Timeline The most important events in 1941–1944
Beginning of constructing the camp
In early spring 1942 Judenrat in Włodawa was ordered to provide Jewish workers for construction works at the railway station in Sobibór.
The works lasted about two months. Following the construction, several workers escaped. After reaching Włodawa, they informed local Jews about gas chambers built in Sobibór.
early April 1942
The first commandant
The first commandant of the SS-Sonderkommando Sobibór was Hauptsturmführer Richard Thomalla.
His task was to build the camp. At the end of April 1942, he was replaced by Franz Stangl who held the office until August 1942.
The first transports
At the turn of April and May 1942, the first transports came to Sobiór: from the Chełm, Zamość and Puławy poviats.
The first transports from abroad
The first larger transport of Jews from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia is brought to Sobibór.
There were approximately 1,000 people. Later, Jews from Germany, Austria, Slovakia, the Netherlands and France were sent to the camp.
Change of the commandant
The new camp commandant was Franz Reichleitner.
He held the office until October 1943, until the camp liquidation.
Extension of the camp
The extension of the camp launched at the turn of August and September lasted almost to the end of its existence.
There were built new gas chambers increasing twice their capacity. The railway line Chełm–Włodawa was also modernized.
Transport of Jews from the Netherlands
The first direct transport of Dutch Jews comes to Sobibór.
The group made up of 1,105 Jews was deported from the transit camp in Westerbork.
Beginning of the resistance movement in the camp
Leon Feldhendler from Zólkiewka was deported to Sobibór. He formed later the underground group in the camp and was one of the uprising leaders.
The first successful escape
The successful escape took place near the village of Żłobek, where a group of prisoners worked in the forest.
After killing the guard, eight prisoners escaped. The whole group managed to survive the war.
Alexander Pechersky deported to Sobibór
In the second half of September, several transports of Jews from Minsk are brought to Sobibór.
From among them a group of prisoners of war was selected to build the IV camp. Among them there was Alexander Pechersky – later leader of the uprising.
Prisoners of the Sobibór camp started an armed revolt.
After the liquidation of some German staff, the prisoners began escaping. As a result approximately 300 people escaped.
end of 1943
Liquidation of the camp
Decision to liquidate the camp and cover all traces of its existence was made as a result of the prisoners’ revolt.
One railway wagon with undetermined number of prisoners was sent from Treblinka to Sobibiór. For several months, the barracks and other buildings of the camp were pulled down. The whole area was plowed and planted with trees.