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Subject: HOLOCAUST FAQ: Operation Reinhard: A Layman's Guide (2/2)
Summary: Research guide to Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka - The
         Operation Reinhard death camps
From: Nizkor Project 
Followup-To: soc.history
Organization: The Nizkor Project
Keywords: Belzec,Reinhard,Sobibor,Treblinka

Archive-name: holocaust/reinhard/part02
Last-modified: 2000/12/14

       Operation Reinhard: A Layman's Guide to Belzec, Sobibor
                 and Treblinka (Part Two of Two)

  4.0 Compiling estimates on numbers exterminated................10
  4.1   Deportation Statistics ..................................11
  4.1.1 Belzec...................................................11
  4.1.2 Sobibor..................................................11
  4.1.3 Treblinka................................................12
  5.0 Administration.............................................13
  5.1   Operation Reinhard Command Staff.........................14
  5.1.1   Belzec Staff...........................................14   Wachmen..............................................14
  5.1.2   Sobibor Staff..........................................15   Wachmen..............................................18
  5.1.3   Treblinka Staff........................................18   Wachmen..............................................18
  5.2   Selection................................................19
  5.3   Financial Accounting.....................................19
  6.0 Research Sources & Other Useful Appendices.................20
  6.1   Recommended Reading......................................20
  6.2   Abbreviations Used in Citations..........................21
  6.3   Glossary.................................................22
  6.4   Work Cited...............................................23

[Reinhard]                                                    [Page 10]
 4.0 Compiling Estimates of the Numbers Exterminated

   "The exact number of Jews who were deported to the Operation Reinhard
   death camps is difficult to determine because of the prevailing
   conditions at the time and the method employed by the Nazi
   extermination machine in expelling the victims to Belzec, Sobibor and
   Treblinka.  The number of Jews who lived in the towns and townships
   of Poland before the war is known from the population census carried
   out there in 1931.  Some demographic changes took place during the
   years 1931-1939, but these did not basically alter the number of Jews
   living there on the eve of the German occupation.

   Substantial demographic changes did occur during the war, during the
   years 1939-1945, until the onset of the deportations to the death
   camps.  In these years, tens of thousands of Jews escaped from one
   place to seek refuge in another.  Hundreds of thousands of Jews were
   expelled and resettled, sent to labor camps, or concentrated in larger
   ghettos.  Thousands of Jews were murdered in shooting Aktionen in the
   vicinity of their homes -- before, during, and after the deportations
   to the death camps.  Thus, on the eve of the expulsions, there were
   many small localities in which Jews no longer lived and other
   localities in which the number of Jews was much higher than before
   the war.

   The deportation method, as carried out by the German authorities in
   the General Government, was 'en masse', without lists of names or
   even exact numbers.  Usually ghettos were totally liquidated, and
   only the killing capacity of the camps and the volume of the trains
   dictated the number of people who were deported.  In places where
   some Jews were temporarily left behind, the Germans counted the few
   who remained, while all the others were pushed into the trains.

   Documents of the German railway authorities, which were found after
   the war, provided some data on the number of trains and freight cars.
   If we take into account that each fully packed freight car carried
   100-150 people, we can arrive at an approximate indication of the
   number of Jews in each transport.

   Another source of information was the census of the ghetto
   inhabitants carried out by the Judenrats in some of these places.  A
   census of this type was usually taken by order of the German
   authorities for purposes of forced-labor requests or in preparation
   for the deportations.  Sometimes the Judenrats also took a census for
   their own purposes ...  food rationing or housing problems.
   Documents containing these data and sometimes even the number of Jews
   who were deported, as collected by the Judenrat, were found after the
   war.  Sometimes they were mentioned in diaries written by ghetto
   inmates and left behind.

   Numerous memoirs written by survivors, as well as the memorial books
   (Yizkor books, text from two are available from our server (see
   pub/holocaust/poland/wlodawa and ~/ostrow), contain important data 
   about the deportations, including dates and the number of deported.
   Testimonies by survivors, statements by local people who witnessed
   the deportations, and evidence given by members of the German
   administration at the war crimes trials serve as significant sources
   of information.

