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Research project - The escape from Sobibor.

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Michael Falotico 12/00 History- Mr. Conrad Poly Prep Research Project: The Escape from Sobibor During the Holocaust, there were many concentration and death camps. Some were used for labor, others for the sole purpose of eliminating the Jews. Some of the death camps were very well know like Auschwitz. Others were very small but were there for the same purpose. Sobibor was a very small death camp outside of the small town of Sobibor, in Poland. Nothing was very special about this camp; It was small, the living conditions were terrible, a lot of people were infected with disease, some people worked, most people died. It was a typical death camp. The only difference was that the Jews in this camp led a revolt, and won. Using the help of Russian POWs and good team work, they were able to escape the inevitable death that awaited them. I believe that the escape from Sobibor Death Camp was only possible do to excellent team work, careful planning, communication, cooperation, and trust. From the time of its creation in June of 1942 to the time of the revolt on October 14, 1943, Sobibor was responsible for the deaths of over 260,000 Jews (not to mention gypsies, POWs, and other "inferior" races). If you were sent to Sobibor, rest-assure you were going to die unless you had some sort of working skill which was essential to the German's needs. ...read more.


As the day of the mass revolt moved near, people were becoming more scared of what was going to happen. Some people were afraid that they wouldn't succeed and all of them would be killed because of their attempt to escape. "It is not yet time for the uprising. Tomorrow none of us will be alive. Everything will remain as it was - the barracks, the sun will rise and set, the flowers will bloom and wilt, but we will be no more." Said Ester Grinbaum, who was one of the very few women informed about the revolt. Her best friend, Helka Lubartowska, who was in the same barracks with Ester tried to comfort her, "There is no other way. Nobody knows what the results will be but one thing is for sure, we will not be led to slaughter." All of the people stuck by each other and gave each other support. Weapons were made and carefully handed to other people. Plans were carefully laid out. The day of escape from Sobibor was upon all of the prisoners of the camp. The original planned date for the revolt was for October 14, 1943. One teenager who was a prisoner at the camp realized only 3 hours before the killings were going to start that another small group of SS had arrived at the camp. For this, the revolt would have to be postponed because there would be too many armed guards and the Jews would all surely perish. ...read more.


One group of men stayed side by side shooting none stop until all three of them were dead. It was that kind of comradeship that was a main asset to this mass revolt. As the Jews ran through the fields towards the forests, they didn't know that it was a mine field. When mines were stepped on, limbs and life was lost. Jews would pick up fallen brethren and run towards the forest to freedom. When they got to the forest, they all stuck together in small groups until they could find food and shelter. I believe that the use of excellent team work, good communication, careful planning, cooperation, and trust were the main reasons the revolt at Sobibor was successful. Team work was shown when Jews worked in pairs to kill the SS quickly and quietly. Good communication was shown when the word of the killings got around the camp very quickly. Careful planning was obviously shown because the Jews were able to kill 11 people in one morning totally unnoticed. When Sasha and Felhendler made plans for different aspects about the revolt, no one really opposed the two men because they knew they were wise and knew what they were talking about. People cooperated to the fullest extent and it paid off in the end. The aspect of trust is most important because without trust, none of the other aspects of good team work are possible. ...read more.

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