Treblinka, 16 November 1945. Judge Z. Łukaszkiewicz interviewed the person specified below as a witness, without swearing him in. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations, the witness testified as follows:
|Forename and surname||Władysław Chomka|
|Names of parents||Jan|
|Place of residence||Prostyń, Węgrów county|
|Occupation||senior track worker with Polish State Railways|
I have been working on the railways since 1929. The part of the railway I supervise stretches from Małkinia as far as the second kilometer after the Treblinka station in the direction of Kosów.
I can vividly remember that in July 1942 a telegram came to the Treblinka stationmaster from the railway head office in Warsaw informing us that as of 22 July a permanent back- and-forth train would be running between Warsaw and Treblinka, consisting of 58 freight wagons and three carriages. According to the telegram, the train was to transport residents of Warsaw, who, because of overpopulation in the city, would settle in Treblinka. Being aware of the local conditions, we were surprised as to the purpose of sending people to Treblinka, since there was no proper accommodation for them.
In reality, from 23 July 1942 onwards, transports of Jews started to arrive. At first, from the direction of the Małkinia railway station, and later also from Siedlce. The highest frequency of transports lasted more or less until Christmas Day, but there was a break, of two or three weeks, a short time after the first transports had arrived. During the peak period, there were from two to three transports daily without a break.
After New Year’s Day, the frequency of transports was not very high.
At the end of July 1943 (if I am not mistaken), the prisoners kept in the extermination camp organized an uprising during which most of the huts were burnt down; but it still did not put an end to the camp, since I clearly remember that later several small transports from Białystok were still delivered.
The final liquidation of the camp took place in the autumn of 1943. The remaining huts were dismantled and transported away by rail, and the few remaining Jewish prisoners were executed, and some of them, reportedly, were transported in the direction of Siedlce, possibly to Majdanek.
Working on the railway tracks, on several occasions I was able to talk with the Jews who were used by the Germans for railway works. They were laborers of the extermination camp. From their accounts I know that during the period when the frequency of transports was highest, from 7,000 to 10,000 people were exterminated daily, and there was even a day on which 18,000 were exterminated. I can remember that one of the laborers, called Sadowski, told me that there was a Ukrainian standing next to the gas chambers, who used a club to drive people into them, and simultaneously had fun cutting different body parts off the victims with his knife.
One day, while I was in a steam engine that was moving wagons full of Jews onto the camp ramp, I was able to observe people being thrown out of the wagons. Immediately after the wagons were emptied, the people were ordered to hand over their luggage, the men were separated from the women, and they were ordered to strip naked. After a while, one could hear deafening screams, simultaneously an orchestra started to play and one could hear the noises of a hammer striking a piece of iron. After some time, all went quiet.
I heard that the Petersburski and Gold orchestra was kept on until the very last moment and used to drown out the screams of the victims.
As for the cremation of the corpses, it only started some time after the camp had been put into operation. The cremation took place on grates, with air being pumped in under them with special devices.
The witness interview report was read out.