The Last Jew of Treblinka

The Last Jew of Treblinka

Chil Rajchman / Jun 19, 2019

The Last Jew of Treblinka Before me sits a young woman I cut off her hair thick and beautiful and she grasps my hand and begs me to remember that I too am a Jew She knows that she is lost But remember she says you see what

  • Title: The Last Jew of Treblinka
  • Author: Chil Rajchman
  • ISBN: 9781605981390
  • Page: 424
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Before me sits a young woman I cut off her hair, thick and beautiful, and she grasps my hand and begs me to remember that I too am a Jew She knows that she is lost But remember, she says, you see what is being done to us That s why my wish for you is that you will survive and take revenge for our innocent blood, which will never rest She has not had time to get upBefore me sits a young woman I cut off her hair, thick and beautiful, and she grasps my hand and begs me to remember that I too am a Jew She knows that she is lost But remember, she says, you see what is being done to us That s why my wish for you is that you will survive and take revenge for our innocent blood, which will never rest She has not had time to get up when a murderer who is walking between the benches lashes her on the head with his whip Blood shows on her now shorn head That evening, the blood of tens of thousands of victims, unable to rest, thrust itself upwards to the surface from The Last Jew of TreblinkaWhy do some live while so many others perish Tiny children, old men, beautiful girls In the gas chambers of Treblinka, all are equal The Nazis kept the fires of Treblinka burning night and day, a central cog in the wheel of the Final Solution There was no pretense of work here like in Auschwitz or Birkenau Only a train platform and a road covered with sand A road that led only to death But not for Chil Rajchman, a young man who survived working as a barber and dentist, heartsick with witnessing atrocity after atrocity Yet he managed to survive so that somehow he could tell the world what he had seen How he found the dress of his little sister abandoned in the woods How he was forced to extract gold teeth from the corpses How every night he had to cover the body pits with sand How ever morning the blood of thousands still rose to the surface.Many have courageously told their stories, and in the tradition of Elie Wiesel s Night and Primo Levi s Survival at Auschwitz and The Drowned and the Saved, Rajchman provides the only survivors record of Treblinka Originally written in Yiddish in 1945 without hope or agenda other than to bear witness, Rajchman s tale shows that sometimes the bravest and most painful act of all is to remember.

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    About "Chil Rajchman"

      • Chil Rajchman

        Chil Meyer Rajchman a.k.a Henryk Reichman nom de guerre Henryk Ruminowski June 14, 1914 2004 was a Polish Jewish Holocaust survivor former prisoner of the Treblinka extermination camp which took the lives of 800,000 Jews during the genocidal Operation Reinhard in World War II Rajchman belonged to a group of inmates who escaped successfuly during the perilous Treblinka revolt which resulted in the camp s closure in October 1943 After the Treblinka trials he emigrated to Uruguay, where he died in 2004.His Treblinka memoir titled The Last Jew of Treblinka A Memoir originally in Yiddish, was published in 2009 for the very first time in German and French, without the English translation which appeared in 2011 with the Preface by Elie Wiesel seven years after his death at the age of 90.Source


    540 Comments

    1. The Deepest Circle of Hell I came across the name of Chil Rajchman fairly recently. It was while reading The Road, an anthology of the shorter writings, fiction and non-fiction, of Vasily Grossman, the author of Life and Fate and Everything Flows. To be more exact it was in the appendices, the piece entitled Grossman and Treblinka. Grossman, a Soviet Army war correspondent, was the first to gather material on the operation of Treblinka, an extermination facility close to Warsaw. The Nazis had do [...]


    2. I've met Jews who survived Auschwitz. I have never met anyone who survived Treblinka, never even heard of someone who survived. Now I know why. This book is a testament of unimaginable, incomprehensible horror.


    3. Treblinka is less infamous compared to Auschwitz. The main difference between the two is that Auschwitz was a work as well as an extermination camp but on the other hand, Treblinka was solely an extermination camp. Nobody that arrived at Treblinka survived more than a few hours, as they were gassed immediately. So, after the war, there were very few eyewitnesses who could recount the horrors of Treblinka. This is the reason why Treblinka didn’t surpass the infamy of Auschwitz. Only Jews that w [...]


    4. I always find it difficult to rate memoirs, and especially Holocaust/WWII memoirs. The subject matter is something we've all learned about in history class and would probably rather not discuss more than we absolutely have to, and yet I still find myself drawn to these stories -- every single survivor's story deserves to be told and heard, just as every single victim deserves to be remembered.


    5. rather hard to rate this, because - "I liked it" is not an accurate representation of my reaction. Instead, I was appalled thoroughly, which means the book did its job. And as a piece of historical evidence, this is an incredible work; Rajchman is one of very few Jews to 1) arrive at Treblinka and not be killed 2) survive working at Treblinka and 3) survive the revolt and escape from Treblinka. As one of the dedicated death camps, existing solely to exterminate European Jews, Treblinka was kept [...]


