Sobibor Concentration Camp

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by cecelf16
Last updated 5 years ago

Social Studies
World War II

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Sobibor Concentration Camp

Sobibor Concentration CampCelia ElfersPeriod E

"Only desperate actions could shorten our suffering and maybe afford us a chance of escape. And the will to resist had grown and ripened. "-Thomas Toivi Blatt, From the Ashes of Sobibór: A Story of Survival

Established in March of 1942 and located in eastern Poland, Sobibor was one of the most brutal concentration camps. As it was essentially a death camp, the first commandant, Franz Stangl, kept 600 people alive so that they may work, but they otherwise sent the prisoners to the gassing chambers. The people who were kept alive were never kept alive for all that long. To prevent rebellion among the prisoners, the guards of the camp killed many of the working Jews every day.

In the time Sobibor was opened, from March of 1942 to October of 1943, over 250,000 people were killed. Some of the people were afraid of dying, so they attempted to escape the camp. Because ten people escaped through a hole in the fence, the SS officers put mines all around the camp, making it a nearly inescapable jail cell. To ensure that the prisoners would not attempt escape again, the officers would kill ten people for each person that escaped. The Jews only tried to escape once more after that incident, because their escape would be in trade of the lives of ten others, and it certainly was not worth it.

The prisoners had enough of the cruelty of the Nazis, so they planned another escape, one that would involve a majority of the camp members. The Jews insulated and killed 11 SS men and disguised themselves as them, and they led someone of the Jews to the front of the camp. The soldiers realized what was happening, and the began to fire at the Jews, killing and injuring some. The prisoners fled in a panic, and roughly 450 of the 600 workers took the chance of escape. Over 300 prisoners escaped, though many of them were killed in the minefields surrounding the camp or they were hunted down by the Nazis. 50 of the 450 people who escaped survived to the end of the war.

Sobibor concentration camp is important to know about today because the rebellion of the prisoners shows their wondrous level of bravery. Their imperious will to live inspires people today and it has inspired many people over the years. It is also important to know about the labor and death camps like Sobibor because forgetting them would be forgetting all of the lives that were lost in the camps.

I chose this topic because I was hoping to know more about what happened at one of the concentration camps, and I thought it might be an interesting topic to research. The history of the concentration camps has always intrigued and frightened me, and I have alway wanted to learn about the details of the Holocaust. The Holocaust was a horrible and mentally scarring event in history, and its memory will never fade in the memories of all who learn about it.


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