After breakfast at Hotel Relax we were on the road to Treblinka. Treblinka was a penal labor and extermination camp formed in 1941 near existing gravel pit. The grounds covered 17 hectares. In the beginning there were mostly Polish and the Jewish people mainly from Warsaw sent there.
To walk the grounds, to visualize the gravel pit and see the extermination camp was indescribable moment. Prior to visiting Poland I have read a book about this camp and as I walked the grounds I could see, I could imagine, I understood better the horror and the suffering of the prisoners. These prisoners were innocent people.
When I first entered the camp I walked beside the train track that no longer exist. As I walked it was pure silence and all you could hear was the rustling of the trees. Such an eery silence.
I felt numb and great sadness.
As I walked further into the ground I came upon the gravestones with the names of people murdered there. These gravestones surrounded the extermination site. I could never comprehend the feeling these innocent prisoners felt as the walked to these extermination chamber.
As I continued into the camp I saw the gravel pits were men worked in extreme heat, extreme cold and every temperature you can imagine. Again, to see the site I was able to visualize what I read in the book. However, it is incomprehensible to truly understand what it was like to be a prisoner.
Deep in the forest I saw the grounds with the remnants of the barracks foundations. In this area they had little wooden signs to distinguish the different barracks (women, men, children), exploratory, latrines, storages, wells and location of German headquarters.
As I was walking towards the exit there was an area of concrete crosses with the names of victims. On one of the crosses I stopped because I noticed the name of ………. Jan Kruk.
This was not my grandfather because he was safe in America, however I paused and wondered could I be related to this man… He was murdered for being a Polish.