A Year In Treblinka

Pickle Partners Publishing
38
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An Inmate Who Escaped Tells The Day-To-Day Facts Of One Year Of His Torturous Experiences.

Jankiel Wiernik was a Jewish property manager in Warsaw when the Nazis invaded Poland and was forced into the ghetto in 1940. Despite surviving the horrors of the ghetto at the advanced age of 52, he was sent to a fate worse than death at the notorious death camp at Treblinka, which he immortalized in his memoirs.

“On his arrival at Treblinka aboard the Holocaust train from Warsaw, Wiernik was selected to work rather than be immediately killed. Wiernik’s first job with the Sonderkommando required him to drag corpses from the gas chambers to mass graves. Wienik was traumatized by his experiences. He later wrote in his book: “It often happened that an arm or a leg fell off when we tied straps around them in order to drag the bodies away.” He remembered the horrors of the enormous pyres, where “10,000 to 12,000 corpses were cremated at one time.” He wrote: “The bodies of women were used for kindling” while Germans “toasted the scene with brandy and with the choicest liqueurs, ate, caroused and had a great time warming themselves by the fire.” Wiernik described small children awaiting so long in the cold for their turn in the gas chambers that “their feet froze and stuck to the icy ground” and noted one guard who would “frequently snatch a child from the woman’s arms and either tear the child in half or grab it by the legs, smash its head against a wall and throw the body away.” At other times “children were snatched from their mothers’ arms and tossed into the flames alive.”

“Wiernik escaped Treblinka during the revolt of the prisoners on “a sizzling hot day” of August 2, 1943. A shot fired into the air signalled that the revolt was on. Wiernik wrote that he “grabbed some guns” and, after spotting an opportunity to make a break for the woods, an axe...”
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Additional Information

Publisher
Pickle Partners Publishing
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Published on
Nov 6, 2015
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Pages
62
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ISBN
9781786251664
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Holocaust
History / Jewish
History / Middle East / Israel & Palestine
History / Military / World War II
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Includes 204 photos, plans and maps illustrating The Holocaust

This is the story of No. 22483, who had been shipped from Belgium to Buchenwald. This is an account of what No. 22483 saw and felt during his calvary from Antwerp to the Malin distribution camp in France and from there to the extermination camp of Buchenwald.

To say that this book contains the scenes of a twentieth-century Inferno may sound commonplace. Yet, every page of this book reminds one of Dante’s Inferno, with one exception: the Inferno the author writes about consumed the lives not of the sinful whom divine justice cast into the immortality of suffering.
This Inferno was thronged by millions, many of whom were babies and little children, mothers and young women who had hoped to become mothers. It was thronged with people who deserved their fates because they were men in the sense that God meant them to be. They were in Inferno because they were strong men and brave, the real heroes of our days. They were doomed because the Nazi super-race set up a different scale of values which regarded heroism as the greatest of sins and considered depravity the greatest of virtues. Reading this book one feels that the titanic Dante himself would have been staggered by the demented criminality the judges of the just displayed.

This is the story of No. 22483 of Buchenwald, one of the millions who were doomed and one of the few who escaped. Throughout, the writing is poignant, vibrant with humanity, a cry “de profundis” and a vow that it must never happen again. This book should be long remembered.
“Many impressive books have been written about German horror camps where, from 1939 until 1945, human beings were subjected to degrading experiences, or were destroyed like swarms of helpless insects.

E

The camp where I stayed for several years has received less publicity than the larger and more smoothly run DACHAU and RAVENSBRÜCK camps where mass extermination was carried out with cold efficiency.
Our camp was called BRZEZINKI, in German BIRKENAU. Some prisoners nicknamed it RAJSKO. In literal translation this means “HEAVEN-LIKE”.

In Brzezinki-Birkenau, mass murder was carried out on such a fantastic scale that the executioners had set up five crematories. Almost all the inmates were destroyed and only a few lived long enough to greet their liberators. Except for one book written by a Polish woman thus far, no report has been graved on flintstone by any of the liberated Polish Jobs.

I am not a writer and my story will be a plain and frank account of things which I have witnessed and experienced in nine prisons and in three concentration camps, from which I was miraculously saved by God. It is not my aim to evoke your pity, nor to arouse your wrath against the Germans. I wish only to help you to realize what happens when man rejects God and when his passions become his sole master. He will then commit every kind of inhuman crime, whereas if he follows the Golden Rule he will withstand the most ruthless pressure and even in the midst of inhuman sufferings will desperately cling to his faith.

I wish to stir the conscience of statesmen so that they may unify their efforts in preventing a repetition of the crimes committed in the name of an omnipotent and evil deity—the STATE.”-Foreword
One of the earliest published accounts of the Nazi concentration camp system, for no crime other than being Jewish Leon Szalet was incarcerated by the Gestapo and experienced the awful torments of Sachsenhausen.

“Long before I became acquainted with a German concentration camp—at the time Germany launched her attack on Poland—I had heard much about the horrors of these German torture chambers. Almost everyone who lived in Germany, native or foreigner, knew of someone who had once been in a concentration camp. Everyone had a vague idea of the punishment cells, whippings, starvation rations. But just how the mechanism of a concentration camp functioned, how a prisoner’s day was spent, how he worked, what he ate, what and how he suffered—these things were known only to those who had once been cogs in such a mechanism.

And these did not speak. They did not speak because the fear of the Gestapo haunted them night and day; because on their release from the camp they were made to sign a statement that they would not make public the things they had seen and experienced; because the Gestapo sent those who broke this pledge back to the camp for “atrocity propaganda”; and because those sent back would soon come out again, this time in a crudely built wooden coffin.

It was a long while before I felt strong enough to describe what I had seen and experienced. That I have been able to put it on paper at all, I owe to my daughter, whose untiring energy and resourcefulness not only accomplished my rescue but has also been an invaluable help in preparing the manuscript.”-Author’s Preface.
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