Barry the dog, part III: reconciling the chronology

At the first Treblinka trial, the accounts of Barry were reconciled be deciding that Barry had been in Sobibor through some time in the winter of 42/43, when he was brought to Treblinka:

Either at the end of 1942 or the beginning of 1943, the dog Barry was brought into the extermination camp Treblinka. This was a black-and-white spotted mixed-breed dog as large as a calf with predominantly the characteristic traits of a St. Bernard. In the camp he associated himself with the defendant Franz and regarded him as his master.

As Sobibor witnesses place Barry in Sobibor as late as the winter of 42/43, this date cannot be moved any earlier. But as we saw in the last part, Treblinka witnesses report Barry’s presence in Treblinka before this date. In particular, Yankiel Wiernik reports Barry’s presence in Treblinka in late August, 1942. As Wiernik is an early witness, it’s difficult to argue that he is seriously mistaken about the dates, as one might do with the witnesses at the first Treblinka trial.* Besides, Wiernik’s arrival is closely associated in Treblinka historiography with the “reorganization in Treblinka” (Eberl being replaced by Stangl), as well as with the construction of the new gas chambers, so to attempt to seriously alter the date of Wiernik’s arrival would overthrow the entire history of the camp.

Unless one wishes to argue that Barry was regularly shuttled back and forth between Treblinka and Sobibor, one is forced to admit that the chronologies conflict.

Another point: this page has two pictures labelled as “young Barry” alongside others which are from the Kurt Franz album. They do appear to show the same dog at a younger age. The photography appears to be consistent with that of the Kurt Franz album. If they are from the Kurt Franz album as well, they would seem to refute the idea that Barry only came into Kurt Franz’ possession at Treblinka.

UPDATE: In reply to an email, the HEART team has confirmed that the photos of young Barry are in fact from the Kurt Franz album.

* Even there, it seems that witnesses should be able to remember accurately enough to preserve the tripartite division of Treblinka’s history into “before winter,” “winter,” and “after winter.”

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