Treblinka Camp Secrets: More Proof That The Nazis Were Monsters

    March 30, 2014
    Tina Volpe
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Forensic archeologist Caroline Sturdy Colls has been granted unprecedented access to excavate one of history’s greatest crime scenes: Hitler’s secret extermination camp in the Polish village of Treblinka.

It was in this camp during the years of 1942 and 1943, almost one-million Jews were killed. But strangely, for the past 70-years all evidence of this camp and its victims vanished. Ms. Sturdy Colis plans to reveal what Hitler and his henchmen were so desperate to hide.

The grisly results of this dig are revealed in “Treblinka: Hitler’s Killing Machine,” which is an hour-long show premiering Saturday on the Smithsonian Channel. But they’re revealed in a way that pays respect to the estimated 900,000 Jewish victims of that killing machine.

“The ethical dimension of the work that I do is really important to me,” Caroline Sturdy Colls told NBC News.

The difference at Treblinka, which is as infamous as Auschwitz and Dachau in the hell that was the Holocaust, is that there were no inmates liberated by allied troops, and no photos showing unused gas chambers. The Germans finished their work at Treblinka in 1943 and bulldozed the camp in an effort to cover their tracks. They went so far as to plant crops and build a farmhouse on the leveled ground.

The story detailing the horrors of Treblinka were brought to light by several eyewitnesses accounts and by captured guards. They revealed that one camp at Treblinka was primarily a forced-labor facility. Another camp was designed specifically for herding thousands of victims at a time into one side of a “bathhouse,” where they were gassed to death with carbon monoxide exhaust from tank engines. The bodies were taken out the other side for mass burial, and later cremation.

When the reign of terror ended, Treblinka became a memorial out of respect for the victims, therefore no excavation was allowed, even if it entailed an effort to get to the truth about these camps. That is until Sturdy Colls and her colleagues won approval from Polish authorities as well as Jewish religious leaders to conduct a limited dig.

“There are some questions that can only be answered by archaeology,” Sturdy Colls explained. “As we enter, unfortunately, an age without survivors, archaeology can provide much more new evidence.”

Using GPS and computerized maps, aerial photography and ground penetrating radar and laser-scanning technology, the archaeologists were able to narrow down their search areas.

“Without that technology, I never would have been able to do this work at Treblinka, because no one wanted excavations there,” Sturdy Colls said. “Nobody wanted the ground to be disturbed unnecessarily.”

During the digs, investigators found bones from previously unknown mass graves. Some of the bones showed evidence of cut marks, which Sturdy Colls said would be consistent with tales of victims being chopped up before burial.

This discovery was an emotional moment for the investigators and excavators, even though Sturdy Colls is accustomed to crime scene investigations and has seen so much in her career.

“What we were doing there was closing the lid again on that grave site. … It didn’t cross my mind that it would be me reinterring the remains,” she said.

Sturdy Colis expects the study to counter the lingering claims of Holocaust-deniers — and show that, despite its best efforts, Nazi Germany couldn’t erase the evidence of a monstrous human tragedy.

“They did a very good job of hiding it, but in actual fact, they didn’t ‘sterilize’ this landscape,” Sturdy Colls said. “They weren’t that efficient.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons

  • omegaman

    His story and this documentary overwhelm and depress the senses… Unfathomable.

  • Debby Berg

    This writer tells a compelling tale, too bad she wasn’t a better writer and grammarian. It is a distraction from the story when one has to stop and decipher the text in order to make sense of it. That being said and this grammar policeman getting back into her car for yet another ride to yet another story; I am so please that this site was studied. I think that the story of the Holocaust needs to be told much more completely. The only way is for archaeologists to be able to find the story that time has stored underground.

    • Billy Bob

      A good “grammarian” avoids the use of verbal semicolons such as that being said, or be that as it may, etcetera. Proofread your own comment for the two more obvious errors as well.

    • ernie

      ever hear of the phrase “nit picker” ? thou are one !

  • ballardpimp

    The physical evidence, despite Nazi efforts to sonceal or destroy it, still speaks loudly.

  • Mikki

    Hitler probably knew nothing about these camps. You
    won’t find his signature on any of the documents.

    • Folly67

      Oh please. No one in the Third Reich took a pee without his approval.

    • Teacher X

      What a moronic statement mikki the louse.

      • ballpark1981

        shhhhh, it’s really obama

    • Teacher X

      Just like every German denied being a Nazi too when the war ended poorly for them.

    • ballpark1981

      right, because he destroyed all evidence of his genocidal efforts to rule the world, or are you a descendant of one of the guards ?????????????????

  • Pan_Tadeusz

    It speaks so well for the Nazi’s Ukrainian allies, doesn’t it.

    • Teacher X

      And the French, Romanians, and others who welcomed the Germans as liberators. You also had every country in Europe represented in the SS. There were even men from the middle east who joined Hitler’s SS because they hated the Jews.

  • Char

    This is getting as old as the constant manipulative rhetoric about slavery.

    • Teacher X

      Yeah, slavery never happened did it? At least the extreme right are willing to believe it never happened. Those African never had it better did they?

      • residentalien

        Slavery sure did happen. Africans sold their slaves to the highest bidders. That is correct. It happened.

        • Teacher X

          So what? The thai people sell their children into prostitution too! Does that make it ok for you to molest them res?

  • datimes

    If your a whack job Islamist there isn’t any thing that a scientist can do to get them to acknowledge the murder….. ever if they know better.

    • Teacher X

      You have many Americans who deny it ever happened.

      • datimes

        In my 60+ years on this earth I’ve never met one but I likely run with a different group than you.

        • Teacher X

          So I hang out with real people and you hang out with imaginary people, good for you.

  • Tom Tucker

    Treblinka was a terrible place. I would have liked to have been there to help stuff the ovens.

    • steve

      I wish you were there also Tom so you could have been stuffed into an oven with them

    • Teacher X

      You’re a pos tommy. Hope your boyfriend joins you in hell.

  • residentalien

    All previous reports said that Treblinka massacred over a million Jews. According then to this report, those reports had no evidence? And the evidence has just been found? Even this report is a little sketchy and does not state anything specific. It does say “the bodies were taken out the other side for mass burial, and later cremation.” Does this mean they were buried first and then dug up and cremated later? Sounds like a logistical nightmare when remembering that Cities were being razed by the Allied bombing campaigns. A million bodies would be very difficult evidence to conceal. The report says very little that is precise. Will be looking forward to more hard evidence from this project. All we want is the truth.

    • Teacher X

      Heil Hitler doush

    • Anthros

      There is considerable controversy regarding the total amount of Jews obliterated by the National socialist regime. A fact is that the grand total of exterminated Jews has constantly been downsized ever since the 50´s. The original estimates had huge amounts of air in the numbers, to such a degree that I question the quoted figures exceeding 6 digits. I for one prefer truth over fanatic dogma, even when the topic broaches something as depressing as mass murder in the name of an “ism”. Additionally, one would do well to remember that not only Jews bought the farm in concentration camps, sexual deviants, political persona non grata´s and mentally handicapped persons got exterminated in considerable numbers, not to mention prisoners of war from the various countries occupied by the german army.