Nazi extermination camps in occupied Poland (marked with black and white skulls)
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Location of Sobibór in modern-day Poland
|Other names||SS-Sonderkommando Sobibór|
|Known for||Genocide during the Holocaust|
|Location||Near Sobibór, General Government (occupied Poland)|
Richard Wolfgang Thomalla (death camp)Erwin Hermann Lambert (gas chambers)
|Original use||Extermination camp|
|First built||March 1942 – May 1942|
|Operational||16 May 1942 – 17 October 1943|
|Number of gas chambers||3 (expanded to 6)|
|Inmates||Jews (possibly also Soviet POWs)|
|Number of inmates||est. 600–650 at any given time|
|Killed||est. min. 200,000–250,000|
|Liberated by||closed before end of war|
|Notable inmates||Thomas Blatt, Leon Feldhendler, Alexander Pechersky|
|Notable books||From The Ashes of Sobibor|
Sobibór was a Nazi German extermination camp located on the outskirts of the village of Sobibór, Lublin Voivodeship of the Nazi German General Government (occupied Poland). The camp was part of Operation Reinhard and the official German name was SS-Sonderkommando Sobibór. It was situated near the rural county's only major town of Włodawa (called Wolzek by the Germans). Jews from Poland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia, and the Soviet Union, possibly as well as some non-Jewish Soviet POWs, were transported to Sobibór by rail and suffocated in gas chambers fed by the exhaust of large petrol engines. One source states that up to 200,000 people were murdered at Sobibór. Sobibór survivor Thomas Blatt later wrote that "In the Hagen court proceedings against former Sobibór Nazis, Professor Wolfgang Scheffler, who served as an expert, estimated the total figure of murdered Jews at a minimum of 250,000."
After a revolt on October 14, 1943, about 600 prisoners tried to escape, about half succeeded, of whom about 50 evaded capture. Shortly after the revolt, the Germans closed the camp, bulldozed the earth and planted it over with pine trees to conceal its location. The site is occupied by the Sobibór Museum, which displays a pyramid of ashes and crushed bones of the victims, collected from the cremation pits thereafter.
The camp[edit | edit source]
Beginning in 1940, the Nazis established 16 forced labor camps in the Lublin district of Poland. The Lublin district was intended to become an agricultural center. Except for Krychów forced labor camp, these camps used existing structures – such as abandoned schools, factories, or farms – to imprison the laborers. Krychów was the largest of the 16 camps and had been built before World War II as a detention camp for Polish prisoners.
In 1942, Sobibór extermination camp was constructed near the forced labor camps. A 40 km (25 mi) northeasterly railroad branch line connected the area to the main railroad line through the town of Chełm (Kulm in German). Camp construction began in March 1942, at the same time that the Bełżec camp became operational for extermination. Workers employed for building the camp were local people from neighbouring villages and towns, but the camp was primarily built by a Sonderkommando under the command of Richard Thomalla. The Sonderkommando was a group of about eighty Jews from ghettos within the vicinity of the camp. A squad of Ukrainians trained at Trawniki concentration camp guarded the Sonderkommando. Upon completion of construction, these Jews were shot. In mid-April 1942, when the camp was nearly completed, experimental gassings took place. About twenty-five Jews from Krychów were brought there for this purpose. Christian Wirth, the commander of Bełżec and Inspector of Operation Reinhard, arrived in Sobibór to witness these gassings.
Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler appointed SS-Obersturmführer Franz Stangl as the first commandant of Sobibór. Stangl was Sobibor's commandant from April 28 to the end of August 1942. According to Stangl, Odilo Globocnik initially stated that Sobibór was merely a supply camp for the army, and that the true nature of the camp became known to Stangl only when he discovered a gas chamber hidden in the woods. Globocnik told him that if the Jews "were not working hard enough" he was fully permitted to kill them and that Globocnik would send "new ones".
Upon arriving in Sobibór I discovered a piece of open ground close to the station on which there was a concrete building and several other permanent buildings. The Sonderkommando at Sobibór was led by Thomalla. Amongst the SS personnel there were Floss, Bauer, Stangl, Schwarz, Barbl and others. We unloaded the motor. It was a heavy, Russian petrol engine (presumably a tank or tractor engine) of at least 200 HP (carburettor engine, eight-cylinder, water-cooled). We put the engine on a concrete plinth and attached a pipe to the exhaust outlet. Then we tried out the engine. At first it did not work. I repaired the ignition and the valve and suddenly the engine started. The chemist whom I already knew from Bełżec went into the gas chamber with a measuring device in order to measure the gas concentration.
