Treblinka The Transit Camp: Why Did 900,000 Go Missing?


A group of forensic archaeologists have recently discovered some new evidence pointing to Treblinka, a Eastern Poland Nazi death camp where 900,000 people disappeared. This statement goes against claims by Holocaust deniers who say Treblinka was only a transit camp.

The discovery are set to air on the Smithsonian Channel in a show called: “Treblinka: Hitler’s Killing Machine” on March 29th. It will be a part of a special month-long block of programming set to celebrate Women’s History Month.

Treblinka is described as “one of the most notorious cold cases of World War II.” Rare documents and eyewitnesses have claimed Treblinka was a camp that was even more ruthless than the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. There hasn’t been much evidence to support this claim, until now. The Smithsonian believes the British forensic team of Dr. Caroline Sturdy Colls has found new “significant and chilling” evidence to expose the truth behind Treblinka.

“Dr. Caroline Sturdy Colls and her team discovered three previously unidentified mass graves at Treblinka 1, which some thought had only been a labor camp. They also pinpointed the location of a gas chamber and other physical structures at Treblinka 2, the main extermination camp,” a press release states. “The team uncovered human remains, personal artifacts and pieces of tile with the Jewish star imprint which match eyewitness descriptions of a gas chamber that had been designed to look like a bathhouse. She also reinforces her suspicions that the death camp was even larger than previously thought.”

The Christian Post reports the discoveries are part of a six-year endeavor to finally answer questions that have left unanswered from the Second World War. Permission was needed from both the Polish and Jewish authorities to gain the privilege to begin conducting digs at the site. Jewish law usually prohibits such requests as it would disturb the human remains. Smithsonian notes that in 1943 the Nazis attempted to eradicate the evidence behind Treblinka by leveling the earth, destroying structures, and building a farmhouse on top of the location. Sturdy Colls used cutting-edge aerial photography called LIDAR, however, to identify faint imprints in the ground leading to the original foundations of the death camp.

An estimated 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust under the leadership of Nazi Germany leader Adolf Hitler, though some countries, such as Iran, dispute the extent of the massacre. In September 2013, Iran criticized CNN for incorrectly translating a quote from President Hassan Rouhani in an interview that made him sound like he believes the Holocaust took place.

Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE