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Treblinka Excavators

Last Update 28 August 2006


For digging the huge burial pits in the Aktion Reinhard death camps the Nazis used big excavators. The only photos of death camp excavators were taken by Treblinka camp commander Kurt Franz. The photos were found in his Treblinka album "Schöne Zeiten" (Pleasant Times). In Belzec and Sobibor excavators surely were used also for the same purpose.
ARC is the only website which can show all photos of the use of excavators at the Treblinka camp site.

At least two types of excavators were used in Treblinka:

Menck & Hambrock Ma

Menck & Hambrock type "Ma", produced between 1933 and 1944. Power: 70 H.P., weight: 27 tons.

Menck & Hambrock Ma

The inscription "Allbalenz" means:
"All" = Allgemeine (general)
"Ba" = Baugesellschaft (construction company)
"Lenz" = Lenz AG Berlin (Lenz Limited Company, Berlin)

Obviously this excavator belonged to the Lenz Comp. in Berlin, hired by Aktion Reinhard.

Only a few of the M&H Ma-type excavators are still existing worldwide. A good impression of this type you can get with this photo, by courtesy of

Menck & Hambrock Ma in 2002

Menck & Hambrock Mb

Menck & Hambrock type "Mb", produced between 1933 and 1945. Power: 107 H.P., weight: 37-39.8 tons.

Menck & Hambrock Mb

The logo of Menck & Hambrock Company is visible on the excavator. ARC included the colour logo to give you a certain impression of the appearance at that time. An even better impression you will get by this recent photo of a M&H Mb-type excavator which has been junked meanwhile (by courtesy of

Menck & Hambrock Mb

On 4 September 1942 Globocnik sent a telegram to SS-Untersturmführer Hans Offermann in which he ordered two excavators, perhaps for Belzec. According to the Franz album photos the SS used cable excavators in Treblinka, not bucket excavators. Maybe Globocnik could not get the two Dutch machines and choosed other types. Perhaps he realized later that bucket excavators were not useful for digging the burial pits. Who knows for what else he could have ordered these excavators.
Offermann was part of the Lublin Personalabteilung (personnel department), so perhaps Globocnik sent him to Holland to look for earth moving equipment.

Source: Public Records Office, Kew (England)

Leiden, Rapenburg 6

© ARC 2005