Treblinka and railway gauge.

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hermod
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Re: Treblinka and railway gauge.

Postby hermod » 6 years 3 months ago (Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:59 am)

Many of the Jews deported to the Soviet Union by the Nazis as a Final Solution of the Jewish Question (especially the ones who were "unfit for work" and so not needed in the German war factories) came back in Central and Western Europe after WW2 and quickly emigrated to America, Palestine and other countries. But among the Jews who were not captured and deported during WW2, many fled the Nazis to the Soviet Union and from there some didn't wait for the end of WW2 to go to America and Palestine.

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http://archive.jta.org/article/1944/02/ ... r-refugees

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http://archive.jta.org/article/1939/10/ ... and-closed

As we're talking about the Holocaust and the Soviet Union, I use this opportunity to talk about "the Holocaust by bullets". We're now said that the Nazis killed 1.5 or 2 million Jews living in Ukraine and other countries of the Soviet Union. So we are supposed to believe that the Soviet Jews quietly waited for the arrival of the antisemitic Nazis. This is of course ridiculous. The Soviet authorities had evacuated most of those Jews before the arrival of the Nazis.

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http://archive.jta.org/article/1944/01/ ... he-ukraine

Many other examples of Soviet Jews evacuated before the arrival of the German troops: http://winstonsmithministryoftruth.blog ... -jews.html
"But, however the world pretends to divide itself, there are ony two divisions in the world to-day - human beings and Germans. – Rudyard Kipling, The Morning Post (London), June 22, 1915

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Re: Treblinka and railway gauge.

Postby EtienneSC » 6 years 3 months ago (Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:26 am)

Hi Hermod,

This is very informative and helpful. I still think we need more than newspaper reports to demonstrate the transit camp theory. In a book length treatment, reports could be related to each other and sources evaluated. My understanding is that there are more records of the occupation and thereafter than "Uncle Joe's census" and these have not yet been structured in a way that supports the transit camp theory.

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Re: Treblinka and railway gauge.

Postby hermod » 6 years 3 months ago (Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:39 am)

EtienneSC wrote:Hi Hermod,

This is very informative and helpful. I still think we need more than newspaper reports to demonstrate the transit camp theory. In a book length treatment, reports could be related to each other and sources evaluated. My understanding is that there are more records of the occupation and thereafter than "Uncle Joe's census" and these have not yet been structured in a way that supports the transit camp theory.


I think that the records demonstrating the transit camp theory were the first things to be burnt when the Soviets definitvely opted for the "all the jews were killed by the Evil Hitlerites" theory. But if you find other revealing sources they are naturally welcome here. Saning's work is probably a part of those 'other sources'.

I find old newspaper reports interesting because they were written at a time when the Holocaust narrative was still being elaborated. So inconvenient (inconvenient for the Holocaust myth) facts were sometimes released.
"But, however the world pretends to divide itself, there are ony two divisions in the world to-day - human beings and Germans. – Rudyard Kipling, The Morning Post (London), June 22, 1915

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Re: Treblinka and railway gauge.

Postby Dolma » 5 years 8 months ago (Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:20 am)

Borjastick:

The records show Jews going to Treblinka


I'm not trying to be difficult here Borjastick, but do they?

Let me explain.

What proof is there that every jew who was transited to Treblinka was actually off-loaded at the Treblinka II camp?

It seems to me that with that many jews and Treblinka II being so small and the war going on and all, that many of those jews in those records would have simply gotten off one car and marched into another and off to the east they would go. (My guess is many of them wouldn't even have known where they were.)

What I'm saying here is, these records that you speak of, even if they are legit, do they really show how many jews were actually "sent to Treblinka II" or do they only show how many were transited through the Treblinka rail station?
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Re: Treblinka and railway gauge.

Postby borjastick » 5 years 8 months ago (Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:03 am)

Dolma, as you say I said records show they were sent to Treblinka. This meant the station, the transition from West to East. I don't have any more proof they were 'processed' through Treblinka 2 or were allowed a toilet break and put on a new train to go further east immediately.

The Hoefle report is interesting of course but as many say the records for the transports going east have mysteriously disappeared.

On the basis that no significant, and of course nowhere near the 800,000 as claimed, remains have been shown to be at the site the people must have been moved onwards.
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Re: Treblinka and railway gauge.

Postby Kingfisher » 5 years 8 months ago (Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:32 am)

Some interesting info about the railway layout and about the bridges across the Bug from Scrapbook pages http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/malkinia-junction-where-the-trains-to-treblinka-stopped/

Follow the link to see the article with illustrative photos and readers' comments.

Furtherglory appears to be a Revisionist from his comments here and elsewhere but seems to keep up the pretence in his articles, maybe so as not to frighten off too many people.

Malkinia Junction, where the trains to Treblinka stopped
Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: Bug river, Malkinia Junction, Treblinka — furtherglory @ 4:25 pm

Treblinka is a tiny village in northeastern Poland, near the location of a Nazi extermination camp with the same name. During World War II, a railway line, called the Malkinia-Siedlce line, ran directly east from Warsaw to Malkinia Junction. The Treblinka extermination camp was located 4 km or 2.5 miles southeast of the Malkinia Junction. The Germans built a spur line from the junction into the Treblinka camp and train cars were backed into the camp, 20 cars at a time.

