Willenberg, Samuel

Samuel Willenberg
Samuel Willenberg

Samuel Willenberg (16 Feb. 1923 – 19 Feb. 2016) was a Polish Jew who was deported from the Opatów Ghetto to Treblinka on 20 October 1942. According to his memoirs, he was employed there first at sorting inmate property, then for other activities, such as weaving branches into fences to hide the camp’s events from the outside world. He managed to escape from that camp during the inmate uprising on 2 August 1943.

After the war, he briefly served in the Polish army, and in 1950, he emigrated to Israel. In 1945, he penned a 30-page account of his experiences at Treblinka, titled “I Survived Treblinka.” However, it contains no reference to any extermination procedure, but merely states:

“After the performance of their workday, these people were directed naked to the chambers.”

What “chambers” means is left to the reader’s speculation.

Enticed by the hysterical atmosphere of the Jerusalem show trial against John Demjanjuk in the mid-1980s, Willenberg expanded on that theme by writing an entire book about his time at the Treblinka Camp titled Revolt in Treblinka (1986 in Hebrew, and 1989 in Polish) and Surviving Treblinka (the 1989 U.S. edition). In this book, he elaborated in detail about the things he evidently was unaware of in 1945. The remarks he added in this regard, however, are evidently based either on Holocaust literature of the time and/or on media reports and witness statements made in the context of the Demjanjuk Trial. In a “convergence of evidence” of false claims, Willenberg agreed with all these sources that people were killed with exhaust gasses from a Soviet tank’s diesel engine. Unfortunately for Willenberg, diesel-engine exhaust gasses are utterly unsuited for mass murder. Furthermore, no Soviet captured tank engine would ever have been considered, let alone used for any such task, because it would have been difficult to obtain, to transport, to install, to maintain, to repair, and to run. (See the entry on the Treblinka Camp for more details.)

Willenberg’s texts are among the least-informative sources on the extermination procedure allegedly used at Treblinka. His testimonies indicate that there simply wasn’t anything to remember and report about any mass-extermination technique. (For more details, see Mattogno 2021e, pp. 130-132.)

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