The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people//k/korotkikh.yevstigneyev/korotkikh.001

Archive/File: camps/aktion.reinhard/treblinka korotkikh.001
Last-Modified: 1994/08/05
Source: United States Department of Justice

           From Record of Interrogation of Defendant
            City of Voroshilovgrad   21 April 1950

1.  I, Senior Lieutenant YEVSTIGNEYEV, Senior Investigator of the
    Ministry of State Security of the Ukraine, Voroshilovgrad
    Region, have interrogated on this day

      KOROTKIKH, Dmitriy Nikolayevich, born in 1912, native of the
      village of Khlevnoye, Khlevnenskiy district, Voronezh Region,
      Russian, citizen of the USSR.

The interrogation started at 11.20 a.m.

   ...Having surrendered as prisoner to the Germans, I was held for
   some six days in the prisoners of war camp in the town of Belaya
   Tserkov', from where the Germans took me together with a large
   number of war prisoners by train to the prisoners of war camp at
   Chelm (Poland), where we were kept for about two months without

   Subsequently, again with other prisoners, I was taken, as I found
   out later, to the SS training camp of the village of Trawniki
   (Poland) where I remained from November 1941 to the spring of 1942
   and was trained to be a guard (wachman).

   Question: Under what circumstances did you happen to find yourself
   in the SS training camp?

   Answer: While I was in the Chelm camp, four German officers in SS
   uniforms came to the camp, aligned the prisoners and began to pick
   out the physically healthy ones. I happened to be among the war
   prisoners, numbering about 80, who were thus selected.

   That same day we were loaded into cars and taken to the SS training
   camp at Trawniki.

   Question: Did the German officers tell you where to and for what
   purpose they were recruiting war prisoners?

   Answer: No, while they picked out war prisoners, the German
   officers did not tell us where to and for what purpose they were
   doing so. It was only after my arrival at Trawniki that I learned
   that war prisoners were being selected to be trained in the police
   training camp of the SS.

   Question: What was the SS training camp in the little town of
   Trawniki really like?

   Answer: The SS training camp in which I was trained was situated at
   the edge of the little town of Trawniki, on the territory of a
   factory, in a few large, brick, one-storied buildings. The German
   Kommandatura was also housed there in a two-storied building.

   ... The SS training camp or the school for guards as it was called,
   prepared trained policemen for guard and convoy duty in the SS
   troops and to exterminate prisoners held in concentration camps.

   ... The training period in the SS school for guards was indefinte,
   it depended on the need for guards. These were taken from the camp
   regardless of their state of preparedness, but the training period
   was roughly of about six months.

   ... During our stay in the SS guards school, we underwent drilling
   and shooting training. We studied weapons - the rifle, also the
   rules of senty duty. We learned German songs and took special
   training in sentry and convoy duty, learned the rules for the
   guarding and convoying of prisoners.

   In the spring of 1942, I do not recall the month, after completing
   the SS school for guards, together with a group of selected guards
   comprising some 30 men among whom Fedorkenko, Krivenko, Prisch,
   Dudniko and others of the Trawniki school, I was sent to the city
   of Lublin (Poland) to guard a concentration camp situated at the
   edge of the city of Lublin. As I learned later, individuals of
   Jewish nationality had been held there, but by the time of our
   arrival, they had been taken away, where to I do not know, and
   there were no prisoners left in the camp.

   We stayed there for about four days without occupation, then we
   were taken back to the camp in Trawniki where I stayed until the
   fall of 1942 and underwent training. After this I was sent to the
   little town of Treblinka, where there was a camp especially
   destined for the mass extermination of Jews and which was called
   the "death camp."

   After my arrival at the little town of Treblinka, I was put into an
   SS sentry team. I served in this camp until November 1943, that is
   until the liquidation of the Treblinka camp.

   Question: What was the Treblinka camp really like?

   Answer: The Treblinka camp in which I served as a guard was a
   "death camp."

   Mass extermination of Jews in special gas chambers took place in
   this camp. It was situated in a forest. A highway passed about half
   a kilometer from it, and the village of Wulka was located some two
   kilometers away. The entire territory of the camp was fenced in
   with barbed wire camouflaged with interwoven branches. Iron
   anti-tank obstacles intertwined with barbed wire were placed around
   the camp some fifty meters from the barbed wire, thus making it
   impossible to approach the camp.

   Four watch towers manned by sentries from among the guards stood
   between the barbed wire barriers and the anti-tank obstacles.

   The camp had two gates. Through one passed the railroad branch
   coming from Treblinka station and on which trains bringing in the
   doomed prisoners arrived. The second gate served to bring in
   suppolies and adjacent to it stood a sentry box. All these
   entrances were also guarded by the wachman guards.

   At the entrance to the camp, to the right, stood the barrack in
   which the Germans numbering some 50 persons were housed. These, and
   the entire exterminating enterprise were under the command of the
   camp Commander, Untersturmfu"hrer Franz.

