My Visit To

October 5, 1999: Warsaw to Bialystok
Signs at Treblinka 640x480 (133 KB)

Treblinka actually consisted of two camps. The first was a labor camp built by the Nazis in 1941, housing about 20,000 political prisoners, mostly Poles. (About half of the prisoners of "Treblinka I" died in the camp.) In 1942, the Nazis added a second camp, the now-infamous Treblinka Extermination Camp. Treblinka II was not an Auschwitz-style "concentration camp," no prisoners lived here, they were sent here only to die. Perhaps 800,000 Jews were murdered at Treblinka in a little less than a year and a half. (If you're interested in more detailed information, The Simon Wiesenthal Center's website includes an article about Treblinka reprinted from the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust.)

Trainloads of Jews from Grajewo, the home of my ancestors, were sent to Treblinka to die. Many of my Grajewo relatives simply disappeared during the war – and although the lack of records makes it impossible to know for certain, I suspect that more than a few of them died here.

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