After this a test gassing was carried out. I seem to remember that thirty to forty women were gassed in a gas chamber. The Jewesses had to undress in a clearing in the wood which had been roofed over, near the gas chamber. They were herded into the gas chamber by the above-mentioned SS members and Ukrainian volunteers. When the women had been shut up in the gas chamber I attended to the engine together with Bauer. The engine immediately started ticking over. We both stood next to the engine and switched it up to "release exhaust to chamber" so that the gases were channelled into the chamber. On the instigation of the chemist I revved up the engine, which meant that no extra gas had to be added later. After about ten minutes the thirty to forty women were dead. The chemist and the SS gave the signal to turn off the engine.
I packed up my tools and saw the bodies being taken away. A small wagon on rails was used to take them away from near the gas chamber to a stretch of ground some distance away. Sobibór was the only place where a wagon was used.
On either 16 or 18 of May 1942, Sobibór became fully operational and began mass gassing operations. Trains entered the railway station, and the Jews onboard were told they were in a transit camp, and were forced to undress and hand over their valuables. They were led along the 100-meter (330 ft) long "Road to Heaven" (Himmelstrasse) to the gas chambers, where they were killed using carbon monoxide released from the exhaust pipes of tank engines. During his trial, SS-Oberscharführer Kurt Bolender described the gassing operations:
Before the Jews undressed, Oberscharführer Hermann Michel made a speech to them. On these occasions, he used to wear a white coat to give the impression he was a physician. Michel announced to the Jews that they would be sent to work. But before this they would have to take baths and undergo disinfection, so as to prevent the spread of diseases. After undressing, the Jews were taken through the "Tube", by an SS man leading the way, with five or six Ukrainians at the back hastening the Jews along. After the Jews entered the gas chambers, the Ukrainians closed the doors. The motor was switched on by the former Soviet soldier Emil Kostenko and by the German driver Erich Bauer from Berlin. After the gassing, the doors were opened and the corpses were removed by a group of Jewish workers.
Local Jews were delivered in absolute terror, amongst screaming and pounding. Foreign Jews, on the other hand were treated with hypocritical politeness. Passengers from Westerbork, Netherlands had a comfortable journey. There were Jewish doctors and nurses attending them and no shortage of food and medical supplies on the train. Sobibór didn't seem like a genuine threat.
Victims included 18-year-old Helga Deen, whose diary was discovered in 2004; the writer Else Feldmann; gymnasts Helena Nordheim, Ans Polak and Jud Simons; Gym Coach Gerrit Kleerekoper; and magician Michel Velleman. Female prisoners were sometimes sexually abused before being murdered. For instance, two women from Austria, who were film or theatre actresses, were gang raped by the SS men before being shot. Erich Bauer testified about this:
I was blamed for being responsible for the death of the Jewish girls Ruth and Gisela, who lived in the so-called forester house. As it is known, these two girls lived in the forester house, and they were visited frequently by the SS men. Orgies were conducted there. They were attended by Bolender, Gomerski, Karl Ludwig, Franz Stangl, Gustav Wagner, and Steubel. I lived in the room above them and due to these celebrations could not fall asleep after coming back from a journey.— From Yitzhak Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka.
The camp was split into four sections.
Garrison Area: This included the main entrance gates and the railway platform where the victims were taken off the trains. The Commander's lodge was opposite the platform and was on the right side to the Guardhouse and on the left by the armoury.
Lager (Camp) I: This was built directly west and behind the Garrison Area. It was made escape proof by extra barbed wire fences and a deep trench filled with water. The only opening was a gate leading into the area. This camp was the living barracks for Jewish prisoners and included a prisoners' kitchen. Each prisoner was given about 12 square feet (1.1 square meters) of sleeping space.
Lager (Camp) II: This was a larger section and included an assortment of vital services for both the killing process and the everyday operation of the camp. 400 prisoners, including women, worked here. Lager II contained the warehouses used for storing the objects taken from the dead victims, including hair, clothes, food, gold and all other valuables. This Lager also housed the main administration office. It was at Lager II that the Jews were prepared for their death. Here they undressed, women's hair was shaved, clothing searched and sorted, and documents destroyed in the nearby furnace. The victims' final steps were taken on a path framed by barbed wire. It was called the "Road to Heaven" and led directly to the gas chambers.
Lager (Camp) III: This was where the victims were killed. Located in the north-western part of the camp, there were only two ways to enter the camp from Lager II. The camp staff and personnel entered through a small plain gate. The entrance for the victims descended immediately into the gas chambers and was decorated with flowers and a Star of David.
