Finkelsztein, Leon

Leon Finkel­sztein was a Polish Jew deported to the Treblinka Camp on 22 July 1942, who escaped during the uprising on 2 August 1943. On 28 December 1945 he was interrogated by Polish judge Łukaszkiewicz. Here are some pertinent claims from his deposition:

  • Deportees were killed in the trains in transit with chlorine sprinkled in the railway cars (this probably refers to chlorinated lime). This is a clear echo of the black propaganda spread by Jan Karski, and also claimed by Abraham Goldfarb.
  • When he arrived, the camp was not yet fenced in. This is unlikely.
  • The gas-chamber building consisted of three rooms and an engine room, whose exhaust gases were used for the murder. If it failed, chlorine was used instead.
  • Sometimes people were still alive after chlorine gassings, but were buried alive anyway.
  • Finkelsztein insisted that the chamber floors were not collapsible, which means that he must have had access to other witness testimonies, in this case that of Henryk Poswolski, who is the only witness known to have claimed such floors for Treblinka.
  • Although Finkelsztein claimed to have been in Treblinka from the first day to the last, the only thing he knew about the alleged second gassing facility was that it had ten chambers and also worked with engine exhaust.
  • He claimed that the camp had 21 pits, each containing 200,000 victims, which would result in 4.2 million victims. That is also near the upper limit of deportees he claimed arrived at Treblinka (the lower limit being just over a million).
  • Finkelsztein claimed that, after some experiments, the Germans found a way of building a cremation grate that “was lit with a small amount of wood or rags soaked in gasoline, and then the corpses burned by themselves.” However, self-immolating bodies do not exist.
  • He claimed that, due to inmate sabotage, large quantities of bodies were never burned, but such large numbers of unburned corpses have never been found.

(For details, see Mattogno 2021e, pp. 160-162;

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