Relation of Aron Czechowicz, a buyer. He had a shop on Solna 20 in Warsaw, he lived with his wife and two children, a daughter and son, on Leszno Street 63:
On August 10, there was a blockade. Two Jewish policemen came and broke the door. In the locker was my wife and children, mother, brother-in-law, sister-in-law with three children – a total of 12 people. They took us all to the Umschlagplatz, it was 11 o’clock in the morning. At six o’clock [in the evening] they gathered us and drove us to the wagons under the hail of whips. My daughter comforted me: “Daddy, do not worry, we’ll be together, we’ll go to work.” Somehow we managed to get everyone to the same wagon.
There were over 80 people in the carriage. It was stifling, the thirst was tiring, the water was not given. At six o’clock in the morning we got to Treblinka. Everyone had already prepared luggage and kept the children by their hands. When I got out I saw piles of shoes and piles of clothes on the other side of the fence. About 3-4 meters above the fence. I said to my brother-in-law: “Oh brother, it’s bad.” Shout, beating. The door was opened to us by Jews with blue armbands. There was no time for reflection, and the Ukrainians and SS men separated us immediately, shouting and beating. The men were ordered to stand aside, women and children were rushed into the yard, where there were two barracks. It was so fast that I did not have time to say goodbye. […]
About half an hour passed. The Germans came and started to choose to work. At that time, 80 men of these several thousand were chosen, including us [Aron Czechowicz and his brother-in-law]. We worked on sorting rags until 12 o’clock. At 12 o’clock – dinner. The kitchen was in this yard, where barracks stood, where the women were driven. I jumped into this barrack. I look at my wife’s window. Her eyes were quite crazy. “Aron, give some water to children.” I took a bowl and managed to get water from the well. [Then] women with children came out of the barracks, they kept already their shoes bound together. My wife and my children went one of the last. I have not seen my mother. I ran to them, I kissed them, though it threatened death. My daughter put a gold watch in my hand. “Dad, take it, at least you save yourself.”
Later there was a meeting in this square, after 4 o’clock. There were several hundred people working there. We set ourselves five in a row. A few SS-men and Ukrainians were in front of us. Suddenly, a slim, tiny boy of about 18 years jumped out. He reached out to the Scharführer and stabbed him with his knife. The SS-man still managed to grab his revolver, but then he dropped it to the ground. There was a noise, a crowd. The Ukrainians rushed on the boy. They began to beat with butts, and they tortured him in front of my eyes. The other two also were grabbed, Ukrainians smashed their heads against the wall, and then with their butts. When it calmed down a little, there were already a few losses in the crowd. The eldest Hauptmann arrived. He ordered to choose 10 people. One SS-man, black, called “Lalka” [“Doll”] set these ten men with their faces to the barracks and shot them in cold blood, one by one. The strange thing was, that not one of them had the courage to turn around and give him a snare, but they fell like cut trees, like sheep. We stood with our brother-in-law and did not say anything to each other. Only our eyes said.
Then they took us to the barrack for the night. There I spoke the first Kaddish after my wife, after children, after my mother. There could be no question about food. I lay down on the bunk. Around the mess, noise, cries. Many lost their families there. […] I served in the army, I know what order means. I put slippers under the head and I lied. My brother-in-law did not do it. We only fell asleep at 3 o’clock. “For what they were killed, and what I had to work for so many years. Wife 32 years old; children …” these thoughts, these questions did not let us fall asleep. At 5 am wake up call. We jumped up from this lack of sleep, they chase us in hurry. I got dressed, my brother-in-law could not find the shoe. They ordered to set up fives for the collection. I pushed my brother-in-law into the second row so that they would not notice it, but he did not, he insisted on standing with me with this one shoe. Tall, thin, long nose, unshaven. There was “Lalka” and other SS-men. They chose to kill. They were still avenged for the one killed yesterday. Among the others Trastman was killed there, a carpenter from Solna Street, who made me a store device. My brother-in-law and me were missed. But when we were about to move, “Lalka” noticed my brother-in-law in this one shoe, and immediately ordered him to leave the line, and shot him in the spot. I remember his last look.
(Based on: Written testimonies collected in the Archive of Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw; testimony number and the relationship of the witness and the deceased (if known) are provided. archive, relation no 301/688)