Barry the dog, part II: Barry in Treblinka

Some accounts of Barry in Treblinka:

Yankel Wiernik

mentions that Kurt Franz was personally present at his deportation (chapter 2):

It happened in Warsaw on August 23, 1942, at the time of the blockade. I had been visiting my neighbors and never returned to my own home again. We heard the noise of rifle fire from every direction, but had no inkling of the bitter reality. Our terror was intensified by the entry of German “squad leaders” (Schaar-fuehrer) and of Ukrainian “militiaman” (Wachmaenner) who yelled loudly and threateningly: “All outside”.

In the street a “squad leader”” arranged the people in ranks, without any distinction as to age or sex, performing his task with glee, a satisfied smile on his face. Agile and quick of movement, he was here, there and everywhere. He looked us over appraisingly, his eyes glancing up and down the ranks. With a sadistic smile he contemplated the great accomplishment of his mighty country which, at one stroke, could chop off the head of the loathsome hydra.

He was the vilest of them all. Human life meant nothing to him, and to inflict death and untold torture was a supreme delight. Because of his “heroic deeds,” he subsequently became “deputy squad commander” (Unterschaarfeuhrer). His name was Franz. He had a dog named Barry, about which I shall speak later.

Barry was present the day after he arrived at Treblinka (chapter 3):

I was jolted from my thoughts by the command: “Attention!” A group of Scharfuhrer and Ukrainian guards, headed by Untersturmfuhrer Franz with his dog Barry stood before us. Franz announced that he was about to give a command. At a signal from him, they began to torture us anew, blows failing thick and fast. Our faces and bodies were cruelly torn, but we all had to keep standing erect, because if one so much as stooped over but a little, he would be shot because he would be considered unfit for work.

Barry was present on August 29, 1942 (chapter 4):

On August 29 there was the usual reveille, but this time it was in Polish. We got up quickly and went out into the yard. Since we slept in our clothes, we did not have to get dressed; accordingly, we were able to obey the order quickly and to form ranks. The commands were given in the Polish language, and by and large we were treated politely. Once again, Franz delivered a speech in which he said that from now on everybody was going to be put to work at his own occupation.

The first to be called were specialists in the building trades; 1 reported as a master construction worker. All those in this group were separated from the others. There were fifteen of us in our construction group, to which three Ukrainians were assigned as guards. One of them, an older soldier by the name of Kostenko, did not look too menacing. The second, Andreyev, a typical “guard,” was of medium size, stout, with a round red face, a kind, quiet individual. The third one, Nikolay, was short, skinny, mean, with evil eyes, a sadistic type. There were also two other Ukrainians, armed with rifles, which were to stand guard over us.

We were marched to the woods and were ordered to dismantle the barbed wire fences and cut timber. Kostenko and Andreyev were very gentle. Nikolay, however, used the whip freely. Truth to tell, there were no real specialists among those who had been picked for the construction gang. They had simply reported as “carpenters” because they did not want to be put to work handling corpses. They were continuously whipped and humiliated

At noon we stopped working and returned to the barracks for our meal, which consisted of soup, groats and some moldy bread. Under normal conditions, a meal like ours would have been considered unfit for human consumption, but, starved and tired as we were, we ate it all. At I p.m. our guards came with the Ukrainians to take us back to work, at which we remained until evening, when we returned to the barracks. Then came the usual routine, commands, and so forth.

On that particular day there were many Germans around, and we were about 700. Franz was there, too, with his dog.

One last mention of Barry (chapter 11):

In contrast to our camp, the reign of terror in Camp No. 1 was getting worse, with Franz and his man-eating hound lording it over the workers.

Hershl Sperling
Personal Testimony of the Treblinka Death Camp

One man was killed because he was so cold that he lay down on a heap of clothes and covered himself with a torn fur: for that crime he was torn to pieces by the dog Barry which was specially kept for such things.

Arad quotes Oscar Strawczinski (p. 190):

He walked through the camp with great pleasure and self-confidence. Barry, his big, curly–haired dog, would lazily drag along behind…. “Lalke” would never leave the place without leaving some memento for somebody. There was always some reason to be found. And even if there were no reason – it made no difference. He was expert at whipping, twenty-five or fifty lashes. He did it with pleasure, without hurrying. He had his own technique for raising the whip and striking it down. To practice boxing, he would use the heads of Jews, and naturally there was no scarcity of those around. He would grab his victim’s lapel and strike with the other hand. The victim would have to hold his head straight so that Franz could aim well. And indeed he did this expertly. The sight of the Jew’s head after a “training session,” of this sort is not difficult to imagine. Once “Lalke” was strolling along the platform with a double-barrelled shotgun in his hand and Barry in his wake. He discovered a Jew in front of him, a neighbour of mine from Czestochowa, by the name of Steiner. Without a second thought, he aimed the gun at the man’s buttocks and fired. Steiner fell amidst cries of pain. “Lalke” laughed. He approached him, commanded him to get up, pull down his pants, and then glanced at the wound. The Jew was beside himself with pain. His buttocks were oozing blood from the gashes caused by the lead bullets. But “Lalke” was not satisfied. He waved his hand and said, “Damn it, the balls haven’t been harmed!” He continued his stroll to look for a new victim.

