The Jewish child Holocaust survivors’ story is inextricably linked to the extermination camp at Treblinka. When they arrived at Calgarth, the children were anxious to find out what might have happened to their parents or family members and whether they were still alive.

Days, weeks, months and sometimes years’ later, they discovered that, in many cases, their parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and immediate family members had been murdered at Treblinka.

For Robert (Judge) Rinder, only his grandfather, Morris Malenicky, and great-grandfather had survived; five of his grandfather’s siblings had been deported to Treblinka and gassed, and Mendel Preter lost all his family members excepting one brother and his father.

Robert Rinder with his Grandfather

Icek Alterman’s mother, sister and brother were murdered, as too Harry Spiro’s mother, father and sister. Similarly Krulik Wilder also lost his mother and sister.

Harry with his wife Pauline at the former site of Calgarth

Many of the children’s families had been sent to the Warsaw Ghetto and on the 22 July 1942, the SS entered and took the first 6,000 inhabitants to Treblinka to be gassed. Between 870,000 and 925,000 Jews were deported from ghettos in Poland and murdered at Treblinka.


Treblinka was a ‘death camp’. On arrival by train, people were immediately directed to the gas chambers. Altogether, and by September 1942, there were thirteen in operation. Regular transports to Treblinka stopped in July 1943.

The railway station at Treblinka before the spur was built
All that remains of the station now

The following photographs were taken at the Memorial site at Treblinka

For several years the archaeologists have worked extensively to create a forensically accurate picture of Treblinka, one of Hitler’s most lethal extermination camps. In order to achieve this goal, Caroline Sturdy Colls first had to secure the trust of the Museum authorities at Treblinka. In doing so, she became the very first archaeologist to work on the site since investigations were last carried out in the 1940s.

Icek Alterman with Sam Laskier who also had a relative murdered at Treblinka

For further detailed information about Treblinka and the work at this camp by the archaeologists in particular, the following links are helpful. Below these are images of part of the ‘Finding Treblinka’ exhibition displayed at Troutbeck Bridge from 15 to 27 July 2019.