Sobibór Revolt

On this day in 1943 prisoners at the Sobibór extermination camp in Poland revolt against the Germans.

Sobibor is notable for the prisoner revolt which took place on 14 October 1943. The plan for the revolt, developed by Alexander Pechersky and Leon Feldhendler, involved two phases. In the first phase, teams of prisoners were to assassinate all of the on-duty SS officers in discreet locations. Then in the second phase, all 600 prisoners would assemble for roll call and walk to freedom out the front gate. However, the revolt did not go as planned. The operation was discovered while several SS officers were still alive and prisoners ended up having to escape by climbing over barbed wire fences and running through a mine field under heavy machine gun fire. Even so, about 300 prisoners made it out of the camp, of whom roughly 60 survived to the end of the war. Thus the Sobibor revolt is often described as the most successful to take place in any Nazi camp.

After the revolt, the Nazis demolished the camp and planted it over with pine trees to conceal the evidence of what had happened there. In the first decades after World War Two, Sobibor was not well known and the site was rarely visited except by locals digging for buried valuables. Since then, it has become better known through its depictions in the TV miniseries Holocaust and the film Escape from Sobibor. The site now hosts the Sobibor Museum as well as ongoing archaeological excavations.

Above a few of the survivors.

Sonderkommando Auschwitz Revolt

Today in Holocaust History —> On this day in 1944, the Sonderkommando of Auschwitz-Birkenau—a group of Jewish prisoners tasked with removing corpses from gas chambers and burning them—rose up against their Nazi captors. Using gunpowder smuggled by young Jewish women forced to work in munitions factories, a group of Sonderkommando prisoners blew up one crematorium and killed some of the guards.

250 of the revolt’s participants died fighting the SS and police, and 200 more were shot by the SS after the fighting ended. Although the SS quashed the uprising, the Auschwitz-Birkenau revolt remains an example of bravery in the face of extraordinary oppression.

#AuschwitzRevolt #Resistance

Babi Yar

AD0EAFB3-4485-4218-B6E7-6966F0D64E21.jpeg

Today in Holocaust History —> Today, we remember one of the largest single mass murders of the Holocaust. Beginning on September 29, 1941, German forces and their auxiliaries rounded up and killed the Jews of Kiev, Ukraine, at a ravine called Babi Yar. In just two days, 33,771 Jewish men, women, and children were shot.

The Babi Yar massacre remains a harrowing example of Nazi atrocities during the invasion of the Soviet Union. In the months following the massacre, German authorities stationed at Kiev killed thousands more Jews at Babi Yar, as well as non-Jews including Roma (Gypsies), Communists, and Soviet prisoners of war. It is estimated that some 100,000 people were murdered at Babi Yar.

#Holocaust #Remembrance #BabiYar

Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation

1C04F427-9267-475E-AB0E-9C2A9A26683D.jpeg

The Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation (“Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation”is a memorial to the 200,000 people who were deported from Vichy France to the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. It is located in Paris, France on the site of a former morgue, underground behind Notre Dame on Île de la Cité. It was designed by French modernist architect Georges-Henri Pingusson and was inaugurated by Charles de Gaulle in 1962.

The memorial features excerpts of works by Louis Aragon, French poet and French Resistance member Robert Desnos, Paul Éluard, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Jean-Paul Sartre.  Fragments of two poems by Desnos, himself a deportee, are inscribed on the walls. The first consists of the last stanza of a poem written pseudonymously by Desnos and published “underground” in Paris, on Bastille Day 1942, “The Heart that Hated War”:

I have dreamt so very much of you,
I have walked so much,
Loved your shadow so much,
That nothing more is left to me of you.
All that remains to me is to be the shadow among shadows
To be a hundred times more of a shadow than the shadow
To be the shadow that will come and come again into
your sunny life.

Adolf Eichmann Sentenced

7F56C0DA-E302-4CF7-8776-0CC6C3974E37

On February 5th 1961 Adolf Eichmann is sentenced to death for war crimes in Israel.

Charged with managing and facilitating the mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and killing centers in the German-occupied East, he was among the major organizers of the Holocaust.

Eichmann admitted during his last day of testimony, that he was in fact responsible for sending millions to their deaths, co-coordinating the plans down to the last detail, from removing the people from their homes and deporting them to extermination camps, to dividing and plundering their assets, – however, he maintained that he did not feel guilty about his actions, or the consequences.

#Holocaust #Israel #Eichmann

Anne Frank’s Last Diary Entry

79880572-9D4D-4687-9AAF-DD57786F3C0A.jpeg

On August 1st 1944, Anne Frank penned her last entry into her diary.

“… Believe me, I’d like to listen, but it doesn’t work, because if I’m quiet and serious, everyone thinks I’m putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke, and then I’m not even talking about my own family, who assume I must be ill, stuff me with aspirins and sedatives, feel my neck and forehead to see if I have a temperature, ask about my bowel movements and berate me for being in a bad mood, until I just can’t keep it up any more, because when everybody starts hovering over me, I get cross, then sad, and finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if … if only there were no other people in the world.”

Three days later, Anne was arrested with her family in the “secret annex” of a house in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where they had hidden for two years. She later died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp when she was 15.

(Anne Frank at the Sixth Montessori School, Amsterdam, 1941)