The first Polish language edition of...
The first Polish language edition of a monography that is among the most important sources on the history of the SS-Sonderkommando Sobibor extermination camp
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|Publisher:||Państwowe Muzeum na Majdanku|
Jules Schelvis (1921–2016) was among the 34.313 Jews from the Netherlands who were deported to the Sobibór extermination camp. Rather than selected for the gas chamber, he was sent to a labour camp. This allowed him to survive. Like many survivors he wrote down his account. As the only survivor, however, he set himself a goal of writing a scholarly tract regarding Sobibór. His thorough research and investigation resulted with a monograph that was published for the first time in the Netherlands, in 1993. With the accomplishment of both the German and English translations it became a primary study source on the matter.
Schelvis gathered extensive material in developing his text, unfolding the multi-thread story of Sobibór with the use of accounts given by dozens of survivors, testimonies that the perpetrators gave during their investigations and trials, the stories shared by the Polish witnesses, as well as the preserved original German documents. The author sets the starting point on the context of the armed revolt, and the role of Sobibór in the Nazi extermination policy. The successive chapters focus on the stages of the camp construction, its functioning and organisation, the portrayal of the camp garrison, as well as the mechanisms and procedure of the mass murder. The particularly moving passages are devoted to inmates situation, the in-camp resistance, escapes, the preparations for the uprising and a detailed description of its course, as well as to the later lives of the survivors. Schelvis’ book, so far popular only among the closed circle of historians, is now available to the wide Polish readership. Despite the passage of many years upon its first release, it remains an extremely important and valid study regarding the mass extermination of Jews perpetrated by the German Nazis.