Commencement of the construction of the SS-Sonderkommando Sobibor
In the early spring of 1942, the Włodawa Judenrat was ordered by the Germans to provide 150 Jewish workers for construction works at the railway station in Sobibór. The works lasted about two months. After the construction was completed, two workers, Abraham Szmais and Fajwel Cukierman’s son-in-law, managed to escape. When the escapees reached Włodawa, they informed local Jews about the gas chambers that had been built in Sobibor.
The camp was erected in a swampy area west of the Chełm–Włodawa railway line.
The extermination centre was divided into sectors. The barracks for the SS personnel and the guards were interned in the forward grounds of the camp, in the immediate vicinity of the railway ramp. The Jewish prisoner-workers (selected as “fit for labour” from arriving transports) were quartered right behind that sector, in camp I. The warehouses for the stolen property and the technical facilities of the camp infrastructure constituted camp II. Camp III was completely separated from the rest. This is where the gas chambers were located and the bodies of the murdered were buried.