Memorial to the Victims of the Trawniki Concentration Camp



SUMMARY: In June 1942, the former sugar mill in Trawniki became a forced-labor camp for
Jews. It was liquidated in September 1943 and from that point forward, the camp served as a
sub-camp of the Lublin/Majdanek Death Camp. A list of the SS men at Trawniki is available here.

PRE-WAR: Trawniki is a village in Swidnik County, Lublin Voivodeship, in eastern Poland. It is
the seat of the administrative district called Gmina Trawniki. It lies approximately 33 km southeast of the
regional capital, Lublin. According to witness Jozef K, born in 1925, there were about 30 Jewish families
living in Trawniki before World War II. They were mainly traders. They lived near the Trawniki train
station, where they had their shops and also a synagogue. The nearest and only Jewish cemetery in all
of the Trawniki gmina was in Biskupice, Poland.

HOLOCAUST: In 1942, Trawniki served as a transit camp for local Jews. After a "selection" was
conducted by the Piaski Judenrat, several hundred Polish, German, and Austrian Jews were transported
to Trawniki. Before the deportation to the Belzec killing center intended for the next day, many of the
victims were locked up in a large barn overnight. Between 200 and 500 of the Jews died there from
suffocation. The next morning, their bodies were put into wagons destined for Belzec.

During the summer of 1942, Trawniki began to serve as a forced-labor camp for Jews. The labor camp
was built right next to the training camp for the Auxiliary police, called Trawniki men, created in 1941.

The following individuals were transferred to Trawniki or Biskupice, Lublin District, from another
part of Europe for slave labor. All of them were Jewish and can be assumed to have been murdered.

Transferred to Trawniki
Norbert Czaezkes (from Lwow)
Mina Czaezkes (from Lwow)
Mala Rajzla Flajszer
Tami Haas
Heinrich Haas (Ligsla)
Chaim Halpern (Tarnopol)
Leonora Halpern
Dora Halpern
Karol Halpern
Rywka Meyer
Perla Meyer
Izaak Mingelgrin/Muengelgruen (Brzesko)
Rozalia Mingelgrim
Sabina Roth
Alfred Sznajder (Kamiz)
Adela Sznajder
Chaim Sztark (Lezko)
Fajga Sztark
Eva Wajzer (Wajzor)
Fryderyka Wajzer
Henrieta Wysokikamien
Antonia Wysokibamien
Szloma Birnbaum
Tami Bekman
Marta Bekman
Henryk Feliks
Daniel Jungewirt (from Tarnow)
Eliezer Wulfram

Transferred to Biskupice, Lublin District
Norbert Czaezkes (from Lwow)
Izaak Mingelgrin/Muengelgruen (Brzesko)
Alfred Schneider (Kamirz)
Chaim Halpern (Tarnopol)
Chaim Sztark (Leszko)
Henryk Haas (Ligsla)
Edward Heisberger
Markus Barenhorn (Sewerany)
Julius Weisberger
David Newmann
Leiser Goldstein (Przemysl)
Moses Weisberger
Meyer Baumol (Bukowsko)
Samson Juda Rad (Zolkew)
Schaia Eichenbaum (Chrzanow)
Kohos Barenhersz (Rawa Ruska)
Simcha Goldman (Tarnow)
Schmuel Zneker Censor (Rzeszow)
(source)

Two camps were separated only by the original stone wall that surrounded the abandoned sugar factory.
After being trained, the Trawniki men participated in the extermination of Jews from Belzec, Sobibor
and Treblinka II. Trawniki also became a storage depot for the victims' clothing from the killing centers.
In June 1942, 20 to 40 Jewish women were brought to the camp to wash, sort and repair clothes.

By May 1, 1942, there were at least 5,633 Jews in the Trawniki labor camp. They were Jews from
Germany, Austria and Slovakia, but most of them were Polish Jews from across the country.

At the beginning, conditions in the camp were quite decent because the Nazis wanted to maintain a high
production level, but that situation changed quite quickly. In winter, the workers didn’t receive any winter
clothing, so epidemics became omnipresent and the general conditions in the camp deteriorated.

After the uprising in the Sobibor killing center in October 1943, Himmler decided that to prevent this kind
of situation of happening again, he needed to order the killings of Polish Jews in the Lublin District.
On November 3, 1943, the Ernefeste Aktion commenced. Police units, SS, Trawniki men and Battalion
101 shot around 6,000 Jews from Trawniki and Dorohucza. Witness Jozef K., born in 1925, recalls that
during the executions the Nazis turned on the radio to overpower the sound of gunshots. A group of
Jewish workers from Milejow was chosen to burn the victims' corpses and to disperse the ashes. Once
they finished, they were transferred to Lublin/Majdanek and the Trawniki labor camp was dissolved.

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