Jews from Warsaw were sent to Treblinka

German soldiers standing at the Malkinia station

Why did the Nazis choose such a remote spot to kill the Jews? Was it because they wanted to keep their genocide of the Jews a secret? The Majdanek camp, which had a number of gas chambers, was on a major road, just outside the city of Lublin. The main Auschwitz camp, which had a gas chamber, was located in a suburb of a town of 13,000 people. The Dachau gas chamber was 10 miles from Munich. No, it wasn’t the need for secrecy; it was the railroads that determined the location of the Treblinka extermination camp.

Malkinia Junction was the end of the line for the eastern railway line (Ostbahn) because there were no railroad bridges across the Bug river into the Polish territory that had been a part of Russia between 1772 and 1917. If the Nazis had been planning to get rid of the Jews with a program of “transportation to the East,” as they claimed, they would need to stop at the Bug river before continuing on to the East.

When train tracks were built in Russia in 1842, they were “broad gauge” or 1524 mm. (5 feet wide). Train tracks in Western Europe were based on the “standard gauge” or 4 ft. 8 1/2 inches. Western railroad cars could not run on the broad gauge tracks on the eastern side of the Bug river.

In October 1998, a private tour guide drove me to the memorial site at the location of the Treblinka death camp. On the way, we drove over a railroad bridge which is a reconstruction of the bridge that was there in the 1940s. This bridge crosses a bend in the Bug river; it does not go over the river into the former Russian territory.

One lane bridge over Bug river for trains, cars and pedestrians

I wrote an account of my 1998 trip, which I am quoting below from my own website, scrapbookpages.com:

As you get near the village of Treblinka, there is a line of beautiful chestnut trees alongside the road on the right. You see old men walking along the road, carrying bundles of sticks on their backs. There are farm families digging potatoes and burning the dried potato vines in the fields. Occasionally, you see a stork’s nest on a roof near the chimney, or a large ant hill at the edge of a forest, surrounded by a tiny log fence for protection. There are old wooden Catholic churches and white cottages with thatched roofs along the road. Telephone poles are topped with glass insulators, the kind you see for sale in antique stores in America. The farther you travel down this road, the farther you seem to go back in time.

Near Malkinia Junction, the road now has ancient concrete barriers to prevent cars from leaving the road, and quaint old railroad crossing signs. From Malkinia Junction, a branch line runs south from the Ostbahn (Eastern Railroad line) to the village of Treblinka where there was a small train station in the 1940ies.

Large vehicles cannot go past this point on road to Treblinka

Finally you get to a narrow archway over the road, the purpose of which is to keep vehicles larger than 2.5 tons from proceeding beyond this point. The arch is shown in the photograph above. Just before you get to the camp, you must cross a one-lane railroad bridge that was formerly used by both trains and cars, but is now used only by cars and pedestrians. According to Martin Gilbert in his book “Holocaust Journey,” this bridge was rebuilt some time after 1959; the bridge had been destroyed during World War II.

The surface of the reconstructed bridge is made of wood and the train tracks are not level, which would cause any train using the bridge to list to one side. The tracks of the railroad lines in Germany and Poland were then, and still are today, a different width, or gauge, than the tracks across the eastern border of the Bialystok District in what used to be Russia, and is now the country of Byelorussia or Belarus, known in America as White Russia.

According to my tour guide, today trains from Germany or Poland must stop at the Bialystok eastern border and change to wider wheels which can run on the different gauge tracks in Russia. In 1941, it was necessary for the German invading army to extend the standard European gauge tracks into Russia, as they advanced. The poor condition of the roads in Poland and Russia hampered the advancing Germany troops when their vehicles would become mired in three feet of mud. Three kilometers from Treblinka was located the main railroad line into Russia, through the Bialystok province.

After the joint conquest of Poland by the Germans and the Russians in September 1939, the river Bug (pronounced Boog) became the border between the German-occupied General Government of Poland and the Russian zone of occupation; then Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941 and conquered the strip of eastern Poland that was being occupied by the Russians. Treblinka is located in the former General Government.

On January 20, 1942, a conference was held in Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin, where plans were made for the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” Three extermination camps, called the Operation Reinhard Camps were planned at this conference. Treblinka was the last of the Operation Reinhard camps to be set up; the other two were Sobibor and Belzec. All three of the Operation Reinhard camps were located on the western side of the Bug river.

In June 1941, the German Army invaded the Soviet Union and gained control of the area formerly known as the Pale of Settlement, where the Jews were confined. By the time that the Aktion Reinhard camps were set up in 1942, German troops had advanced a thousand kilometers into Russia. Their plan was to transport the Jews as far as the Bug river and kill them in gas chambers, then claim that they had been “transported to the East.” Treblinka was second only to Auschwitz in the number of Jews who were killed by the Nazis: between 700,000 and 900,000, compared to an estimated 1.1 million at Auschwitz.