   At the entrance to the camp, to the left, stood a building in which
   was located the German headquarters of the camp. Four barracks
   situated behind the headquarters served as quarters of the guards.
   The barber shop and the dining room in which the guards and the
   Germans who serviced the camp ate, were located in the same

   The territory of these barracks and the headquarters were fenced
   off with barbed wire from the main area of the camp. Beyond the
   fence, on the left, in two large barracks, was quartered the
   co-called "working crew" numbering some 200 people of Jewish
   nationality, selected by the Germans from among the people to be

   Beyond the barracks, near the railroad, there were two more
   barracks intended for the initial stay of people unloaded from the
   trains and they served at the same time as "undressing places".
   Both were fenced in with one row of barbed wire. From the
   undressing place, a narrow passage made of barbed wire led to the
   gas chambers building, or, as it was called, the "bathhouse."

   At the end of the camp there stood a barrack which served as
   storage place for the belongings of the exterminated prisoners.
   Behind the gas chambers building there were large pits into which
   the people killed were dumped and then burned in special
   incinerators. Until about the summer of 1943 there was only one gas
   chambers building with three gas chambers, but later, because of
   the insufficient capacity of the building, another one with six
   chambers was built alongside the first. While filling the chambers
   with prisoners, the Germans beat them up with whips to force them
   to press together closer and thus make it possible for more people
   to be crowded inside the gas chambers. The filled-up rooms were
   immediately hermetically closed. ... the people inside died. Some
   20-30 minutes later the doors were opened and the working crew
   consisting of Jews immediately started to unload the bodies from
   the chambers....

   In November 1943, in connection with the liquidation of the
   Treblinka camp, I was assigned to the city of Stutthof (Germany)
   where until the end of the summer or the beginning of the fall of
   1944 I served as guard of a concentration camp. I guarded a camp in
   which war prisoners of Russian, Polish and other nationalities were
   held. I escorted the prisoners to work and from work to the camp.
   Together with a group of some 20-30 guards, I was sent to the
   village of Pelets, where I also served as guard...

   About February-March 1945, as the Soviet Army units were
   approaching, I was transferred to the village of Novogasm (Germany)
   where I was a reserve guard at the concentration camp, then some 10
   days later... the Germans tried to evacuate us to Denmark, but in
   May of 1945 I was taken by the English troops in the city of

   Question: Name the individuals known to you from among the command
   personnel of the SS units in which you had to serve?

   Answer: The following are known to me from among the command
   personnel of the SS troops:

   1. ROYDER, I do not know his name or patronymic, 50 years old, 
      of German nationality, was deputy commander of the concentration
      camp of the city of Stutthof, had the rank of Hauptsturmfu"hrer.
      Distinctive features: blond, average height, thickset, straight
      thin nose.

   2. HOPPE, I do not remember his first name, 45 years old, of
      German nationality. In 1944 was commander of the concentration
      camp of the city of Stutthof (Germany), had the rank of
      sturmbahnfu"hrer. The camp contained several thousand prisoners
      of war of Russian, Polish and other nationalities who were used
      to build factories in the city of Stutthof.

   3. Untersturmfu"hrer FRANZ, about 40 years old, of German
      nationality. In 1942-1943 was commander of death camp in
      Treblinka (Poland). In charge of all measures to exterminate
      individuals of Jewish nationality in the gas chambers. Several
      thousand people were exterminated there during the period of my
      service in this camp from 1942 to 1943. Distinctive features: 
      above average height, thickset, round face.

   Due to the time elapsed, I cannot remember the names of other
   persons in the command personnel of the SS troops.

   Question: Name all guards you knew, who took part in the mass
   extermination of citizens of Jewish nationality in the Treblinka
   death camp?
   Answer: Among the individuals who served with me in the SS troops
   and took part in the mass extermination of citizens of Jewish
   nationality in the Treblinka death camp I know:

   1. FEDORENKO, I do not remember his first name and patronymic, born
      about 1910, I do not know the place of his birth, or that of his

      During the Patriotic War he served in the Soviet Army, but how
      he became a prisoner of the Germans I do not know.

      I first made his acquaintance in the school for SS guards in
      Trawniki in the fall of 1941.

      In the spring of 1942, I do not remember the month, he was sent
      together with me to the city of Lublin (Poland) to guard a
      concentration camp, but some for days later we returned to the
      Trawniki camp where we remained until the fall of 1942 and were
      trained in the school for SS guards.

      After this, together with me and other guards he was transferred
      to the Treblinka "death camp". In this camp he served as sentry
      guarding the camp to prevent doomed prisoners from escaping,
      guarded the passage extending from the undressing area to the
      gas chambers, stood in the cordon of guards to prevent
      individuals sent to the gas chambers from escaping through the
      barbed wire, convoyed to work the Jews belonging to the working
      crew who cut down branches in the forest to fence in and
      camouflage the camp.

      He participated in the unloading of the trains that arrived with
      individuals of Jewish nationality who were then sent to the gas
      chambers to be killed.

      In November 1943, the Treblinka camp being liquidated, he was
      assigned to the city of Stutthof (Germany) where he guarded a
      concentration camp for Russian and Polish war prisoners.

      In the summer of 1944 I left the camp and did not meet him
      again. I do not know where he is now. Distinctive features: Dark
      hair, above average height, elongated face, has two gold front

   ...The interrogation was finished at 5.00 p.m.

   The record of interrogation was read by me, the answers are written
   down correctly, to which I sign my name.


The interrogation was made by: Senior Investigator of the
Investigating Department of the Ministry of State Security of the
Ukraine, Voroshilovgrad Region.
				Senior Lieutenant

The Excerpt is true: First Deputy Procurator of the Crimean Region.
				Senior Councillor of Justice

29 March 1978

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