On 7 October 1945 in Łódź, judge Z. Łukaszkiewicz, in the presence of prosecutor J. Maciejewski, interviewed the person named below as an unsworn witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for giving false testimony, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Eugeniusz Turowski|
|Names of parents||Aleksandra|
|Place of residence||6 Sierpnia Street 42, Łódź|
I arrived at Treblinka camp on 5 September 1942 in a transport of Jews from the Częstochowa ghetto. The transport consisted of 50 wagons, each with over 100 people. Following our arrival at Treblinka station, the transport was divided. One part was taken to the camp ramp while the other waited at Treblinka station.
As soon as the wagons stopped at the ramp, Germans and Ukrainians, armed with horsewhips and guns, chased everyone out of the wagons, which happened at a lightning pace, amid beating and screaming. Everyone was taken to a yard between the barracks, where men were grouped to the right and women and children to the left.
From among the men, the Germans chose 25 persons, craftsmen mostly, myself included, since I stated my occupation as a mechanic. We were taken to a lot behind a barrack, where men, stripped naked, began to carry clothes and throw them onto heaps. It was happening very quickly, again amid beating and shouting by the Germans and Ukrainians.
At the same time, women undressed in a barrack to the left, where they had their heads shaved. Within about 30 minutes of the transport’s arrival at the ramp, the naked men and women were directed towards the path leading to the gas chambers.
I was assigned to the machine workshops, where I worked until 2 August 1943, that is, until the uprising.
From a Ukrainian called “Grigori” and a Jewish worker named Jankiel, aged around 16, who came from the environs of Treblinka, I know that the first transports of Jews had started to arrive in June 1942. But back then, the system of extermination had not been organised yet, so the people from the transports would be gathered in a yard and killed with machine guns. They were buried in pits, wearing clothes.
Around mid-August 1942, maybe earlier, gas chambers were first used; initially, there were four of them, but later, when I was already in the camp, another ten were built.
Because I was working in the machine workshops and would fix various devices from thegas chambers (especially ventilators), I know that the devices for the gas chambers were delivered by a German company, whose name I do not remember.
I cannot tell when transports began to come in en masse. In any case, between my arrival and the beginning of December 1942, there were at least three transports daily, 60 wagons each. The final transport arrived in Treblinka in May 1943 from the Warsaw ghetto.
Between December 1942 and May 1943, the transports were much less frequent, but there were still at least two transports a week.
Until December 1942, Jews were mostly brought in from the General Government, as well as Germany and Czechoslovakia. In April 1943, a few transports of Jews from Macedonia arrived, in separate wagons and with lots of luggage and belongings.
I do not know how exactly people were exterminated in the gas chambers.
As regards the “infirmary,” which was located in the camp’s first zone, this was where they directed anybody who was not able to walk to the gas chambers on their own. At the infirmary, people were killed with shots and were then burnt.
As regards the obliteration of criminal evidence, I know that in the beginning – until around June 1942, I suspect – corpses were only buried in pits, then some of them would be burnt on heaps, while later, in the winter of 1942/43, corpses started to be burnt in special pits with inbuilt grates and with the use of ventilators that blew air under the grates. During the peak period of burning corpses, dredgers were used to extract bodies from the old graves. I suspect that the ashes were put into pits.
In order to mislead the victims brought to the ramp, already during my stay in the camp a fake train station was built, along with fake buffets, ticket counters and waiting rooms. There was also a signpost that pointed to the gate leading into the yard where people were gathered to be stripped naked. The signpost read: “Transfers to Białystok and Wołkowysk.”
I also recall that as a mechanic, I took part in making a safe for documents for the camp’s command. The safe was constructed in such a way as to allow the documents to be burnt inside at any time.
Working as a mechanic, I was once fixing the lock of the arms and ammunition store, and managed to make a spare key. I used this key on 2 August 1943 to retrieve the weapons and ammunition used during the uprising.
The report was read out, after which the witness signed it on every page.