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The Last Jew of Treblinka

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  2,245 Ratings  ·  246 Reviews
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 up ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by Pegasus (first published 2009)
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Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont
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
Sep 03, 2011 Helen rated it really liked it
Shelves: holocaust
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.
Lorenzo Berardi
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 dia
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 wer ...more
Jul 29, 2011 Kbryna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
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 ...more
Nicole Karlson
Jan 27, 2017 Nicole Karlson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Efrem Sepulveda
Nov 08, 2011 Efrem Sepulveda rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Heidi Gonzalez
Oct 12, 2011 Heidi Gonzalez rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Doreen Petersen
Jan 19, 2017 Doreen Petersen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wwii
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!
Aug 22, 2012 Oana rated it really liked it
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
Sep 03, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it
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
Dec 26, 2015 Soheila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pdf
وای خدای من!
دردناک ترین کتابی که خوندم!
با هرفصلش گریه کردم....
بنظرم همه باید بخوننش!
جابر طاحون

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 بين 750 ألف يهودي تمت تصفيتهم بالغاز .

شيء قاسي أن تقرأ عن معتقل آخر للأموات في زمن في مكان ما في هذا العالم .
كان يُكدس الناس في غرف الغاز مثل السردين . يتم ( حلق ) شعر النساء و انتزاع الاسنان و ما يتبقي يكون ج
Apr 21, 2014 Jaimie rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Mar 30, 2013 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 generations

I 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
Gary Null
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 as
Sep 09, 2015 Lauralie rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jan 28, 2015 Art rated it really liked it
Recommended to Art by: Grafton Public Library
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
Megan Blood
Apr 11, 2013 Megan Blood rated it really liked it
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
May 17, 2014 Jane rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Sara Wyatt
Mar 17, 2015 Sara Wyatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
«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.
that cute little red-eyed kitten
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.
Mohammad Ali
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 هیتلری و اوکراینی هم جالب است: رایشمن جایی می گوید وقتی سرابازان از مرخصی ها باز می گشتند خیلی گرفته و بی حال بودند گویی خانه به اندازه ی اردوگاه شادمانی و لذت نصیبشان نمی کرد...
Mar 29, 2011 Sherri rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 10, 2013 Kara rated it really liked it
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 ...detail or portray the ins and outs in Treblinka but takes a sortbof minimalist approach which works very well. Also there pictures -another rarity for Treblinka.
Mientras Leo
Jun 13, 2015 Mientras Leo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una muy buena historia, no hay que olvidar que lo sucedido no fue ficción

Más aquí
Gary Kemp
Sep 26, 2011 Gary Kemp rated it really liked it
a terribly sad little book. Reminded me of "This way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen"
Mary Cornelius
Jan 13, 2013 Mary Cornelius rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, 2015-to-read
Very, very sad.
Jan 15, 2017 Linds added it
Shelves: jewish-history
I don't feel comfortable rating a book like this, but it certainly is a worthwhile (and extremely upsetting) read for those interested in learning more about the Holocaust. Also an incredible tale of luck and survival.
May 07, 2014 Monika rated it really liked it
"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 sii
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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 ...more
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“What the Nazis did to Jews as Jews at these killing centers—exterminate them in millions on arrival—did not easily serve existing agendas at the time.” 1 likes
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