The 74th anniversary of the uprising in Sobibór
On 16 October, we have commemorated the 74th anniversary of the prisoners' revolt at the Nazi German death camp in Sobibór. On that day, an educational project for pupils from the schools in Włodawa took place in the Museum - Synagogue Complex in Włodawa.
During the meeting, the pupils from the Lower Secondary School No. 2 in Włodawa watched a documentary on the functioning of the camp in Sobibór. The main protagonist of the film was Tomasz Blatt - a survivor from Sobibór, participant in the prisoners' revolt. The screening was supplemented with a historical commentary by Krzysztof Handor from the Museum of the Former Death Camp in Sobibór who discussed, among many other things, circumstances of the outbreak of the prisoners' uprising.
The Sobibór Nazi death camp functioned as a centre of extermination of Jews set up for “Operation Reinhardt” from the spring of 1942 to the autumn of 1943. It was governed by a commanding officer with a subordinate team of SS officers and guarding staff. A group of selected Jewish prisoners assigned by the German SS officers was used mainly for auxiliary works within the camp. Through their appearance and civilian clothing, it was their task to further convince the newly arrived that Sobibór was just a transitional stage and not the place where they will be murdered in gas chambers. On the initiative of some of them, an uprising broke out in the camp on 14 October 1943. After killing several SS members and some guards, a number of prisoners managed to escape. The camp was closed down soon afterwards; the building containing the gas chambers was blown up and practically all other buildings were demolished. Nearly 50 escapees survived the war. Due to a lack of any camp documentation, their experiences and accounts are a priceless resource for the research by historians, as well as an inspiration for many books and movies.