In May 2013 archaeologists, conducting excavations near Camp III, unearthed an escape tunnel, a crematorium, human skeletal remains, a substance that appears to be blood and the identification tag of a Jewish boy who was murdered in the camp.
Camp guards[edit | edit source]
Before they were sent as guards to the concentration camps, most of the Soviet POWs underwent special training at Trawniki. This was originally a holding centre for Soviet POWs following Operation Barbarossa, whom the Sipo security police and the SD had designated either as potential collaborators or as dangerous persons. The Stroop Report listed a Trawniki Sonderdienst Guard Battalion as one assisting in the suppression of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
John Demjanjuk, a former Soviet POW, allegedly worked as a watchguard at Sobibór. On May 12, 2011, Demjanjuk, then 91 years old, was convicted by a German court of complicity in the murder of over 28,000 Jews while serving at Sobibór, and was sentenced to five years in jail. He died on March 17, 2012, while in a German nursing home awaiting appeal. As a result of his death prior to the appeal trial, he was declared "presumed innocent," with his previous conviction invalidated.
The uprising [edit | edit source]
Sobibór was the site of one of two successful uprisings by Jewish prisoners in a Nazi extermination camp; there was a similar revolt at Treblinka on August 2, 1943. A revolt at Auschwitz-Birkenau on October 7, 1944 led to one of the crematoria being blown up, but nearly all the escapees were killed. Rumours that the camp would be shut down started circulating among its inmates in spring of 1943 after a drop in the number of incoming prisoner transports. Notes carried by survivors of the Bełżec concentration camp, who had been transported to Sobibór only to be shot on the railway platform, hinted at what would happen if the camp were shut down. While the rumours were untrue (in fact, a decision was made to expand the camp in summer 1943), they led Polish-Jewish prisoners to organise an underground committee aimed at escape from the camp.
In September 1943, the Sobibór underground was unexpectedly reinforced by the arrival of Soviet-Jewish POWs from Minsk; some of these joined the underground to share their military experience. On October 14, 1943, members of the Sobibór underground, led by Polish-Jewish prisoner Leon Feldhendler and Soviet-Jewish POW Alexander Pechersky, covertly killed eleven German SS officers and a number of camp guards. Although their plan was to kill all the SS and walk out of the main gate of the camp, the killings were discovered and the inmates ran for their lives under fire. About 300 out of the 600 prisoners in the camp escaped into the forests.
Only 50 to 70 escapees survived the war. Some died on the mine fields surrounding the site, and some were recaptured in a dragnet and executed by the Germans in the next few days. Most of those who did survive did so by hiding. Within days of the uprising, the SS chief Heinrich Himmler ordered the camp closed, dismantled and planted with trees.
|Timeline of Sobibór|
|March 1942 – May 1942||Under the supervision of Richard Thomalla, SS and police authorities construct Sobibór extermination camp in the spring of 1942 in an isolated area not far from the local Chelm-Wlodawa rail line.|
|early April 1942||The first test subjects for the gas chambers at Sobibór: The SS deports 2,400 Jews from Rejowiec, Lublin Voivodeship in early April 1942, the first deportation to Sobibór, and murders almost all of them upon arrival.|
|April 28, 1942||Franz Stangl arrives in Sobibór to take up the position of camp commandant. Stangl had been the deputy supervisor of the "euthanasia" institution at Hartheim, near Linz, Austria. As the purpose of the "euthanasia" operation was to murder institutionalized persons with physical and mental disabilities in gas chambers at facilities like Hartheim, Stangl was familiar with using carbon monoxide gas for killing large numbers of people.|
|May 3, 1942
||Regular transports to Sobibór begin. The first transport consists of 200 Jews from Zamość. The camp staff conducts gassing operations in three gas chambers located in one brick building. Some 400 prisoners are selected to survive, temporarily, to supply manual labor necessary to support the mass murder function of the killing center. During this first phase of deportations, from early May until the end of July 1942, the Sobibór killing centre authorities kill at least 61,400 Jews. Many of them were deported from cities and towns in the north and east of Lublin District; the majority were Jews deported from the German Reich, the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, and Slovakia either directly or via the transit camp-ghetto in Izbica.|
|end of July 1942||The SS halts deportations to Sobibór in order to modernize the railway spur into the camp.|
|October 8, 1942
