Treblinka II was a Nazi German extermination camp established in summer of 1942. It existed for over a year – in late summer of 1943 the camp buildings were completely destroyed and the ground was turned into a farmland. Planning your trip there? This is what you should expect.
Firstly, during WWII there were two camps located in close proximity, this is why the Treblinka Holocaust site is known as the camp number 2. Today in both sites you can see memorials and information boards with necessary explanation and photos from WWII.
As for the Treblinka II Memorial, it was designed by three artists: Adam Haupt, Franciszek Duszenko and Franciszek Strynkiewicz and was built in 1959 – 1963. The boundaries of the camp are marked by pillars of granite, and there is a symbolic “camp ramp” with “rail tracks”. The tall Memorial shows the location of the new gas chambers and behind it, there is a rectangular hole filled with black basalt to indicate the place where the corpses were cremated. The camp was built on an area of 17 hectares and, as far the size is concerned, it can be compared with the Auschwitz I (20 ha), while the Auschwitz II – Birkenu Museum grounds cover 171 hectares.
What is more, it seems impossible to estimate the exact number of people killed in the Treblinka II death camp. However, it is believed that probably between 700,000 and 925,000 Jews were deported there. Undoubtedly, regarding the number of victims, Treblinka II was the second largest extermination camp – after Auschwitz I and II. Today, around the big, matzevah-like Memorial, there are 17 000 granite stones with 221 names of different towns engraved, as the Jews murdered in Treblinka were deported from many ghettos, for example Warsaw, Radom or Białystok. The only exception was made for doctor Janusz Korczak.
The Memorial to the victims of Treblinka extermination camp is one of the most important sites for the history of Holocaust in Mazovia region. There is also a small museum where you can see a reconstruction of the Treblinka II camp, maps, photos and some artefacts found during excavations.