Treblinka

July 19, 2019

It’s so many people. So many people. People. How can it be so many people? And I am so sorry we didn’t help you. How could we have let this happen? So many stones and names and so many lives ended. Overwhelmed. I am completely overwhelmed. It is just so many people. So many towns and cities and countries. Lois came over to ask if I was okay. We hugged. I said “This is a terrible place.” She said, “It is a terrible place.” She was looking for the stone commemorating her father’s town. I tried to help her find it and was grateful for the task.

Nearly 900,000 people. There are no words. Treblinka is a terrible, terrible place. It is more than that. It is a place of deception, fear, sadism, death and despair. Thousands of lives were ended in as short as an hour and a half, only to be replaced by thousands more innocent people.

Treblinka’s only function was to kill people. It was completely demolished before the Soviets arrived and there really is nothing left of it. The only reason we know anything about this camp is because of a small number of survivors. People who escaped, people who were used as forced labor. The camp experienced an uprising as well. From what we’ve been told, it seems the Nazis destroyed or left camps shortly after uprisings in the camps.

There is very little to be said and yet so much. It is just such a terrible and terrifying place.