||Camp authorities resume mass murder operations in the gas chambers of Sobibór with the arrival of more than 24,000 Slovak Jews between October 8 and October 20 from the transit camp-ghetto Izbica in the Lublin District of the General Government. The camp authorities kill virtually all of the deportees upon arrival in reconstructed and newly added gas chambers, completed during the two-month lull in transports to Sobibór. The improvements in capacity enable the camp authorities to kill up to 1,300 people at a time. Newly constructed as well was a narrow railway trolley from the reception platform to the burial pits in order to facilitate the transfer of the sick, the dead, and those unable to walk directly to the open ovens. Those still alive after this journey are shot by the SS staff or the Trawniki-trained guards.|
|February 12, 1943||Heinrich Himmler visits Sobibór to inspect operations. Several SS officers at the camp are promoted as a result.|
|March 5, 1943
||Deportations from the Netherlands. German SS and Police authorities begin deportations of Dutch Jews from transit camp Westerbork to Sobibór. In 19 transports from this date until July 1943, SS authorities in Westerbork deport over 34,000 Jews to Sobibór. Camp staff and guards kill almost all of them in the gas chambers or by shooting on arrival in the camp.|
||Deportations from France. Two transports containing a total of 2,000 Jews from France arrive at Sobibór from the police transit camp Drancy, outside Paris. Deportations from France to camps in the east, primarily Auschwitz, began in March 1942 and continue until August 1944.|
|July – October 1943
||Deportations from the Soviet Union. Following Himmler's order of July 1943 to liquidate the ghettos in Reichskommissariat Ostland, SS and police units liquidate ghettos in Minsk, Lida, and Wilno (Vilnius, Vilne) and deport those who survived to Sobibór. The first transports from Minsk and Lida leave for Sobibór on September 18. Included in the first deportation from Minsk (arrived September 22) is Alexander "Sasha" Pechersky, a Soviet-Jewish prisoner of war, who, because of his military training, came to play a central role in the resistance movement in Sobibór. In September 1943 alone, SS and police authorities transported at least 13,700 Jews from ghettos in the occupied Soviet Union to Sobibór. The camp authorities gas or shoot most of them upon arrival.|
|October 14, 1943
|Sobibór revolt. Prisoners carry out a revolt in Sobibór, killing nearly a dozen German staff and Trawniki-trained guards. Of 600 prisoners left in Sobibór on this day, 300 escape during the uprising. Among the survivors is Alexander Pechersky, the Soviet prisoner of war who played a key role in planning the revolt. Of those prisoners who escape, SS and police personnel from Lublin district recapture and shoot some 100. Some of the prisoners selected for temporary survival in Sobibór organized an underground resistance organization in early summer of 1943 as it became apparent that gassing operations at Sobibór were slowing. Once the gassing operations were finished, the SS planned to dismantle the killing center and reconfigure the facility first as a holding pen for women and children deported from villages in Belarus, which had been destroyed in the course of so-called anti-partisan operations, and, later, as an ammunition depot. Though no further prisoners arrived after the killing center was remodeled, the facility was guarded by a small Trawniki-trained detachment until at least the end of March 1944. During the year and a half in which the Sobibór killing center operated, camp authorities and the Trawniki-trained guards murdered at least 167,000 people. Virtually all of the victims were Jews.|
|October 17, 1943||Heinrich Himmler orders that Sobibór be closed and all evidence of the camp's existence be removed.|
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
Karl Frenzel, third in command at the camp and commandant of Sobibór's Lager I, was convicted of war crimes in 1966 and sentenced to life. He was released after sixteen years on appeal and because of his health. Blatt interviewed him in 1983 and taped it. Frenzel, who was at the camp from its inception to its closure, said the following about the prisoners killed at Sobibór:
Due to Frenzel's testimony, Blatt convinced the Polish government to change the memorial plaque at the site. It had read, "HERE THE NAZIS KILLED 250,000 RUSSIAN PRISONERS OF WAR, JEWS, POLES AND GYPSIES."
Now it reads, "AT THIS SITE, BETWEEN THE YEARS 1942 AND 1943, THERE EXISTED A NAZI DEATH CAMP WHERE 250,000 JEWS and APPROXIMATELY 1,000 POLES WERE MURDERED." The new plaque continues with language to note the revolt and escape of Jews from the camp.
Franz Stangl, chief commandant of Sobibór and later of Treblinka, fled to Syria. Following problems with his employer taking too much interest in his adolescent daughter, Stangl moved with his family to Brazil in the 1950s. He worked in a car factory (German manufacturer, Volkswagen) and was registered with the Austrian consulate under his own name. He was eventually caught, tried, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. In 1971 he died in prison in Düsseldorf, a few hours after concluding a series of interviews with the British historian Gitta Sereny.