[Reinhard]                                                    [Page 11]
   Together, all these documents and sources enable us to arrive at an
   estimation that comes very close to the actual figures and dates of
   the deportations to the Operation Reinhard death camps." (Arad,

 4.1 Deportation Statistics 

   Yitzhak Arad's work (Belzec) has provided an extensive collection of
   deportation lists, most of which are available through our Holocaust
   archive sites. His comments regarding the sources for these statistics
   are found immediately above, in Section 4.0.  In addition, German
   court findings during post-war trials provides additional
   documentation, and we have transcribed the Operation
   Reinhard section of the Yad Vashem Studies XVI, and made it available
   by anonymous ftp and the World Wide Web. See Part 01, Page 1, for 
   retrieval comments. Yad Vashem provides extensively documented 
   material, of great value to researchers. 

   It is important to note here that the figures provided below, from
   Arad (Belzec), do _not_ include Jews from outside the General Government
   area, i.e. Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, etc.
 4.1.1 Belzec 

   Arad (Belzec) lists 246,922 deportees from within the General
   Government area alone, and a total of 600,000 killed in all,
   primarily Jews, with perhaps a few hundred to a few thousand Gypsies
   as well. He adds,

      This figure was confirmed by the Glowna Komisja Badania Zbrodni
      Hitlerowskich w Polsce (Main Commission for Investigation of
      Nazi Crimes in Poland) and was accepted by the judical
      authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany. (Encyclopedia,
      Vol. I, 178)

   Deportations to Belzec ended in December, 1942, and the transports
   stopped. Most of the Jews in the General Government were already
   dead, and Sobibor and Treblinka would handle any that weren't.

   Information about Belzec is scarce, as very few escaped death there.
   One who did, Rudolf Reder, who escaped in November, 1942 after four
   months in the camp, recorded his testimony in Krakow, in 1946.
   (Reder, R. Belzec. Krakow, 1946; See also Tregenza, M. "Belzec
   Deathcamp," Wiener Library Bulletin 30, 1979, 8-25) 

 4.1.2 Sobibor 

   Yitzhak Arad (Belzec) provides the following information regarding

      "...close to 100,000 Jews from the District of Lublin were
      deported to Sobibor.  Based on the number of Jews who lived in
      small townships and villages in these areas before the war, and
      considering the thousands of Jews who were expelled or fled from
      territories in western Poland, which was annexed to Germany, and
      who found refuge in the Lublin area, the actual number of those
      who were deported to Sobibor is much higher.  We may assume that
      the total number of Jews from the District of Lublin who were
      exterminated in Sobibor was about 130,000 to 140,000.

      About 15,000 to 25,000 Jews were deported from Lvov and the
      other ghettos in the District of Galicia to Sobibor in the
      period ...  after Belzec was closed." (Arad, Belzec)

[Reinhard]                                                    [Page 12]
 4.1.3 Treblinka

   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) (AZ-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 fuer
      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:

      (1) The so-called Stroop report, a report by SS Brigadefuhrer
      [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

      (2) The record of the trial of the major war criminals before
      the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg.

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

      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
[Reinhard]                                                    [Page 13]
      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,

      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.

 5.0 Administration

   All men joining Operation Reinhard were required to swear that they
   understood they were forbidden to pass on any form of information,
   verbally or in writing, on any facet of the work they undertook.  The
   written form, dated 18 July 1942, that the men were supposed to sign
   has survived and has been reprinted.  (Arad, Documents, 275-275, as
   cited in Breitman) The form used the phrase "..evacuation of the
   Jews.." to describe the nature of their work.  (Breitman, 237)

   "The commanders of Operation Reinhard, Globocnik, Wirth, and the SS
   men subordinate to them, succeeded in creating an efficient yet
   simple system of mass extermination by using relatively scanty
[Reinhard]                                                    [Page 14]
   resources.  In each of the death camps -- in Belzec, in Sobibor, and
   in Treblinka -- a limited number of 20 to 35 Germans were stationed
   for purpose of command and supervision, and about 90 to 130
   Ukrainians were responsible for guard duties.  All the physical work
   of the extermination process was imposed on 700 to 1,000 Jewish
   prisoners who were kept in each camp." (Arad, Epilog)

