Franciszek Zabecki Testimony

Fig 20 Treblinka Station Area 2002002457

Treblinka Station Area 2002 (Chris Webb Private Archive)

December 21, 1945

Judge: Z. Lukaskiewicz

Franciszek Zabecki

Age: 38

Place of Residence: Treblinka Railway Station

Occupation: Station Master

In May 1941, I started to work at Treblinka railway station as a train dispatcher. Transports of Jews had been arriving at the station, as far as i remember since the end of July 1942. The passage of time and the fact that I do not remember some details vividly regarding the number of these transports means that any calculations are very difficult. In any case, I can state that transports reached their peak between the end of July 1942 and New Year's Day 1943, and it will be accurate to say that they arrived every day. After New Year's Day, the number decreased significantly and there were rather long intervals, sometimes of two weeks, between transports. After the camp was burnt during the uprising, there were some minor transports, from Białystok, I believe.

Transports of Jews ran outside the regular timetable and in order to regulate their passage, German railway directorates would send railway stations their timetables. These timetables included single or multiple transports. Apart from the timetables, cables were also sent which announced individual transports or changed information about them. In cables and timetables, trains were assigned a code. The code was as follows: "P.Kr" for transports from the General Government, "Pj" for transports from the north-east (outside the General Government) and "Da" for transports from the Reich. Empty trains ran according to timetables.

Foreign transports from Greece, Germany and Austria came in passenger carriages with tickets, whose stubs were counted and sent back to the directorate. During the fighting of 1944, as the Germans retreated before the advancing Red Army, the front was for some time close to the station. It was at that time that the station was blown up and burnt by the Germans. The station records, which could have served as evidence, were destroyed, however I managed to stash away some of them, risking my life in the process. I am submitting them now as documentation for the present case. These documents include timetables, cables, various waybills of wagons sent from Treblinka (the waybills are signed by SS-men from Treblinka) and listings of wagons from individual transports.

Let me reiterate that these documents are part of a greater whole. As regards transports of victims' belongings sent from the camp to the Reich, I would not be mistaken in my estimation that around 1000 wagons with clothes, shoes, etc. passed through the station. During my work at Treblinka station, I tried to note down the most significant events concerning the camp. It was very dangerous because SS-men from the camp came to the station all the time, plus two German railwaymen were permanently posted there. I recall that in the spring of 1943, one Konczkowski, an engineer from the company Rudzki, who was involved in the construction of the bridge on the Bug river, was arrested by the Gestapo for making such notes and then executed.

As regards my notes, only some of them have been preserved. Based on them, I am stating the following facts about the camp:

1) On 2 August 1943, the death camp was on fire between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. During that time, two shifts of Ukrainians from the camp were bathing in the Bug. All Jews escaped from the camp, carrying weapons from the arsenal they had broken into. 2) On 18 August, a transport of Jews (Pj. 201) passed through Treblinka station, 32 wagons to Lublin.

3) On the same day, a transport designated Pj. 202 arrived at Treblinka – 37 wagons from Białystok.

4) On 19 August, a transport to Lublin, designated Pj. 203, passed through the station – 40 wagons.

5) On the same day, a transport from Białystok to Treblinka arrived, designated Pj. 204 – 39 wagons.

6) On 24 August, a transport to Lublin, designated Pj. 209, passed through the station – 9 wagons.

7) On 8 September, a transport of Jews to Lublin, designated Pj. 211, passed through the station, 31 wagons.

8) On 17 September, a transport from Mińsk Litewski to Chełmno, designated Pj. 1025, passed through the station – 50 wagons.

9) On 30 September, Rudolf Emmerich, a German railwayman, left work at the station to join the railway service in Warsaw. I know the address of his wife: Hilma Emmerich, Dresden Grossenhainer str. 97 II. I had copied this address from the envelope of a letter that Emmerich was writing.

10) On 20 October, three wagons with Jews were dispatched from Treblinka to Sobibór.

The report was read out, after which it was signed by the witness.

zabecki and colleagues474

Zabecki and his colleagues at Treblinka Station ( Photo from Zabecki Wspomnienia dawne i nowe)


Chronicles of Terror Website

Thanks to Ewa Telezynska

Photographs Chris Webb Private Archive and Franciszek Zabecki - Wspomnienia dawne i nowe 1977

© Holocaust Historical Society February 15, 2023