Gustav Wagner, the deputy Sobibór commander, was on leave on the day of uprising (survivors such as Thomas Blatt say that the revolt would not have succeeded had he been present). Wagner was arrested in 1978 in Brazil. He was identified by Stanisław Szmajzner, a Sobibór escapee, who greeted him with the words, "Hallo Gustl." Wagner replied that he remembered Szmajzner and that he had saved him and his three brothers. The court of first instance agreed to his extradition to Germany but on appeal, this extradition was overturned. In 1980, Wagner committed suicide but the circumstances are controversial.
John Demjanjuk, alleged to be one of the guards, was temporarily convicted by a German lower court as an accessory to the murder of 28,060 Jews and sentenced to five years in prison on May 12, 2011. He was released pending appeal and died in a German nursing home on March 17, 2012, aged 91, while awaiting the hearing. As a result of his death before the German Appellate Court could try his case, the German Munich District Court declared that Demjanjuk was "presumed innocent," that the previous interim conviction was invalidated and that he had no criminal record.
Erich Bauer, commander of Camp III and gas chamber executioner, explained the perpetrators' sense of teamwork in order to reach an atrocious result:
We were a band of "fellow conspirators" ("verschworener Haufen") in a foreign land, surrounded by Ukrainian volunteers whom we could not trust....The bond between us was so strong that Frenzel, Stangl and Wagner had had a ring with SS runes made from five-mark pieces for every member of the permanent staff. These rings were distributed to the camp staff as a sign so that the "conspirators" could be identified. In addition the tasks in the camp were shared. Each of us had at some point carried out every camp duty in Sobibór (station squad, undressing, and gassing).
Dramatizations and recorded memories of the camp[edit | edit source]
The revolt was dramatized in the 1987 British TV film Escape from Sobibor, directed by Jack Gold. An award-winning documentary about the escape was made by Claude Lanzmann, entitled Sobibor, 14 Octobre 1943, 16 Heures (Sobibor, Oct. 14, 1943, 4 p.m.).
In the 1978 American TV miniseries Holocaust, one of the principal characters, Rudi Weiss, a German Jew, is captured by the Germans while taking part in a partisan attack upon a German convoy. Knocked unconscious, he wakes up in Sobibor, where he meets the Russian prisoners of war. They are initially suspicious of him as a possible German spy planted within their midst, but he wins their trust and becomes part of the group that kills German soldiers and officers as part of the uprising. Weiss and his new POW comrades successfully escape Sobibor during the mass break-out; near the film's end, the Russians head east to try and rejoin the Red Army, while Weiss bids them good-bye and heads west to try and find any remnants of his destroyed family.
Memorial[edit | edit source]
Following the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the revolt in 2003, the grounds of the former death camp received a grant largely funded by the Dutch government to improve the site. New walkways were introduced with signs indicating points of interest, but close to the burial pits, bone fragments still litter the area. In the forest outside the camp is a statue honoring the fighters of Sobibór.
Victims[edit | edit source]
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum states that at least 167,000 people were murdered there. The Dutch Sobibor Foundation lists a calculated total of 170,165 people and cites the Höfle Telegram among its sources, while noting that other estimates range up to 300,000. For practical reasons it is not possible to list all the people murdered at the camp. The operatives of the Nazi regime not only robbed Jews of their earthly possessions and their lives but attempted to eradicate all traces of their existence as they engaged in the genocidal policies of the Final Solution.
Survivors[edit | edit source]
There are fifty eight known survivors; forty-nine male and ten female, among those who were in the camp as Arbeitshäftlinge, deportees selected from arriving transports to perform slave-labour for the daily operation of the camp. Their time in the camp ranged from several weeks to almost two years. A handful of Arbeitshäftlinge managed to escape while assigned to the Waldkommando, inmate details assigned the task of felling and preparing trees for the body disposal pyres. The majority of the survivors among Sobibor's Arbeitshäftlinge survived as a result of their camp-wide revolt on October 14, 1943. Dutch historian Jules Schelvis estimated that 158 inmates perished in the revolt, killed by the guards and the minefield surrounding the camp, and that a further 107 were re-captured and murdered by the SS, Wehrmacht and Police units tasked with pursuing the escapees. He estimates that another 53 escapees died of other causes between the day of the revolt and May 8, 1945. In the aftermath of the revolt, the remaining camp inmates were murdered and the camp was dismantled. Schelvis estimated that at the time of the escape there had been approximately 650 inmates in the camp.