   For an extensive examination of Reinhard staff, see
   Pekka de Groot is gathering an extensive list of concentration 
   camp staff, which may be viewed at

 5.1 Command Staff - Operation Reinhard (Aktion Reinhard & Einsatz Reinhard
                     also used)

   Globocnik, Odilo - Appointed by Himmler as SS- und Polizei-fuehrer of
   the Lublin District of the General Government, in late (Oct-Nov) of
   1941. Commanded Operation Reinhard.

   Ho"fle, Hans - (Hauptsturmfuehrer), appointed by Himmler as Globocnik's
   Chief of Operations, in charge of organization and manpower.

   Himmler assigned the following tasks to his new Reinhard commander:

	1. Overall planning of deportations
	2. Construction and operation of the death camps
	3. Co-ordination of the deportations from each of the five
           districts of the General Government (Warsaw, Lublin, Radom,
           Krakow, and Lvov.)

   Globocnik had a team of 450 Germans at his disposal - at their core
   was a group of 92 men, headed by Christian Wirth, who had been
   assigned to Globocnik for the euthanasia program. 

   It was this group from which key staff were selected for Reinhard,
   including the camp commanders.  Each camp was allotted 20-30 German
   staff.  [Arad, who wrote the Reinhard section of the Encyclopedia,
   which is paraphrased here, used '20 to 35' in the epilog to his book
   on the subject, quoted earlier in this document.  knm]

   Also recruited was a special auxillary unit, consisting of Ukrainian
   volunteers, most of them Soviet POW's.  They were billetted in an SS
   training camp (Trawniki) where they were issued black uniforms and
   weapons.  They were organized into platoons and companies, and
   received brief training.  Their unit commanders were German.  Each
   camp was allotted from 90 - 120 of these "Trawniki's," who were also
   used in deportation and escort capacities.  (Encyclopedia, I, 14-15)

 5.1.1 Command Staff - Belzec

   Oberhauser, Josef
   Schluch, SS-Unterscharfuehrer
   Wirth, SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Christian  (Camp Commandant) Ukrainian & Russian Wachmans, Belzec

   Pavli, Nikolai. 
   for Soviet interrogation record of Nikolai Pavli.

   Werdenik, Ivan.

[Reinhard]                                                    [Page 15]
 5.1.2 Command Staff - Sobibor

   Bauer, Erich
   Bolander, Karl (Kurt Balender? - 
      Some confusion exists in my mind about Bolander - or Balender -
      since both names have appeared, they may be one and the same, or
      there may have been two men with similar names.. I do not know
   Bredov, SS Sgt. Paul 
   Frenzel, SS Sgt. Karl 
      When the Germans learned of a planned revolt, they chose 72 men
      and sent them to the crematorium - Frenzel supervised this action,
      and "Returning from the scene of the murder he ordered the quick
      erection of a temporary stage out of some planks, called for the
      orchestra, gathered the women and told them to sing and
      dance."(Testimony from the Sobibor Trials, as related in
      Wlodawa.016) During the trials, Frenzel has also accused of
      shooting a young boy for the crime of eating sardines...

   Gomerski, SS Sgt. Hubert
   Groth, Paul (Sgt)
   Hering, SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Gottlied - Replaced Wirth as Camp
      Commandant after Wirth appointed Inspector of the Reinhard death
      camps in August, 1942.
   Lampert, Erwin 
   Michel, SS Sgt. Hermann ("The Preacher")
   Neiman, Oberltnt. Designated as deputy commander by Razgonayev.
      for Soviet interrogation of same.
   Poul, ?     SS Obersturmfuehrer (1st. Lt.)

