Soviet Troops Overrun Treblinka Concentration Camp
The Germans had ordered that Treblinka II be dismantled in the fall of 1943.
From July 1942 through November 1943, the Germans killed between 870,000 and 925,000 Jews at the killing center. Treblinka I, the forced-labor camp, continued operations until late July 1944. While the killing center was in operation, some of the arriving Jews were selected and transferred to Treblinka I, while Jews too weak to work at Treblinka I were periodically sent to Treblinka II to be killed. During late July 1944, with Soviet troops moving into the area, the camp authorities and the Trawniki-trained guards shot the remaining Jewish prisoners, between 300 and 700, and hastily dismantled and evacuated the camp. Soviet troops overran the site of both labor camp and killing center during the last week of July 1944.
In August 1943, the prisoners in the work details rebelled. They seized small arms, sprayed kerosene on all the buildings and set them ablaze. In the confusion, a number of German soldiers were killed but many more prisoners perished: of 1,500 prisoners, about 600 managed to escape the camp, while only 40 are known to have survived until the end of the war. These survivors are almost all of the known survivors of Treblinka camp. The camp ceased operation. Camp commander Kurt Franz recalled during his testimonies: "After the uprising in August 1943 I ran the camp single-handedly for a month; however, during that period no gassings were undertaken. It was during that period that the original camp was leveled off and lupins were planted." There was also a revolt at Sobibór two months later.
After the revolt, it was decided to shut down the death camp and shoot the last of the Jewish prisoners. The camp had been badly damaged by the fire, and the murder of the Polish Jews was also largely complete. Odilo Globocnik wrote to Himmler: "I have on [October 19, 1943], completed Operation Reinhard, and have dissolved all the camps." The final group of about thirty Jewish girls at Treblinka were shot at the end of November.