The report of judicial activities performed in the field, in the course of a judicial investigation into Treblinka death camp.
On 6 November 1945, investigating judge Z Łukaszkiewicz, in the presence of J. Maciejewski, a prosecutor of the District Court in Siedlce, K. Trautsolt, a sworn ground surveyor, witnesses Samuel Rajzman and Henryk Rajchman-Romanowski and Stanisław Kucharek, village leader of Wólka Okrąglik, inspected the site where Treblinka death camp was located, Kosów Lacki municipality, Sokołów Podlaski district.
In the course of the activities, with the witnesses and the village leader consulted for information and explanations, the following facts were established:
1. Location of the camp
The camp was founded on a portion of grounds belonging to the village of Wólka Okrąglik, Kosów Lacki municipality, Sokołów Podlaski district, Warsaw voivodeship, close to the border with Węgrów district. Along the camp’s north and north-west perimeter, are – between 100 and 300 metres apart, parallel to each other – the Siedlce-Małkinia railway track and the Kosów Lacki-Małkinia concrete road. Because there is an oblong hill covered with forest between the railway track and road and the camp (particularly to the north), no section of the road or track provides a vantage point from which the camp can be seen. Immediately next to the south-western perimeter of the camp, there is a railway siding which leads to a gravel mine some two kilometres away and a paved way leading to the penal labour camp in Treblinka, which also was located some two kilometres west of the death camp. The concrete road and the death camp are connected via a paved road running along the north-western perimeter of the camp; this road is an extension of the aforementioned road leading to the labour camp. From the south-west, the terrain is open, but some 200 metres from the perimeter of the camp is a range of small hills which are not covered with forest.
From the west, the camp grounds are bordered by meadows and farmlands, and some 300 metres away, there is a thick wood which, towards the north, gradually develops into a forest which merges with the forest described above, i.e. growing along the tracks and the road. There are no settlements around the camp. The closest village, Wólka Okrąglik, located to the north-east of the camp, is some 1.5 kilometers away, while the distance to the closest railway station, Treblinka, located to the north-west, is around 4 kilometers.
2. Description of the camp grounds
In the western part of the camp and along its north-western perimeter there is a small pine wood, presently very thin. Other than that, the camp grounds are not overgrown at all. Inthe middle part of the camp, closer to its north-western corner, is a hill falling away rather evenly in all directions. In the southern and eastern parts, the terrain is covered with sparse lupin plants. The soil is mostly sand and gravel; the sand and gravel run very deep.
3. Current condition of the camp
Essentially, nothing survives of the death camp buildings today. The only remnants are: a trench which used to house a basement, with the remains of burnt poles protruding from the ground, and the foundations of a building. The village leader of Wólka Okrąglik explains that this building was raised at the time of the liquidation of the camp and lodged Ukrainian settlers, whom the Germans placed inside the camp. The said remains of buildings are located in the south-eastern part of the camp. In the same location there is also a hole that might have been a well (as evidenced by fragments of concrete rings).
Other leavings include remnants of roads paved with fieldstone; one is the extension of theroad leading from the concrete road to the camp, and runs south-east, some 100 meters into the camp; the other forks at a right angle and runs north-east, some 80 meters into the camp. The latter road also has a short branching off, some 30 meters long. Along the camp’s perimeter, here and there, are remains of burnt poles from the fence and fragments of barbed wire.
The entire area is currently riddled with pits and craters of different sizes. They are everywhere, even in places overgrown with forest, but their highest concentration is on the hill, described in section 2 – around 2 hectares of ground are completely covered by them. Some craters are up to 7 meters deep and up to 25 meters in diameter. Near the craters are unexploded aerial bombs and shells and numerous pieces of shrapnel. The village leader of Wólka Okrąglik explains that the pits were dug up by locals looking for gold and valuables, while the craters were made when the aerial bombs and shells were exploded by the soldiers from a Red Army unit, stationed by the railway station in Kosów Lacki. In the described portion of the area, riddled with pits and craters, there are large quantities of human remains (skulls and other bones); some bones still bear traces of tissue, and some skulls have traces of hair. Additionally, all of this area is covered with ashes, mixed with sand and gravel (in such a way that there are actually no clean layers of sand and gravel). Among the ashes, fragments of human bones are visible. Witness Rajzman and witness Romanowski explain that this was the exact location of the pits in which corpses were buried and, later, bodies were burnt.
The south-eastern part of the camp is thickly covered with shards of aluminum and enamel dishes, porcelain, glass, spoons, knives and similar fragments of kitchenware. Also, there are numerous pieces of various prostheses, wigs, shoes, clothes, cases, rucksacks, hair etc. Witness Rajzman and witness Romanowski explain that in these parts of the camp were the location of storage facilities where the belongings of victims brought into the camp were kept.
After the activities described above were concluded, the witnesses showed the sworn ground surveyor the perimeter of the camp and those of its sub-areas, as well as the location of the railway siding. Consultation with the witnesses also confirmed that the plan of the camp facilities submitted by witness Kudlik is largely (to the extent this can be presently ascertained) accurate.
In the course of the inspection, the investigating judge took a number of photographs.