Among the Sobibor survivors are also those who were spared the gas chambers in the camp as a result of transfer to slave-labour camps in the Lublin district, after selections upon arrival at Sobibor. These people spent several hours at Sobibor and were transferred almost immediately to slave-labour camps, including Majdanek and Alter Flugplatz in the city of Lublin, where materials looted from the gassed victims were prepared for shipment and distribution, and forced labour camps such as Krychów, Dorohucza and Trawniki. Estimates for the number of people selected in Sobibor range up to several thousand, of whom many perished in captivity before the end of the nazi regime. The total number of survivors in this cohort includes 16 known survivors, 13 women and 3 men, from among the 34,313 people deported to Sobibor from the Netherlands.
Chain of command[edit | edit source]
- Organizers of the camp (Germans and Austrians)
- Odilo Lotario Globocnik, SS-Hauptsturmführer (at the time) (Captain) and SS-Polizeiführer (SS Police Chief), Head of Operation Reinhard
- Hermann Julius Höfle, SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain), Coordinator of Operation Reinhard
- Richard Wolfgang Thomalla, SS-Obersturmführer (at the time) (First Lieutenant), Head of death camp construction during Operation Reinhard
- Erwin Hermann Lambert, SS-Unterscharführer (Corporal), Head of gas chamber construction during Operation Reinhard
- Karl Steubl, SS-Sturmbannführer (Major), Commander of transportation units during Operation Reinhard
- Christian Wirth, SS-Hauptsturmführer (at the time) (Captain), Inspector of Operation Reinhard
- Commandant (Germans and Austrians)
- Franz Paul Stangl, SS-Obersturmführer (First Lieutenant), April 28, 1942—August 30, 1942 (transferred to Commandant of Treblinka extermination camp)
- Franz Karl Reichleitner, SS-Obersturmführer (First Lieutenant), September 1, 1942—October 17, 1943; promoted to Hauptsturmführer (Captain) after Himmler's visit on February 12, 1943
- Deputy commanders (Germans and Austrians)
- Gustav Franz Wagner, SS-Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant), Deputy commandant (Quartermaster-sergeant of the camp)
- Johann Niemann, SS-Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant), Deputy commandant — killed in revolt
- Karl August Wilhelm Frenzel, SS-Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant), Commandant of Camp I (forced labor camp)
- Hermann Michel, SS-Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant), Deputy commandant, gave speeches to trick prisoners into entering gas chambers
- Executioners (Germans and Austrians)
- Hermann Erich Bauer, SS-Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant), operated gas chambers
- Heinz Kurt Bolender, SS-Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant), operated gas chambers
- Other officers (Germans and Austrians)
- Ernst Bauch
- Rudolf Beckmann, SS-Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant) — killed in revolt
- Gerhardt Börner, SS-Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant)
- Paul Bredow, SS-Unterscharführer (Corporal)
- Max Bree — killed in revolt
- Arthur Dachsel
- Werner Karl Dubois, SS-Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant)
- Herbert Floss, SS-Scharführer (Sergeant)
- Erich Fritz Erhard Fuchs, SS-Scharführer (Sergeant)
- Friedrich Gaulstich, SS-Scharführer (Sergeant) — killed in revolt
- Anton Getzinger
- Hubert Gomerski, SS-Unterscharführer (Corporal)
- Siegfried Graetschus, SS-Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant), Head of Ukrainian Guard (2/2) — killed in revolt
- Ferdinand "Ferdl" Grömer
- Paul Johannes Groth
- Lorenz Hackenholt, SS-Hauptscharführer (First Sergeant)
- Josef "Sepp" Hirtreiter, SS-Scharführer (Sergeant)
- Franz Hödl
- Jakob Alfred Ittner, SS-Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant)
- Robert Emil Franz Xaver Jührs, SS-Unterscharführer (Corporal)
- Aleks Kaizer
- Rudolf "Rudi" Kamm
- Johann Klier, SS-Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant)
- Fritz Konrad, SS-Scharführer (Sergeant) — killed in revolt
- Erich Gustav Willie Lachmann, SS-Scharführer (Sergeant), Head of Ukrainian Guard (1/2)
- Karl Emil Ludwig
- Willi Mentz, SS-Unterscharführer (Corporal)
- Adolf Müller
- Walter Anton Nowak, SS-Scharführer (Sergeant) — killed in revolt
- Wenzel Fritz Rehwald
- Karl Richter
- Paul Rost, SS-Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant)
- Walter "Ryba" (real name: Hochberg), SS-Unterscharführer (Corporal) — killed in revolt
