Former Nazi Soldier Describes How Jews Were Hustled into Cattle Cars to Treblinka
Menu JTA Search

Former Nazi Soldier Describes How Jews Were Hustled into Cattle Cars to Treblinka

Download PDF for this date

A City Councilman from Vienna who served in the Nazi Army in World War II, gave an eye-witness account here today of how Austrian Jews were hustled into cattle cars for deportation to Treblinka death camp in 1942. Hubert Psoch testified at the trial of Franz Stangl, one-time commandant of the Treblinka and Sobibor death camps who was extradited from Brazil three years ago on war crimes charges, Psoch said that as a 22 year-old soldier he was waiting with his unit at a railway station near Warsaw to be sent to the Eastern front when he witnessed brutality practiced by SS officers on Jews destined for Treblinka. They were beaten if they refused to enter the cattle cars and those that tried to run were shot down, Psoch said. He said machine guns were firing all night and in the morning the railway platform was strewn with dead men, women and children. The ex-soldier said he was moved by the pleas for bread and water from Jews already locked in the cattle cars and approached a high ranking SS officer who he asked whether German honor was being served by shooting defenseless people. Psoch said that in reply the officer threatened to throw him into a cattle car “together with the Jewish pigs from Austria.” Psoch said that he managed to photograph some of the happenings at the railway station.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund