extermination camp at Treblinka in which hundreds of thousands of Jews
were murdered was built in the spring of 1942 near an existing penal labour camp
and covered an area of 17 hectares. The camp was surrounded by a high barbed
wire fence camouflaged with interwoven greenery to hide what was happening
inside. Anti-tank obstacles and rolls of barbed wire were placed outside the
fence. Watch towers were additionally positioned around the camp.
The first railway transports of victims destined for destruction arrived at the
Treblinka camp on June 22, 1942, and from that time there was a constant stream
of fresh arrivals.
Treblinka was in reality a place of mass execution - a death camp like
Auschwitz. After New Year, 1943, the number of transports began to diminish. In
February or March, 1943, Himmler visited Treblinka, and the eradication of all
traces of the crimes by wholesale burning of corpses began.
It has been estimated that about 850,000 people were killed here - Jews from
occupied Poland, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Yugoslavia and the USSR, as
well as from Germany and Austria. Polish and German Gypsies were also sent to
Treblinka was finally closed in November, 1943.