If the Jews were “transported to the East,” as the Nazis claimed, where are they now? I don’t know, but near every Jewish holiday, there is an ad on TV asking for money for the Jews currently living in Russia. After the war, when Germany offered to pay reparations to the Holocaust survivors, there were some survivors who were denied reparations because they had come to Western Europe from Russia.


This seems to answer my earlier question about whether the Poles changed the gauge between the wars. If there was no railway bridge across the Bug, then they obviously didn't.

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Re: Treblinka and railway gauge.

Postby Kingfisher » 5 years 8 months ago (Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:01 am)

I have been trying to make geographical sense of this topic. Treblinka is close to the border of the General Government which follows the Bug until Treblinka and Malkinia.


Image


Malkinia is on the Warsaw-Bialystok section of the Warsaw-St Petersburg railway built in the 1850s and 1860s to Russian gauge. The gauge was changed to standard along the entire Warsaw-Vilnius section by the Poles in the 1920s. There was, therefore, no gauge change at this point if proceeding toward Bialystok or beyond to Vilnius. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Petersburg_%E2%80%93_Warsaw_Railway

So, contrary to what FurtherGlory wrote, trains did not stop at Malkinia because they were unable to cross the Bug. Trains from Warsaw have already crossed that river.


Image


Go to Treblinka on Google maps. (Use satellite view as you can’t see the Bug on map view.) Zoom out and you will see the dark line of the Bug to the north of Treblinka, with Malkinia on the other side. Treblinka lies south of the Bug and Malkinia north.

Image
"A" is Treblinka

You can drag Pegman onto the road by the bridge and see the sign identifying the Bug. This is a fine modern road that was clearly not there in the 1940s and probably not when FurtherGlory visited in 1998.

Image



From Scrapbook Pages:
Malkinia Junction was the end of the line for the eastern railway line (Ostbahn) because there were no railroad bridges across the Bug river into the Polish territory that had been a part of Russia between 1772 and 1917. If the Nazis had been planning to get rid of the Jews with a program of “transportation to the East,” as they claimed, they would need to stop at the Bug river before continuing on to the East.

So the Scrapbook Pages article seems to contain significant errors.
[EDIT addition]
- There is no gauge change at Malkinia or anywhere on that line.
- The Bug does not represent the Russian border in 1914. At that time even Warsaw was Russian.
- Trains to Treblinka from Warsaw would not pass through Malkinia.
[/EDIT}
- Malkinia is on the "wrong" side of the Bug. Trains from Warsaw have already crossed the Bug when they arrive at Malkinia station.
- The Bug lies between Malkinia and Treblinka.
- A purpose built “spur” to Treblinka from Malkinia as suggested by FurtherGlory would recross the Bug and makes no sense. A pre-existing line where the road to Treblinka now runs does look possible, as it would make the Treblinka line accessible from the Bialystok direction, and it would fit with FurtherGlory's description of a shared road/rail bridge in the 1990s. The line marked on Google maps, which leaves the main line south-west of the Bug, was only accessible from the Warsaw direction.

Image


It passed very close to Treblinka and only a very short (500 metre) spur was necessary; traces of that spur appear as a path on Google maps.

Image

What is more, the line continued beyond Treblinka, linking into the general rail network so Treblinka could be a transit camp for anywhere in Poland as well as across the border. (But see gauge issues below.) There does not appear to have been a turning loop at Treblinka, which would explain why trains are described as backing up. If they were to continue along the Bialystok line they would have to back up several km to the main line, not just the length of the spur.

This line was long established, as it appears on the map illustrating the Wikipedia article on the St Petersburg-Warsaw line. We have no information on the gauge of this line. It seems that different lines in the Russian part of pre-independence Poland, which was most of it and included Warsaw, had different gauges.


According to this article: http://thehelpfulengineer.com/index.php/2010/10/infrastructure-the-importance-of-railway-gauge-and-setting-the-standard/the Russian decision to use a different gauge from the rest of Europe (with 1812 a living memory) was for military reasons, to slow an invader, and the Germans changed all the rail gauges as they advanced in 1941. This article claims that the delay thus caused was a major reason for failure to take Moscow. Of course the Russians had the same problem in reverse as the Germans were later retreating.
I have read elsewhere, however, (can’t find a link for the moment) that through running between standard and Russian gauge is possible but causes maintenance problems.

There is an Axis History forum thread on railway gauge here: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=51767 and a Codoh thread here: http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5813

[Edited after borjastick's post, as the added information needs to be in that place]
Last edited by Kingfisher on Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Treblinka and railway gauge.

Postby borjastick » 5 years 8 months ago (Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:45 am)

Kingfisher, a very interesting and informative post. I particularly commend your research on the railway lines, directions and juxtaposition vis a vis the river. I did go to google maps and followed the local lines etc as you pointed out and found it very informative, it certainly answers certain concerns about the use of Treblinka as a transit camp.
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Re: Treblinka and railway gauge.

Postby Kingfisher » 5 years 8 months ago (Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:08 am)

Deleted by poster, as information now thought inaccurate


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