   Rashke's work (Escape from Sobibor) provides some insight into the
   mentality of the German staff regarding their attitude towards their
   victims.  He notes that the flow of transports into the camp during
   the winter of 1942 had slowed to a trickle, primarily because most of
   the Polish Jews were already dead, and because the trains were needed
   to support the crumbling Eastern Front.  This, he comments, along
   with the isolation of the nearly snowbound camp, made them edgy and

      They took it out on the Jews.

      Sergeant Paul Groth made up little games.  He'd order four Jews
      to carry him around the yard like a king while he'd drop burning
      paper on their heads.  Or he'd make prisoners jump from roofs
      with umbrellas, or scale roof beams until they fell to the
      floor.  Those who sprained ankles and broke legs were shot in
      Camp III.  Or he'd organize a flogging party, forcing Jews to
      run the gauntlet past Ukrainians with whips.  Or he'd order a
      thin prisoner to gulp vodka and eat two pounds of sausage within
      minutes.  They he'd force open the Jew's mouth and urinate in
      it, roaring with laughter as the prisoner retched in the snow.

[Reinhard]                                                    [Page 16]
      Groth softened briefly.  Three beautiful girls came to Sobibor
      on a transport from Vienna.  Groth took Ruth as his servant and
      mistress.  Seageant Poul, the drunk, smuggled the other two into
      the Merry Flea.  Groth fell in love with the dark-eyed teen-ager
      and, almost as a favor to her, or so it seemed, stopped beating
      the other Jews.  But the truce was short-lived.  It was against
      SS regulations to molest Jewesses - an insult to the master
      race.  Himmler was quite adamant on that point.  So while Groth
      and Poul were on leave, Kommandant Reichleitner transferred both
      of them.  Groth ended up at Belzec.

      The Sobibor Jews were delighted to see the two Nazis go, but
      Groth and Poul were easily replaced, and life went on as usual.
      The empty winter days also got to Kurt Bolander and Erich Bauer.
      Because there was little to do in Camp III without Jews to gas,
      Bauer turned to vodka.  He kept a private bar in his room in the
      Swallow's Nest, and there Jews would come to mix drinks or make
      eggnog.  The short Nazi - he was under five feet six inches -
      would sit in his armchair, facing a photograph of his wife and
      children and a portrait of the Fuehrer ...  and drink himself
      into oblivion.  If a prisoner spilled any liquor or broke a
      bottle, the former street-car conductor would make him wipe the
      floor with his tongue.

      Bolander took out his frustration on the ten Jews who carried
      the swill buckets from Camp I to the gate to Camp III.  Bolander
      would make them run, and if, as sometimes happened, the Jews in
      Camp III opened the gate before the Jews from Camp I had left,
      Bolander would shoot the swill carriers.  Somehow, the Nazis had
      deluded themselves into believing that the Camp I Jews didn't
      know what went on in Camp III.  And they wanted to keep it that
      way. (Rashke, 101-102)

   Reichsleitner, SS-Obersturmfuehrer Franz. Replaced Stangl as commander
      at the end of August, 1942. Stangl was transferred to Treblinka.

   Stangl, Franz, Oberleutnant (Camp Commandant)

      Franz Stangl, the commander of Sobibor and Treblinka, was
      stationed in northern Italy, in the areas of Fiume and Udine,
      from the autumn of 1943 and engaged in actions against partisans
      and local Jews.  After the war he escaped to Brazil; in 1967 he
      was discovered there, arrested, and extradited to the Federal
      Republic of Germany.  He was tried in Dusseldorf in 1970 and was
      sentenced to life imprisonment.  He died in prison a few months
      after the end of the trial. (Arad, Belzec)

   Stangl was sent to command Sobibor after construction fell behind
   schedule in the Spring of 1942.  His commanding officer sent him to
   meet with Wirtz at Belzec, and he described his visit thus:

      "I went there by car.  As one arrived, one first reached Belzec
      railway station...  Oh, God, the smell!  It was everywhere.
      Wirth wasn't in his office.  I remember they took me to him...
      he was standing on a hill next to the pits...  the pits....
      full...they were full.  I cannot tell you; not hundreds,
      thousands, thousands, thousands of corpses...  that's where
      Wirth told --- he said that was what Sobibor was for...

