One of Last Known Sobibor Survivors Has Died

Arkady Waispapir was 96
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2018 10:25 AM CST
The stone of the memorial to members of the resistance at Nazi concentration camps during WWII is shown during an opening ceremony at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow on Monday.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

(Newser) – Almost everyone who entered Sobibor perished inside. Now, one of the last known survivors of the camp in Poland has died. Arkady Waispapir was 96. The BBC reports an estimated 250,000 Jews were thought to have been killed at the concentration camp, which was the site of a famous camp-wide revolt in October 1943 that saw roughly 300 prisoners escape; the Los Angeles Times has called it the only mass escape from a WWII concentration camp. About a third were quickly recaptured, and of the rest, just 47 survived the war. Waispapir was both among their ranks and a leader of the rebellion, which the Nazis responded to by killing those prisoners who remained and demolishing the camp.

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe said Monday that Waispapir died Jan. 11 in Kiev, Ukraine, the country of his birth. He was captured by German forces while serving in the Soviet Army and transported to Sobibor because he was Jewish. The war wiped out his entire family; he ultimately married and had two sons. The AP cites a rep for the Auschwitz memorial and museum who says four living survivors of Sobibor now remain. (Gas chambers were later discovered at the razed camp.)

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