- Klaus Schreiber
- Hans-Heinz Friedrich Karl Schütt, SS-Scharführer (Sergeant)
- Thomas Steffl, SS-Scharführer (Sergeant) — killed in revolt
- Ernst Stengelin — killed in revolt
- Heinrich Unverhau, SS-Unterscharführer (Corporal)
- Josef Vallaster, SS-Scharführer (Sergeant) — killed in revolt
- Otto Weiss
- Wilhelm "Willie" Wendland
- Franz Wolf, SS-Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant) (brother of Josef Wolf)
- Josef Wolf, SS-Scharführer (Sergeant) — killed in revolt (brother of Franz Wolf)
- Ernst Zierke, SS-Unterscharführer (Corporal)
Guards[edit | edit source]
- Ivan Demjanjuk (Alleged, German criminal court conviction pending appeal not upheld; declared innocent)
- M. Matwiejenko
- W. Podienko
- Fiodor Tichonowski
- Libodenko Wartownick
- Emil Kostenko
- Volksdeutsche and others
- other Volksdeutsche and Soviet Red Army prisoners of war of various ethnicities (up to 200)
- Ivan Klatt
- Emanuel Schultz
See also[edit | edit source]
- Sobibor Trial
- Escape from Sobibor, a film about life in the camp based on the book of the same name, won the 1987 Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film
- List of Nazi concentration camps
- Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics
- Research Materials: Max Planck Society Archive
References[edit | edit source]
- Lest we forget (14 March 2004), "Extermination camp Sobibor" The Holocaust. Retrieved on May 17, 2013.
- William L. Shirer (1990). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany (3 ed.,1960). Simon and Schuster. p. 968. ISBN 0671728687. http://books.google.com/books?id=sY8svb-MNUwC&q=wolzek%20poland&f=false#v=snippet&q=wolzek%20poland&f=false. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
- Raul Hilberg. The Destruction of the European Jews. Yale University Press, 1985, p. 1219. ISBN 978-0-300-09557-9
- Sobibor - The Forgotten Revolt
- Aktion Reinhard Camps. Sobibor Labour Camps. 15 June 2006. ARC Website.
- Yitzhak Arad (1987). Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, p. 30.
- Arad, Yitzhak: Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: the Operation Reinhard death camps. Bloomington: Indiana University Press 1987, p. 184.
- Christian Zentner, Friedemann Bedürftig. The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, p. 878. Macmillan, New York, 1991. ISBN 0-02-897502-2
- Klee, Ernst, Dressen, Willi, Riess, Volker. The Good Old Days: The Holocaust as Seen by Its Perpetrators and Bystanders, p. 231. ISBN 1-56852-133-2.
- Yitzhak Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps, p. 76. Indiana University Press, 1987.
- As part of the misrepresentations and concealment of the death camp horrors, when arriving to the camp, the Dutch Jews were ordered to write "calming letters" to their relatives in Netherlands, with false details about the "nice" welcoming and conditions. Right after that, they were taken to the gas chambers. "Sobibor" (in Polish). Muzeum Byłego Hitlerowskiego Obozu Zagłady w Sobiborze. Museo.pl, Chełm. 2013. http://www.museo.pl/content/view/124/137/. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
- "Michel Velleman (Sobibór, 2 juli 1943)". Digitaal Monument Joodse Gemeenschap in Nederland. Joods Monument. 2013. http://www.joodsmonument.nl/person/452294. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- Yitzhak Arad (1987). Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. 116–117.
- Sobibor: The Forgotten Revolt by Thomas (Toivi) Blatt HEP Issaquah 1998.
- "Trawniki". Holocaust Encyclopedia. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007397. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
- Mgr Stanisław Jabłoński (1927–2002). "Hitlerowski obóz w Trawnikach" (in Polish). The camp history. Trawniki official website. http://www.trawniki.hg.pl/traw/obozjab.html. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
- "John Demjanjuk guilty of Nazi death camp murders". BBC News. 12 May 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12321549. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
- "Nazi camp guard dead". The Age. Melbourne. 19 March 2012. http://www.theage.com.au/world/nazi-camp-guard-dead-20120318-1vdky.html.
- Aderet, Ofer. Haaretz, news article dated March 23, 2012. Convicted Nazi criminal Demjanjuk deemed innocent in Germany over technicality: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/convicted-nazi-criminal-demjanjuk-deemed-innocent-in-germany-over-technicality-1.420280
- "Preparation - Sobibor Interviews". NIOD. 2009. http://www.sobiborinterviews.nl/en/the-revolt/preparation.