[Reinhard]                                                    [Page 17]
      Wirth told me I should definitely become the commander of
      Sobibor.  I answered that I was not qualified for such a
      mission....  I received from Globocnik the task to erect the
      camp.  That it was not to be an ammunition camp but a camp for
      killing Jews I learned finally from Wirth.  ...  Actually, I was
      not relieved [of my post].  I stayed in Sobibor.  Transports
      arrived and were liquidated..." 

      When asked during his trial how many people could be murdered in
      one day, Stangl answered:

      "Regarding the question of what was the optimum amount of people
      gassed in one day, I can state: according to my estimation a
      transport of thirty freight cars with 3,000 people was
      liquidated in three hours.  When the work lasted for about
      fourteen hours, 12,000 to 15,000 people were annihilated.  There
      were many days that the work lasted from the early morning until
      the evening." (Arad, Belzec)

   Thomalla, SS-Obersturmfuehrer Richard. SS Construction Office, Lublin
   Wagner, Gustav (Quartermaster-Sergeant) - the man who supervised
   the daily life at Sobibor. Moshe Bahir described him thus:

      He was a handsome man, tall and blonde -- a pure Aryan.  In
      civilian life he was, no doubt, a well-mannered man; at Sobibor
      he was a wild beast.  His lust to kill knew no bounds.  I saw
      such terrible scenes that they give me nightmares to this day.
      He would snatch babies from their mothers' arms and tear them to
      pieces in his hands.  I saw him beat two men to death with a
      rifle, because they did not carry out his instructions properly,
      since they did not understand German.  I remember that one night
      a group of youths aged fifteen or sixteen arrived in the camp.
      The head of this group was one Abraham.  After a long and
      arduous work day, this young man collapsed on his pallet and
      fell asleep.  Suddenly Wagner came into our barrack, and Abraham
      did not hear him call to stand up at once before him.  Furious,
      he pulled Abraham naked off his bed and began to beat him all
      over his body.  When Wagner grew weary of the blows, he took out
      his revolver and killed him on the spot.  This atrocious
      spectacle was carried out before all of us, including Abraham's
      younger brother.  (Museum, 37, as cited in Arad, Belzec)

   Wagner's ruthless behavior toward the Jews is mentioned in some other
   testimonies of Sobibor survivors.  Ada Lichtman writes that on the
   fast day of Yom Kippur, Wagner appeared at the roll call, took out
   some prisoners, gave them bread and ordered them to eat.  As the
   prisoners ate the bread, he laughed loudly; he enjoyed his joke
   because he knew the Jews he had forced to eat were pious.  (Lichtman,
   36-37, as cited in Arad, Belzec)

   Gustav Wagner escaped after the war to Brazil, where he lived openly.
   The Brazilian Supreme Court refused to extradite him.  In October
   1980 his attorney announced that Wagner had committed suicide. (Arad,

[Reinhard]                                                    [Page 18] Ukrainian & Russian Wachmans - Sobibor

   Danil'chenko, Ignat Terent'yevich (See 
   for Soviet interrogation extracts)    

   Dem'yanyuk, Ivan - (Demjanjuk) placed in service at Sobibor by
   Danil'chenko and others. See above.
   Ivchenko, Ivan - named as cook by Danil'chenko

   Pankov, Vassily Nikolaievitch (See 
   for Soviet interrogation records)

   Razgonayev, Mikahil Affanaseiwitch.  See for
   Soviet interrogation of same.

   Werdenik, Ivan. See

 5.1.3 Command Staff - Treblinka

   Eberl, SS-Obersturmfuehrer Imfried - Commandant until replaced by Stangl

   Franz, Kurt (Deputy Commandant) - held command from September, 1942.

