Survivor of Sobibór Nazi death camp dies in U.S.
PR dla Zagranicy
Tomasz Blatt, one of the last survivors of the 1943 uprising in the extermination camp in Sobibór in Nazi-occupied Poland, has died in Santa Barbara at the age of eighty-eight.
Tomasz Blatt (C) on the terrain of the former Nazi German death camp if Sobibór in 2013, with Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich (R). Photo: wikimedia commons/Anton Kurt
Two years ago, during the events marking the 70th anniversary of the Sobibór uprising, he was decorated with the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. It was his last visit to Poland.
Born in 1927 in Izbica, near Zamość in easter Poland, Tomasz Blatt was deported to Sobibór with his whole family in the spring of 1943.
His parents and younger brother were killed in the gas chambers. He took part in the uprising and managed to escape with a group of some 300 prisoners.
He found shelter with a family of Polish farmers and shortly before the end of World War Two joined Polish resistance units.
In 1957, Blatt emigrated to Israel and later settled in the United States.
He devoted most of his life to commemorating the victims of Sobibór, as a witness during the trials of Nazi criminals and an author of several books about the Holocaust (‘From the Ashes of Sobibór’, ‘Sobibór, the Forgotten Revolt'). He served as a consultant on the 1987 film ‘Escape from Sobibór’.
An estimated 250, 000 Jews from Poland, France and the Netherlands, as well as 1, 000 Gentile Poles, perished in Sobibór.
After the mass escape of prisoners in October 1943, the Nazis dismantled the camp and planted trees on the site in an effort to hide all traces of their crimes. (mk/nh/rk)