- About the book
DetailsThe Sobibor Death Camp was the second extermination camp built by the Nazis as part of the secretive Operation Reinhardt—with intent to carry out the mass murder of Polish Jewry. Following the construction of the extermination camp at Belzec in south-eastern Poland from November 1941 to March 1942, the Nazis planned a second extermination camp at Sobibor, and the third and deadliest camp was built near the remote village of Treblinka. Sobibor was similarly designed as the first camp in Belzec, it was regarded as an 'overflow' camp for Belzec. This account of the Nazis' remorseless and relentless production line of killing at the Sobibor death camp tells of one of the worst crimes in the history of mankind. Chris Webb's painstakingly researched volume ranges from the survivors and the victims to the SS men who carried out the atrocities. What makes this work special is the research which has been gathered on the survivors, who by good fortune, courage, and determination survived Sobibor and built new lives for themselves, new families, but bore the scars of this terrible place for all of their lives. Closing a gap in the existing literature, Webb focuses on the victims and presents details of their lives which have been found and re-tells them to keep their memory alive, to show they are not forgotten. The cruel and barbaric murder process is described in great detail, as well as the confiscation of the valuables and possessions of the unfortunate Jews who crossed the threshold of this man-made hell. One cannot fail to be moved by the personal accounts of those who survived, their loved ones perished in this factory of death. The book covers the construction of the death camp, the physical layout of the camp, as remembered by both the Jewish inmates and the SS staff who served there, and the personal recollections that detail the day to day experiences of the prisoners and the SS. The courageous revolt by the prisoners on October 14, 1943 is re-told by the prisoners and the German SS, with detailed accounts of the revolt and its aftermath. The post-war fate of the perpetrators, or more precisely those that were brought to trial, and information regarding the more recent history of the site itself concludes this book. There is a large photographic section of rare and some unpublished photographs and documents from the author's private archive.
- The author
About the authorChris Webb has studied the Holocaust for over 45 years. This book on the Sobibor death camp is the latest book in his trilogy of the three Aktion Reinhardt camps. Webb has co-founded a number of Holocaust remembrance websites, such as www.deathcamps.org, www.holocaustresearchproject.org, and www.holocausthistoricalsociety.org.uk. He has acted as a consultant on a number of documentaries shown on television regarding the Holocaust as well as donating images from his extensive private archive. He is also a Research Associate for the Centre of Fascist, Anti-Fascists and Post Fascists Studies at Teesside University.
Reviews“In this meticulously researched and very well written monograph, Chris Webb tells the grim story of this camp, which was part of the deadliest phase of the Holocaust in German-occupied Poland during 1942-43. This work also includes the unique Jewish Roll of Remembrance. Other previously published books on the Sobibor death camp have brief biographies of the survivors, but to my knowledge, none record the victims in the way that is presented here.
It is a book that is not just important for scholars, but also to teachers and lecturers of the Holocaust, and this completes the trilogy of books written by Chris Webb on the three Aktion Reinhardt camps in Poland, Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka.“
—Professor Frank McDonough, Liverpool John Moores University
"Chris Webb's book is a thought-provoking, well written piece on a still sadly under-researched topic: The Sobibor death camp. The book is the result of decades of research and multiple trips to the original site. Its strength lies in the close examination of the smallest details; its emotional power is derived from a thorough analysis of the fates of the perpetrators and the victims."
Robert Parzer, gedenkort-T4.eu
“This is the most detailed study of the Nazi death camp at Sobibor to date, by turns insightful and harrowing. It completes Chris Webb’s must-read trilogy for ibidem-Verlag, respectively covering the so-called Aktion Reinhardt death camps (Belzec, Treblinka, and Sobibor), responsible for the murder of more than 1.6 million innocent civilians during the Holocaust.
Alongside an accessible narrative of Sobibor’s brief and genocidal history are previously unseen photographs and documents interspersed throughout. The latter contains several texts by the murderers, but also eyewitness testimony from victims and survivors—hundreds of whom escaped on 14 October 1943 in one of the most heroic events of World War Two.
Perhaps the most valuable contribution of all in this remarkable book is a ‘Roll of Remembrance’ providing biographical details of those forced to suffer the hell of Sobibor: a place designed for only one purpose: the mass murder of of Jews in occupied Europe.”
Matthew Feldman, Professor in Contemporary History at Teesside University
„Es bleibt zu hoffen, dass Webbs Darstellung dazu beiträgt, dass dieses Geschehen endlich den ihm zukommenden Platz in der Erinnerungspolitik wie der Gedenkpraxis der betroffenen Länder erhält.“ – ZfG - Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft. 11/2018
- Additional Information