   Kuettner, Kurt - SS sergeant - shot by prisoners during escape attempt
   in which 750 participated and about 70 survived.
   Lampert, Erwin 
   Stangl - see Sobibor Russian and Ukrainian Wachmans - Treblinka

   Broft (or) Brovt - see MALAGON

   Dem'yanyuk, Ivan (Demjanjuk). Placed at Treblinka by Malagon.
   See Malagon interrogations, and
   for a collection of citations and articles dealing with Demjanjuk's 
   deportation from the United States and subsequent trials in Israel. 
   See also DEMJANJUK.6COA, for the United States Court of Appeals for 
   the Sixth Circuit, which disputes this claim.

   Fedorenko - See
   for testimony placing Fedorenko at Treblinka. Received police
   training at the SS Trawniki camp. Malagon is not certain if 
   Fedorenko was assigned to Treblinka, or was simply there after
   escorting a train from somewhere else. 
   See pub/people/m/malagon.nikolai.petrovich for the Malagon
   interrogations, and, also in the Nizkor archives.

   Goncharov, Pyotr Nazarovich - Places Marchenko in Treblinka
   during his Soviet interrogations. See GONCHAROV.001 for details.

   Malagon, Nikolai Petrovich - see
   interrogation excerpts of Malagon. Trained at Trawniki.

   Marchenko, Nikolai. Named as working "near the diesels" at
   Treblinka, Marchenko was one of the men running the engines.
   See Malagon interrogations and Demjanuk Appeal judgement noted
   above, which names Marchenko as one of two operators of the gas

[Reinhard]                                                    [Page 19]

   Rebeka - see Malagon interrogations.

   Shalayev, Nikolai. Identified by multiple sources (including his
   own 1950 statement) as one of two gas chamber operators (along
   with Ivan Marchenko. See also Demjanjuk.6coa.

   Shevchenko, Ivan Semenovich. See SHEVCHENKO.001 in the TREBLINKA
   archives for Soviet interrogation records.

   Yeger, Aleksandr Ivanovich - See YEGER.001/002 in the TREBLINKA
   archives for Soviet interrogation records. Platoon commander.

 5.2 Selection

   The extermination process at all three camps was similar, and
   reflected the reality that the camps existed for the sole purpose of
   exterminating the Jews of the General Government.

   Transports would arrive, and those who had survived the journey were
   herded into a "reception area," where they were told to remove their
   clothing and surrender their valuables. A few, a very few, were
   sorted out if they claimed experience in trades needed to maintain
   the camp, and others survived for a time as workers in the
   extermination area.

   After cutting the hair off the women (it was reportedly utilized to
   manufacture felt boots for the Wehrmacht), the prisoners were told
   that they would be fed and assigned to work camps, but that they had
   to shower first. They were then driven (with whips and clubs) through
   the "tubes", which were enclosed pathways which led from the
   reception area directly to the gas chambers, where they were

   Those too weak to make the trek from the rail platform to the
   reception area were taken directly to the extermination camp by
   narrow-gauge railroad, and shot. (This proceedure varied at the three
   camps, but the result was always the same.)

   (For a comprehensive list of documentation regarding the killing
   process, see pub/camps/aktion.reinhard, and  Although our 
   Yad Vashem material is limited, it offers extensive commentary on 
   both Operation Reinhard, and the prisoner revolts as well. It is 
   based upon personal and court testimonies for the most part, and 
   extensively documented.)

 5.3 Financial Accounting

   Arad's Encyclopedia article ends with the following, somewhat
   chilling information about the monies and valuables collected from
   the Reinhard victims:

[Reinhard]                                                    [Page 20]

      On December 15, 1943, the Aktion Reinhard headquarters submitted
      an account of the moneys, gold, and valuables taken from the
      Jews in the extermination camps for which the Reinhard
      headquarters was responsible. The figures were quoted in German
      marks (the rate of exchange of the reichsmark against the United
      States dollar at the time was 2.5 to 1). The report contains the
      particulars of the various catagories: United States currency,
      about $1,100,000 in cash and $250,000 in gold coins; other
      foreign currency, from forty-eight countries; other gold coins,
      from thirty-four countries; 2910 kilograms (6,415 pounds) of
      gold bars; 18,734 kilograms (41,301 pounds) of silver bars; 
      diamonds totalling 16,000 carats. The report ends with the sum
      totals of the value of all the Jewish possessions collected.