- Schelvis, Jules. Sobibor: A History of a Nazi Death Camp. Berg, Oxford & New Cork, 2007, p. 168, ISBN 978-1-84520-419-8.
- Sobibór: Chronology
- Sobibor Trial
- Frenzel interview, Sobibor: The Forgotten Revolt website
- Photo of new plaque at camp site, "More Documents," Sobibor: The Forgotten Revolt website
- "SOME SIGNIFICANT CASE - Franz Stangl". Simon Wiesenthal Archiv. Simon Wiesenthal Center. http://www.simon-wiesenthal-archiv.at/02_dokuzentrum/02_faelle/e02_stangl.html. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
- Sobibor Interviews: Biographies of SS-men
- Arad, Yitzhak: Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: the Operation Reinhard death camps, p. 192. Bloomington: Indiana University Press 1987.
- Matussek, Karin (12 May 2011). "Demjanjuk Convicted of Helping Nazis to Murder Jews During the Holocaust". http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-12/demjanjuk-convicted-of-helping-nazis-to-murder-jews-during-the-holocaust.html. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
- "John Demjanjuk zu fünf Jahren Haft verurteilt". 12 May 2011. http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article13367603/John-Demjanjuk-zu-fuenf-Jahren-Haft-verurteilt.html. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
- Aderet, Ofer. Haaretz, news article dated March 23, 2012. "Convicted Nazi criminal Demjanjuk deemed innocent in Germany over technicality", http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/convicted-nazi-criminal-demjanjuk-deemed-innocent-in-germany-over-technicality-1.420280
- Klee, Ernst, Dressen, Willi, Riess, Volker The Good Old Days: The Holocaust as Seen by Its Perpetrators and Bystanders. ISBN 1-56852-133-2.
- Regina Zielinski with Phillip Adams'Escape from the Sobibor WW2 death camp,' Late Night Live Interview 29 October 2013
- Sobibor: Chronology at the USHMM
- History Sobibor at the Dutch Sobibor Foundation.
- Schelvis, Jules. Vernietigingskamp Sobibor. De Bataafsche Leeuw. ISBN 9789067076296. http://www.bataafscheleeuw.nl/db/main/assortiment/index.php?book_id=80.
- H.E.A.R.T. - Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team
- Nizkor Web Site Retrieved on 2009-04-09
- Belzec: Stepping Stone to Genocide - Chapter 6
- Sobibor Watchman
- BBC News (12 May 2011). "John Demjanjuk guilty of Nazi death camp murders". http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12321549. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
- Survivors of the revolt - Sobibor Interviews
Further reading[edit | edit source]
- From the Ashes of Sobibor by Thomas Blatt
- Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. The Operation Reinhard Death Camps by Yitzhak Arad
- Bialowitz, Philip with Joseph Bialowitz (2010) "A Promise at Sobibor: A Jewish Boy's Story of Revolt and Survival in Nazi Occupied Poland", The University of Wisconsin Press, ISBN 978-0-299-24800-0
- Freiberg, Dov (2007), To Survive Sobibor, Gefen Publishing House. ISBN 978-965-229-388-6
- Lev, Michael (2007), Sobibor, Gefen Publishing House. ISBN 978-965-229-408-1
- Novitch, Miriam (1980). Sobibor, Martyrdom and Revolt: Documents and Testimonies. ISBN 0-89604-016-X.
- Schelvis, Jules (2007). Sobibor: A History of a Nazi Death Camp. Berg. ISBN 978-1-84520-418-1.
- Sereny, Gitta (1974). Into That Darkness: from Mercy Killing to Mass Murder. ISBN 0-07-056290-3.
- Gilead, I., Y. Haimi and W. Mazurek (2009), Excavating Nazi Extermination Centres. Present Pasts, Vol 1. http://www.presentpasts.info/article/view/pp.12/2
- Zielinski, Andrew (2003), "Conversations with Regina", Zedartz - Hyde Park Press Adelaide. ISBN 0-9750766-0-4
[edit | edit source]
- Sobibor on the Yad Vashem website
- Sobibor - The Forgotten Revolt website of Thomas Blatt, one of the few survivors
- SOBIBOR United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- The Sobibor Death Camp
- Sobibor Archaeological Project
- Mass Graves at Sobibór (documentary film)
- Archaeological Excavations at Sobibór Extermination Site
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