Category: memorial

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Sobibór

A week ago I came back from my two-week trip to Poland and Germany. One key element of this trip was to revisit Sobibór. Of the three sites of the Operation Reinhard (and “Final Solution”) death camps in eastern Poland, Sobibór had long been the most neglected, despite the famous revolt there in October 1943, which has twice been turned into a movie. In recent years, however, the Sobibór site has been totally transformed. First it

Jonestown

On this Day, 42 years ago, on 18 November 1978, the Jonestown massacre happened.

Jonestown was a religious-cum-socialist utopian agrarian commune called “Peoples Temple” and led by cult leader Jim Jones who, after getting into increasing trouble at home in the USA, had relocated with his flock to this remote spot in Guyana, South America. In 1978 US congressman Leo Ryan visited the place at the request of concerned relatives and during

Escape from Sobibor

On this day, 77 years ago, on 14 October 1943, a revolt at the death camp of Sobibor led to the escape of hundreds of Jewish prisoners from this infamous and sinister place, of whom 50 to 60 individuals managed to survive and tell the story of this camp after WWII, especially Thomas Blatt (see also LAMOTH) and Alexander ‘Sasha’ Pechersky, the Soviet Red Army POW who led the revolt/escape.

The story is on record in various places where more of the details can be found. Here only the briefest of summaries has to suffice.

Of crucial importance is to note first of all the significant difference between a concentration camp and the three dedicated death camps that were purpose-built for the so-called ‘Operation Reinhard’. That was the