      Cash in Polish zlotys and German marks  RM  73,852,080.74
      Precious metals                              8,273,651.60
      Foreign currency, in cash                    4,521,224.13
      Foreign gold coins                           1,736,554.12
      Precious stones and other valuables         43,662,450.00
      Textiles                                    46,000,000.00
          Total                               RM 178,645,960.59

  6.0 Research Materials & Sources

   Vera Laska provided an extensive list of assets for those interested
   in Holocaust research, which was included in the Auschwitz FAQ.  I
   recommend it as an excellent starting point for anyone wishing to do
   serious research into the Reinhard camps.  

   We also recommend Yad Vashem Studies, and have the 1991 English
   Publications list available by mail-based server, along with a
   pricelist. (
   The information is a bit dated, but it's helpful nonetheless. (We have 
   no interest in the sale or distribution of these materials, we 
   simply recommend them as one of the best sources for accurate 

   for a list of major Holocaust research centres worldwide. 
 6.1 Recommended Reading 

   We have transcribed memorial books for inclusion in our archives, and
   call your attention to the Wlodawa series - the first to be included.
   Many of the stories deal with Sobibor.  For a list of the Wlodawa
   Yizkor files, try anonymous ftp via, in the
   directory pub/places/poland/wlodawa. 

   Donat, A., ed.  The Death Camp Treblinka.  New York, 1979 

   Wiernik, Y.A.  A Year in Treblinka.  New York, 1945

[Reinhard]                                                    [Page 21]

   Yad Vashem Studies IV. Proceedings of the Fourth Yad Vashem International
   Historical Conference, Jerusalem, January, 1980. In particular, see
   "Jewish Prisoner Uprisings in the Treblinka and Sobibor Extermination
   Camps." An index of Yad Vashem Studies XVI, shown below, lists additional
   Yad Vashem material of interest to Operation Reinhard researchers:

                        YAD VASHEM STUDIES
                      Edited by Aharon Weiss

                            YAD VASHEM
                          JERUSALEM 1984

                       "Operation Reinhard": 
          Extermination Camps of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka

   yvs16.01: Background & Introduction
   yvs16.02: The Personnel of Operation Reinhard
   yvs16.03: The Construction of Belzec
   yvs16.04: The Construction of Sobibor
   yvs16.05: The Construction of Treblinka
   yvs16.06: Belzec, from March 17 til June 1942
   yvs16.07: Sobibor - from May to July 1942
   yvs16.08: Treblinka - from July 23 to August 28, 1942
   yvs16.09: The Construction of Larger Gas Chambers
   yvs16.10: The Attempt to Remove Traces
   yvs16.11: The Liquidation of the Camps

   The Fascism and Holocaust archives may be obtained via anonymous 
   ftp from:, in the directory /pub, and from the 
   World Wide Web (

   Yad Vashem now maintains its own site on the World Wide Web.
   The URL is

 6.2 Abbreviations Used in Citations  

   The following abbreviations may be used throughout this document:

   IFZ.........Institut fuer Zeitgeschichte, Munich
   IRR.........Investigative Repository Records
   NA..........United States National Archives
   RG 59.......NA Diplomatic Records
   RG 84.......Washington National Records Center, Diplomatic Post Records
   RG 153......Washington National Records Center, Records of the
               Office of the (Army) Judge Advocate
   RG 165......Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs,
               Washington National Records Center
   RG 208......Office of War Information Records, Washington National
               Records Center

[Reinhard]                                                    [Page 22]

   RG 226......Office of Strategic Services Records
   RG 238......War Crimes
     EC Series
     NG........Microfilm T-1139
     NI........Microfilm T-301
     NO Series
     NOKW Series
     PS Series
   RG 242......NA Record Group 242 - Captured German Records
   RG 319......Records of the Army Staff
   T...........NA Microfilm Series

   If you note any that are not explained above, please let me know,
   and I will try to run them down for you.

