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We will continue the work to prove that this camp existed because there are some mad voices denying the events of those years -- Memorial Institute Chairman Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, Auschwitz survivor

Saturday, November 24, 2001

Archeologists find mass graves of Sobibor Nazi death camp


POLISH archaeologists have found seven mass graves containing the remains of the victims of the Second World War Sobibor Nazi death camp, officials said Friday.

Officials from Poland's Memorial Institute said charred remains of the death camp prisoners, the majority of them Polish Jews were, found in the graves which measure 5 meters in depth and up to 70 meters by 25 meters in circumference.

No confirmation of the number of people buried in the graves was available.

"We will continue the work to prove that this camp existed because there are some mad voices denying the events of those years," said Memorial Institute Chairman Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, himself a survivor of the infamous Auschwitz Nazi death camp.

Officials said they have limited information about the Sobibor concentration camp, located at the juncture of Poland's eastern border with both Ukraine and Belarus. WWII aerial photographs of the area were used as a basis for the archeological work.

According to Memorial Institute data only 52 of Sobibor's quarter million prisoners survived the camp -- fewer still are alive today.

Operated by Poland's Nazi German invaders, the Sobibor death camp functioned between May 1942 to October 1943.

Along with the extermination camps at Belzec and Treblinka, Sobibor was part of operation Reinhard -- the Nazi plan in 1942 to exterminate the Jews of Nazi-occupied Poland and areas of the Soviet Union. Nearly 250,000 people perished in the camp's gas chambers which used carbon monoxide gas.

Historical records show a prisoner's revolt erupted at the camp on October 14, 1943. Many inmates were summarily executed, but about 300 managed to escape into nearby forests. Most were subsequently re-captured and killed. Those who managed to elude the Nazis joined partisan units -- some 52 are said to have survived the war.

The Nazis liquidated the Sobibor camp shortly after the revolt.

Related item on this website:

Mass Graves Confirm Sobibor Holocaust

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