Look at the pictures of Barry here. He was not curly haired – not at all.

Eichmann trial, session 66, witness Kalman Teigman / Taigman

Attorney General This Franz amused himself with the prisoners. Can you describe this?

Witness Teigman Yes. He had a large dog named Barry. Upon a shout of Jude or Mensch, schnapp den Hund! (Man, catch the dog!), the dog would attack people and actually tear off pieces of their flesh.

A sampling from the first Treblinka trial (there are many more where these came from):

17. Erschiessung eines von Barry gebissenen Häftlings im Lazarett

Im Jahre 1942 mussten die Häftlinge einmal nachts einen Güterzug mit Textilien beladen, wobei sie die ganze Arbeit im Laufschritt verrichten mussten. Franz beaufsichtigte das Beladen. Er hatte seinen Hund Barry bei sich. Auf Geheiss von Franz stürzte sich Barry auf einen der dort arbeitenden Häftlinge und biss ihn in die Genitalien. Mit den Worten: “Mein Barry lässt die Kerle bald reif fürs Lazarett werden” liess Franz den Mann ins Lazarett bringen, wo er alsbald erschossen wurde.

Dieser Vorfall ist erwiesen durch die eidliche Bekundung des glaubwürdigen Zeugen Gl., der wie bereits mehrfach dargelegt worden ist, auf das Schwurgericht einen zuverlässigen, sachlichen und überaus guten Eindruck gemacht hat. Dem Bestreiten dieses Vorfalles durch Franz vermag das Schwurgericht keine Bedeutung beizumessen. Das gilt um so mehr, als der Mitangeklagte Miete nach anfänglichem hartnäckigem Sträuben schliesslich zugestanden hat, dass unter den ihm von Franz zur Erschiessung im Lazarett übergebenen Häftlingen sich auch solche befunden haben, die durch Barry angefallen und in der Genitalgegend gebissen worden waren.

5. Erschiessung eines Häftlings in der Nähe des Mohrrübenbeetes

An einem Tag im Herbst 1942 beobachtete der damalige Häftling Do., wie der Angeklagte Franz auf dem Platz hinter den jüdischen Wohnbaracken, dort, wo in der Nähe des Lagerzauns ein Beet mit Mohrrüben angepflanzt war, aus einem nicht mehr feststellbaren Grunde seinen Hund Barry mit den Worten “Mensch, nimm den Hund!” auf einen dort arbeitenden jüdischen Häftling hetzte. Der Hund griff den Häftling an, warf ihn zu Boden und zerfleischte ihm den Unterleib. Zum Schluss erschoss der Angeklagte Franz den Mann an Ort und Stelle mit seiner Pistole.

from Chil Rajchman’s “Treblinka”

The transports began to arrive regularly once more around 10 January. That was a very difficult day. On that day fresh transports arrived. At the same time a “guest” came to us from Camp 1, Obersturmführer Franz, nicknamed “Lyalke” (Doll). Together with him came his dog, Barry, who was just as notorious as his master.

It is a beautiful day. The murderers are in a good mood. Our section chief, Mathias, sits down on an embankment along with his distinguished guest, deputy Kommandant Obersturmführer Franz, whom we call “Lyalke” (Doll). This Lyalke is a terrible murderer. His appearance at the open space in the camp triggers extraordinary fear. His specialty is slapping. From time to time he calls a worker over, tells him to stand at attention and gives him a powerful slap on his cheek. The victim then has to fall down and immediately get up, in order to receive a slap on the other cheek. Then he calls over his dog, Barry, who is almost as big as a man, and shouts: – Man, bite that dog! The dog is very obedient to his friend the deputy Kommandant and attacks the Jew.

Vassily Grossman, The Hell of Treblinka

Then the S.S. men would unleash their well-trained dogs, who would throw themselves into the crowd and tear with their teeth at the naked bodies of the doomed people. At the same time the S.S. men would beat people with submachine-gun butts, urging on petrified women with wild shouts of “Schneller! Schneller!”
Other assistants to Schmidt were inside the building, driving people through the wide-open doors of the chambers.
At this point Kurt Franz, one of the camp commandants, would appear, leading on a leash his dog Barry. He had specially trained this dog to leap up at the doomed people and tear out their sexual organs.

Arad also quotes (p. 97) an account by Boris Weinberg of an unnamed dog biting people in Treblinka in early September 1942.

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3 Responses to Barry the dog, part II: Barry in Treblinka

  1. Pingback: Anomalies in the Leleko testimony | Holocaust History Channel

  2. Pingback: Goldhagen on Kurt Franz and Barry | Holocaust History Channel

  3. Ken Kelso says:

    Kurt Franz who was one of the top the Nazi SS guards in charge of Treblinka admits to the gassing and mass murder of the Jews at Treblinka.
    Another good article from the Kurt Franz trial in 1964 where you see how evil this monster ws.
    Commandant of Treblinka Camp Admits Giving Orders to Gas Jews
    October 23, 1964

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