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Jews in Nazi-Occupied Countries: The Deportation of Austrian and German Jews

"Tens of thousands of Jews from Germany and Austria were deported to the Lublin district at the end of 1939/beginning of 1940, and, on a smaller scale, in the years following. After the Wannsee Conference, Eichmann's office, early in March, 1942, ordered that most of the deportation trains from the Third Reich be rerouted from the ghettos of Minsk and Riga in Ostland to ghettos and camps in the Lublin district. <1> This change coincided with the opening of the death camp of Belzec in mid-March 1942, and the building of Sobibor and Treblinka. Tens of thousands of Jews from the Third Reich arrived in the Lublin district from April 1942, and from there they were later sent to the death camps of Operation Reinhard.

"On March 27, Goebbels wrote in his diary about these deportations:

The ghettos which will be emptied in the cities of the General Government will now be refilled with Jews thrown out of the Reich. This process is to be repeated from time to time.

"According to the evidence given at the Sobibor/Bolender trial, at least 10,000 Jews from Germany and Austria found their death in Sobibor in the months of April, May, and June, 1942. <2> Some of these transports were sent directly to the death camp. A report dated June 20, 1942, from the commander of the Nr. 152 police precinct of Vienna, describes the deportation of a transport of Austrian Jews directly to Sobibor:

The transport commando consisted of Lieutenant Fischman as commander, two sergeants and thirteen policemen of the "First Police Reserve Company East ..." The embarkation of the Jews to the freight cars of the allocated "Special Train" at the station of Aspang started at 12:00 hours under the command of SS Hauptsturmführer Brunner and SS Hauptscharführer Girzik from the [local] `Main Office for the Deportation of Jews' and went smoothly.

"At that time the transport commando assumed the guard duty. All together, 1,000 Jews were deported.

"The DA-38 train left Vienna on June 14, 1942, at 19:08 and crossed Brno, Neisse, Oppeln, Czestochowa, Kielce, Radom, Deblin, Lublin, Chelm to Sobibor and not, as expected, to Izbica. The arrival at Sobibor was on June 17, 1942, at 8:15. At the station of Lublin, where we arrived on June 16, 1942 at 19:00 hours, SS Obersturmführer Pohl was waiting, and he ordered that fifty-one able Jews between the ages of fifteen and fifty disembark and be brought to a labor camp.... At that time he gave an order that the remaining 949 Jews were to be taken to Sobibor. The [list of people], three freight cars [with food], and 100,000 zloty were handed over to the SS Obersturmführer Pohl in Lublin. At 23:00 we left Lublin for Sobibor. In the Jewish camp of Trawniki, 30km before Lublin, we handed over the three freight cars with food and luggage to SS Scharführer Mayerhofer.

"The train arrived at 8:15 on June 17 at the labor camp, which was close to the Sobibor station, where the camp commander, Overleutnant Stangl, received the 949 Jews. The disembarkation began immediately and was completed at 9:15. The departure from Sobibor to Lublin with the 'special train' followed immediately after the unloading of the Jews, at 10:00."

Sources: Zabecki, Franciszek. "Wspomnienia dawne i nowe", Warszawa, 1977, p. 45.
Ruckerl, Adalbert. "NS-Vernichtungslager in Spiegel deutscher Strafprozesse, DTV Dokumente", Munich, 1977, p.147.
Ruckerl, p.147.

Work Cited: Arad, Yitzhak. Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka--the Operation Reinhard Death Camps. Indiana University Press, 1987.