and provided detailed accounts of the mass murder at Treblinka. One was Abraham Krzepicki, the other Jankiel Wiernik.

At about the same time as these deportees, SS Unterscharführer Franz Suchomel was transferred to Treblinka. Suchomel's detailed account to filmmaker Claude Lanzmann is available on YouTube (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Parts of the interview's transcript can be read here.

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