Treblinka

Steiner, Jean Francois, trans. Helen Weaver

Simon & Schuster, 1967

p. 213

In the death camps, “after what point was it no longer necessary to delude the victims? . . . At the Nuremburg trials, Rudolf Höss, Commandant of Auschwitz, criticized Treblinka where, according to him, victims knew they were going to be killed. Höss was an advocate of towel distribution at the door to the gas chamber. He claimed that his system not only avoided disorder, but was more humane, and he was proud of it.” At Treblinka, Lalka (“the doll,” a nickname applied to Kurt Franz, Treblinka commandant for a time) preferred “the principle of the cutoff.” He liked to have naked Jews whipped to drive them at a run along the path from the disrobing area to the gas chambers. The reason was that “he had discovered that winded Jews died faster than calm ones. It was simply a matter of good stewardship of time.”