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1942: The "Final Solution"
 pg. 345 
The very young, the very old, and the sick--that is, all those who could not work--were the first Warsaw Jews to be deported to Treblinka. This July 1942 photograph shows an elderly man waiting to be helped to the deportation center. The appalling circumstances in the ghetto, coupled with the horrific conditions on the deportation trains, assured that many of those who began the journey died before they reached their destination. Almost all of the rest were murdered in the camp's gas chambers.
Photo: Archiwum Akt Nowych / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
The first trainload of Jews arrived at Treblinka on July 23, 1942. From that day until the middle of August, between 5000 and 7000 victims arrived each day to be exterminated in the camp's gas chambers, which used diesel engines to produce lethal carbon monoxide gas. In total, about 800,000 perished in Treblinka, most of whom first passed through this train station.
Photo: Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz

The tragic history of the Warsaw Jewish community resonates with the word Umschlagplatz (transfer point). During the massive deportations that began in July 1942, an average of 7000 Jews per day were forcibly marched to the Umschlagplatz, a way station on the route to the Treblinka extermination camp.

During the first ten days of the Aktion, 65,000 Jews were herded through the Umschlagplatz en route to their deaths. The violence of this operation surpassed anything the Nazis had previously perpetuated in Warsaw. The SS, German police, and their able-bodied and willing Latvian and Ukrainian helpers prowled the streets of Warsaw in search of their Jewish prey.

As long as the deportations continued, the Jews of Warsaw clearly understood that survival depended on avoiding the Umschlagplatz, the antechamber to death.
Photo: Jerzy Tomaszewski / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive

 August 1942: A Polish partisan named Trzcinski passes a hand grenade into a railcar carrying Jewish deportees to the Treblinka death camp. The grenade will be used later at the camp to wound a group of Ukrainian guards.
 August 1-12, 1942: 81,000 Polish Jews from Warsaw are deported to the Treblinka death camp.
 August 2, 1942: Lota Hirszberg, 56, kills herself with sleeping powder in the Lódz Ghetto.
 August 3, 1942: Twelve thousand Jews from Przemysl, Poland, are deported to the Belzec death camp.
 August 3, 1942: The first portion of Emanuel Ringelblum's Warsaw diary, hidden in ten tin boxes and milk cans, is secretly buried for safekeeping by a Warsaw schoolteacher named Israel Lichtenstein.
1942: The "Final Solution"
 pg. 345 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.