    6. Jean Amery, Tadeusz Borowski, Imre Kertesz, Primo Levi, Boris Pahor, Elie Wiesel…The list of authors who survived Nazi concentration and extermination camps finding the strength to tell the world about them could have been longer. Had beautiful minds such as Janusz Korczak, Irene Nemirovsky and Antal Szerb not been among those drowned by the Holocaust, we could have had more masterful first hand accounts on the atrocities perpetrated in the lagers. And who knows how many strikingly important d [...]


    7. This was by far the most difficult book I've read about the Holocaust to date. While I have heard all about what happened at the Treblinka death camp, reading this detailed, heartbreaking, gruesome, disturbing account of what Chil Rajchman survived there literally made me sick and it was devastating. This book tells the awful truth. The tale of the lives of the men who were forced to destroy the evidence the sadistic evil men that ran that camp wanted to hide. Hundreds of thousands of corpses th [...]


    8. Entender tal aberración humana es algo imposible. No se puede pensar que exista tal maldad en la humanidad para que haya pasado lo que pasó un libro que te deja mudo pero al mismo tiempo te hace gritar desde el fondo de tu ser buscando la razón en vano.


    9. For those who advocate that man is inherently good should have those illusions put to rest with the reading of this short memoir of the suffering at Treblinka death camp (no it was NOT a labor camp). Chil Rajchman gives a harrowingly detailed account of the operations of the Treblinka camp in present day Poland. Day and night, this hell on earth revealed the ultimate in the sinful nature of man. Beatings, roberries, mass executions and overall misery were heaped on these people who were caught b [...]


    10. This is one of the most haunting and riveting books I have read about the holocaust. Rajchman escaped Treblinka after 11 of the most horrifying months. Starved, beaten and used as a barber to shave the heads of the women before they were gassed, or a "dentist" to extract the gold teeth from the mouths of the dead. His account of the brutality, and sadism of his captors was horrifying. Yes I've read accounts of camps before but none so vivid and detailed. His details are almost detached as he wat [...]


    11. وای خدای من!دردناک ترین کتابی که خوندم!با هرفصلش گریه کردم.بنظرم همه باید بخوننش!


    12. Like all Holocaust books, at one point the story becomes absurd, as if a surrealist wrote it. After all, how can a human being come up with tortures - so unimaginable to most good-hearted people - and then execute their perverse fantasies? How can anyone sane think up 10,000-15,000 murders in a day? Or grinding up 800,000 people's bones to hide all evidence?This book especially sounds like de Sade's most notorious work - the Nazi obsession with numbers, the permission withheld for prisoners need [...]


    13. Let's face it, a book about the Holocaust and it's survivors are grim. It is a period in our world's history that is so undeniably wrong and filled with horror that to read any account is heart wrenching. This is a very short read and I completed it in less than two hours. However, unlike other stories told on this subject this one did not bring me to tears, it is told in a pointedly direct manner and almost devoid of emotion. I dare not suggest that the experience was less emotive, it's just th [...]


    14. This book is very, very difficult to read but, like other first hand accounts of the Holocaust, it needs to be read, remembered, and shared with future generationsI think the author says it best in his last paragraph: "Yes, I remained alive and find myself among free people. But I often ask myself why. Is it so that I might tell the world about the millions of innocent murdered victims, to be a witness to the innocent blood that was spilled by the hands of the murderers?"I can't know exactly why [...]


    15. What a gut-wrenching tale of one who survived the Holocaust! The fact that the Holocaust happened should never be forgotten and those who were murdered innocently should always be remembered. A definite must read!


    16. Interesting book to read for Remember the Holocaust Day!Survival depended upon using your wits and little things that people would do to help you. Light loads, crust of bread, day off, getting oppertunity to clean oneself.Good to read this book, I have forgotten what camp life was like.The waste of life and the Nazi ideal of destroying people and ways of life.Idea that many had food and jewels on them when they came to camp, the idea that this can't be happening to me.Survival being prepared and [...]


    17. Chil Rajchman first recorded his recollection of the horrors at Treblinka in 1945 in Yiddish; many years later it was translated and published in English.Treblinka wasn’t a concentration camp or a relocation camp; it was a death camp, plain and simple. It was estimated that as many as 99% of the people who entered the camp were exterminated. Although the camp only operated for about one year, approximately 800,000 people, predominately Jews, were put to death at Treblinka by the Nazis.As soon [...]


    18. This book left me with a dull ache in my heart for the man who had to experience these horrific years and for the many men, women and children who were silenced before they could bear testimony to the same horrors. This book shows how low human beings can allow themselves to stoop, how cruel and vicious a people can become and how easily those human beings can dispose of others without a second look. Treblinka was the ultimate nightmare, a place from which you did not return. The writing was fac [...]


