On 9 October 1945, in Łódź, Judge Z. Łukaszkiewicz, with the participation of Prosecutor J. Maciejewski, 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||Abe Kon|
|Names of parents||Matesa|
|Place of residence||Łódź, Piotrkowska Street 117|
I arrived on 2 October 1942 with a transport consisting of 60 wagons of Jews from Częstochowa. Each wagon contained about 100 men, women and children. After we had arrived at the ramp [of the camp] in Treblinka (they moved about 20 wagons onto the ramp, with the remaining ones waiting at the Treblinka station), Ukrainians and SS-men threw the people out with whips and rifle butts into a courtyard between huts.
Before we undressed, the commandant of the camp had selected about 60 Jewish laborers, including me. At first, I was sent to sort clothes, where I worked for two or three weeks. Then, for about three months, I worked in a hut supervising women’s undressing.
Generally, the camp was divided into two parts. One part consisted of a ramp, storehouses and residential huts, while the second part, where entry was prohibited, had gas chambers, graves, cremation pits and huts for the group working there. Two weeks after my arrival at the camp, I was able to talk to a bricklayer, who had been working at the construction of the gas chambers during the initial period when the camp was organized, and who had managed to get to the first part of the camp. He told me that there were 12 gas chambers altogether; they were built of concrete in the corridor system. There were narrow entrances to individual chambers leading from the corridor, and there were hatches installed in the outer walls for the removal of corpses. People were killed by removing the air out of the gas chambers.
At the time I arrived, the corpses of the victims were usually piled up in pits; later, they started to be cremated in various ways. At first, the cremation was crude, in piles, then, on specially constructed grates. I heard that the cremation ashes were mixed with cinder and shovelled onto roads.
There was a so-called lazarett in the first part of the camp. It was a place where they exterminated people who were not able to walk to the chambers on their own or the laborers who were blamed for something or who fell ill.
The Jewish laborers used in the camp were divided into several groups. There were red laborers, who supervised the undressing of the men in the courtyard (they wore red arm bands), blue laborers, who emptied wagons (they wore blue arm bands), and pink laborers, who supervised the undressing of the women (they wore pink arm bands). A few laborers worked in the lazarett, and they wore arm bands with a red cross on them. The largest group was used to sort clothes and other possessions. There was also a group who left the camp and went into the woods to collect branches in order to make fences. All in all, there were over 1,000 laborers in these groups. In the second part of the camp, there were about 300 laborers working at the chambers and pits. The working conditions there were so hard that people usually died within several days, two weeks at the most, and they were replaced by new laborers.
From my arrival until December 1942, on average, there were three transports of 60 wagons arriving to the camp daily, without a break. Usually, there were already many corpses in the wagons and I specifically remember a transport from Biała Podlaska, which had travelled for seven days and brought 10 living passengers, with all the remaining people being dead.
During Christmas time there was an approximately three-week break in transports; later, from about 7 January until, more or less, the middle of April, there were two or three transports weekly. At the end of March, four or five transports of Jews from Bulgaria arrived.
To prove it, I still have a jacket that belonged to one of those Jews with the name of a tailor’s shop in Thessaloniki.
In May 1943, the last transports from the Warsaw Ghetto arrived, and then there was still the final transport from the labor camp in Treblinka, situated at a small distance from the extermination camp.
There were often inspections in the camp, conducted by SS generals, with a general from Lublin visiting extremely frequently: a short and thin one.
Possessions and clothes taken away from the victims were carefully sorted and sent to Germany in huge transports.
From January 1943 onwards there was a fake railway station built so as to make the victims believe that they were coming to a labor camp. I can remember that before, Jews from Germany and Czechoslovakia had arrived in transports with their own tickets, with the trains having luggage wagons and the passengers having luggage tickets for the transported possessions.
The gold and money was transported to Lublin and Warsaw in cars from time to time.
I can remember the following names of the German camp personnel: the Deputy Commandant Franz, an SS-Untersturmführer, nicknamed Lalka, the Untersturmführer Zepp, Suchomil and Muller. They all handled laborers in a cruel way and a lot of people died at their hands. I escaped from the camp during the uprising on 2 August 1943, taking an active part in the fighting.
The witness interview report was read out to the witness and he confirmed it by signing it on each page.