Oral History

Abraham Bomba describes the Treblinka gas chambers

Abraham was raised in Czestochowa, Poland, and became a barber. He and his family were deported to the Treblinka killing center from the Czestochowa ghetto in 1942. At Treblinka, Abraham was selected for forced labor. He was forced to cut women's hair before they were gassed, and he sorted clothing from arriving transports. Abraham escaped from the camp in 1943 and made his way back to Czestochowa. He worked in a labor camp from June 1943 until liberation by Soviet troops in 1945.

Transcript

And now I want to tell you, I want to tell you about the thing...the gas chamber. It was, they ask me already about this thing. The gas chamber, how it looked. Very simple. Was all concrete. There was no window. There was nothing in it. Beside, on top of you, there was wires, and it looked like, you know, the water going to come out from it. Had two doors. Steel doors. From one side and from the other side. The people went in to the gas chamber from the one side. Like myself, I was in it, doing the job as a barber. When it was full the gas chamber--the size of it was...I would say 18 by 18, or 18 by 17, I didn't measure that time, just a look like I would say I look here the room around, I wouldn't say exactly how big it is. And they pushed in as many as they could. It was not allowed to have the people standing up with their hands down because there is not enough room, but when people raised their hand like that there was more room to each other. And on top of that they throw in kids, 2, 3, 4 years old kids, on top of them. And we came out. The whole thing it took I would say between five and seven minute. The door opened up, not from the side they went in but the side from the other side and from the other side the...the group...people working in Treblinka number 2, which their job was only about dead people. They took out the corpses. Some of them dead and some of them still alive. They dragged them to the ditches, and over there they covered them. Big ditches, and they covered them. That was the beginning of Treblinka.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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