 6.3 Glossary

   Einsatzgruppen: Battalion-sized, mobile, armed units of police,
	primarily Security Police and SD officials, which were used
	to attack and execute perceived enemies in conquered territories.
        (Breitman, 311)

   Einsatzkommando: Company-sized component of the Einsatzgruppen 
   	(Breitman, 311)

   Gauleiter: Supreme territorial or regional party authority(-ies)
	(The term is both singular and plural). The Nazi Party divided
	Germany and some annexed territories into geographical units
	called Gaue, headed by a Gauleiter. (Breitman, 311)

   General Government: The Nazi-ruled state in central and eastern
   	Poland. Headed by Governor Hans Frank. (Breitman, 311)

   Final Solution: Euphemism for the extermination of European Jewry

   Judenrat: Jewish community authority, appointed by the Nazis for
        ghetto and village administration.

   Trawniki: Labor camp, established in the Fall of 1941, in Trawniki,
        S.E. of Lublin, Poland. Trawniki was part of a network of labor
        camps and death camps controlled by Globocnik. Trawniki was
        destroyed when Himmler ordered the death camps closed, and the
        ground plowed and converted to farm use. See Encyclopedia, Vol.
        IV, pp 1480-1481.

   SD (Sicherheitsdienst): The SS Security Service

   Sonderkommandos: Division of Einsatzgruppen, generally smaller than
 	Einsatzkommando, but also a more general term for special
        commando units assigned particular functions. (Breitman, 311)

[Reinhard]                                                    [Page 23]

   Military rank - here's a list from Breitman (314) which shows SS
   ranks and the Western military equivalent:

   Oberstgruppenfuehrer 	General
   Obergruppenfuehrer		Lt. General
   Gruppenfuehrer			Major General
   Brigadefuehrer			Brigadier General
   Oberfuehrer        		between Brigadier & Colonel
   Standartenfuehrer		Colonel
   Obersturmbannfuehrer		Lt. Colonel
   Sturmbannfuehrer 		Major
   Hauptsturmfuehrer		Captain
   Obersturmfuehrer			1st. Lieutenant
   Unterscharfuehrer		Corporal
   Rottenfuehrer			Private, First Class
   Sturmann				    Private
   SS-Mann				    no equivalent

 6.4 Works Cited

   Arad, Yitzhak. Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka - the Operation Reinhard 
   Death Camps. Indiana University Press, 1987. ISBN 0-253-3429-7

   Arad, Yitzhak, Yisrael Gutman, and Abraham Margaliot, eds. Documents 
   on the Holocaust: Selected Sources on the Destruction of the Jews of 
   Germany, Austria, Poland, and the Soviet Union.  (Jerusalem, 1981) 

   Breitman, Richard. The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final
   Solution. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991

   Encyclopedia - See Gutman

   Gutman, Israel, ed. in Chief, et al. Encyclopedia of the
   Holocaust. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1990. ISBN 0-02-
   896090-4 (set) (Referenced in this FAQ as "Encyclopedia")

   Just, Willy.  "Letter to SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Walter Rauff, June
   5, 1942." in: Nazism: A History in Documents and Eye Witness
   Accounts, 191-1945, vol.  2, document 913

   Kogon,Eugen. "Der SS-Staat" Bonn, 1974

   Lichtman, Ada. Yad Vashem Archives, L-11/5, testimony of Ada Lichtman, 
   as cited in Arad.

   Lochner, Louis P., ed. The Goebbels Diaries. New York, 1948

   Museum. Publication of the Museum of the Combatants and Partisans, 
   Tel Aviv, April, 1973, as cited in Arad

   Prattle et al. "The Toxicity of Fumes from a diesel Engine Under Four 
   Different Running Conditions," British Journal of Industrial Medicine, 
   1957, Vol 14

[Reinhard]                                                    [Page 24]

   Rashke, Richard. Escape From Sobibor (Boston: Houghton 
   Mifflin Company, 1982). 

   Zabecki, Franziszek. Wspomnienia dawne i nowe. Warszawa, 
   1977, as cited in Arad, Belzec

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