U.S. Government Officials Honor Victims of Sobibór Nazi Death Camp on 75th Anniversary of Camp Revolt

Wreath laying by the U.S. delegation

U.S. Government officials attended the 75th anniversary commemorating the revolt of prisoners at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland organized by Poland’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage on October 13.   Susan Sandler, the U.S. Department of State’s Deputy Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, led the official delegation that included diplomats from the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw.  Polish officials attending the commemorations included the host, Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry of Culture and National Heritage Piotr Gliński; Wojciech Kolarski, Undersecretary of State from the Presidential Chancellery; Secretary of State Jarosław Sellin of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage; and the Director of the State Museum of Majdanek Tomasz Kranz.  Foreign officials from numerous other countries also attended the solemn commemorations.

Between March 1942 and October 1943, it is estimated that 170,000 people were exterminated in the Nazi death camp of Sobibór, most of them Jews.  In October 1943, several hundred prisoners led a revolt against their Nazi oppressors.  According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, most of the escapees died crossing minefields or were killed by Nazi pursuers.  After the revolt, some joined partisan units; others found shelter among sympathetic Poles.  It is estimated that merely 50 of the escapees survived the war.

More information about the Sobibór death camp and revolt is available on the websites of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum:

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/sobibor

https://www.ushmm.org/research/the-center-for-advanced-holocaust-studies/miles-lerman-center-for-the-study-of-jewish-resistance/medals-of-resistance-award/sobibor-uprising