    19. A deeply disturbing and profound first-hand account of the horror years of Treblinka (42-43) when the final solution was at its height in the East. It seems that Rajchman, separated from the crowd at selection to become a member of the sonderkommando (a small per cent of Jews selected to work which was composed of the most physically able), was able to survive the perilous odds of lasting a whole year when most of his fellow selectees died within a couple of days. He is emotionally numb from the [...]


    20. To anyone who has read as many survivor's memoires of the Holocaust as I have, it is plainly obvious why this one was not as widely read as the others. Authors like Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel made bestseller lists because they have an innate literary talent that Chil Rajchman is sorely missing, which does much to make their books accessible to a global audience. That being said, a way with words or lack-there-of should not detract from this book. Rajchman is one of the few survivors of Treblinka [...]


    21. Startling and disturbing memoir based on notes about the author's incarceration in Treblinka. Rajchman writes about the inner workings of the camp - the building of the ovens, disposal of the dead, etc. Graphic in description and horrifying reading about the events inside the camp from very real observations. These memoirs were written originally in Yiddish. And not translated or published until many years later. Amid so many touching passages Rajchman relates his glad feelings that his mother w [...]


    22. "It is the writer's duty to tell the terrible truth, and it is a reader's civic duty to learn this truth." Vasily Grossman


    23. "It is not true; there is no God. If there were a God, he would not allow such misfortune, such transgression, where innocent small children, only just born, killed, where people who want only to do honest work and make themselves useful to the world are killed!"Chil Rajchman oli poola juut, kes koos õega 1942. aastal Treblinkasse, natside surmalaagrisse saadeti. Mõrvamise protsess laagris oli lihtne ja kiire: vangid toodi rongiga jaama, mehed ja naised eraldati, neil lasti lahti riietuda ja s [...]


    24. هذا هو العالم ، عالمنا . ناس يسيطرون علي ناس يريدون السيطرة . كتب " برتولد بريخت " قصيدة يعتذر " للقادمين بعده ، عن العجز عن إقامة عالم لهم قوامه الحب و اللطف . كان " شيل رايشمان " _ صاحب الكتاب_ في عمر الثامنة و العشرين حين أُخذ إلي معسكر " تريبلينكا " وهو الناجي مع مجموعة عددها " 57" من [...]


    25. This was very, very different from the other Holocaust books I've read (and I've read them all--practically). A lot of the difference came from the fact that he was working at a camp that was exclusively dedicated to extermination. This was a death camp, not a concentration camp. And it's horrid to read about what happened there.His writing is more like a report--very little, if any, emotion. Just facts and details. I thought it was perfect--he leaves the emotional response entirely up to the re [...]


    26. «Sí, sobreviví y me encuentro entre hombres libres. Pero a menudo me pregunto a mí mismo ¿para qué? Para contar al mundo qué fue de las millones de víctimas asesinadas, para ser un testigo de la sangre inocente que derramaron las manos de los asesinos. ¡Sí, sobreviví para ser un testigo de Treblinka, esa gran carnicería!»No se me ocurre otra palabra para definir este libro que no sea «sobrecogedor». Uno de los mejores testimonios del Holocausto que he tenido la oportunidad de leer [...]


    27. I've read survivors' tales out of Auschwitz and a few who got away - even met some in real life - but never read any accounts from the other extermination camps (the reason lies in the name, I guess). Wanted to read this since I watched Claude Lanzmann's "Shoah". Death factory. And in this account, not one word too much. Short, descriptive, almost 'economical' in form. Awful. But the Holocaust is just one of those things I'll never stop reading about.


    28. کتاب را از حیث وصف وضع فرد در موقعیت بحرانی این چنینی دوست دارم. حضور مداوم عجله و شتاب - عجله و شتابی که حتی فرصت فکر کردن را می گیرد؛ شلاق هایی که نمی گذارد تصمیمی جدای از جریان امور گرفته شود؛ هراس از درد و مرگی که حتی وجدان را به خاموشی می کشاند. از طرف دیگر شخصیت سربازان هیتلر [...]


    29. Very powerful. An extremely difficult read. The memoir of one of the few survivors of the Treblinka death camp. It is written in a very matter of fact and unemotional way, but the absolute of horror of the situation comes through. This is novella is a fast read but the story will be with you for a long time. It is an emotionally difficult but important book to read. We must never forget.


    30. This is a quick read. Different from other Holocaust books in that there isn't much from a survivor point of view regarding Treblinka. Also the author wasn't necessarily trying to tail or portray the ins and outs offe in Treblinka but takes a sortbof minimalist approach which works very well. Also there pictures -another rarity for Treblinka.


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