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Timeline The most important events in 1941–1944

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  • March/April 1942

    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.

  • 09.05.1942

    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.

  • August/September 1942

    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.

  • 20.07.1943

    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.

  • 23.09.1943

    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.

  • 14.10.1943

    Prisoners' 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.