13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Lest we forget...,
This review is from: Escape from Sobibor (Paperback)
Escape from Sobibor, by Richard Rashke, is a profound work. It was even more disturbing and thought-provoking than my visit to the Jewish Concentration Camp in Dachau, Germany.
The book reveals a startling and detailed picture of the atrocities committed at the super-secret Sobibor Jewish Extermination Camp in Poland, where more than 250,000 Jews were tortured and murdered during World War II. Approximately 600 "fortunate" Jews were spared to maintain the camp, assist with "processing" prisoners, and perform other duties for the Nazis. Of this group, some 300 escaped one well-planned afternoon - the only successful Jewish breakout from a Nazi prisoner camp. All but about 30 were recaptured and executed.
Through intimate, sensitive interviews with survivors and meticulous research, Rashke fills the empty boots of Holocaust victims with bodies, faces, hearts, and souls. He demonstrates how spirit, strength, cooperation, and luck drove the escapees to fulfill their mission - to let the world know what was really going on behind the pristine facade so carefully cultivated by the SS at Sobibor.
Escape from Sobibor answers one question the uninformed always ask, "Why didn't the Jews resist?" Many tried, as Rashke describes so well. Inside the camp, the Jews faced overwhelming odds. They were unarmed, denied the right to assemble, and often betrayed by staff and fellow prisoners. Outside the camp, they were surrounded by mostly hostile and frightened neighbors who would not provide food, shelter, or weapons and who also frequently betrayed them.
Escape from Sobibor also compels the reader to consider other important issues about the Holocaust, including why the rest of the world chose to ignore the Jewish plight for so long and how humans can be so cruel to each other. Exploration of these topics is still significant since racial and ethnic discrimination and abuse persists around the world.
It is clear from the haunting accounts chronicled by Rashke that no one really "escaped" from Sobibor, even if they are still alive today. Now I will never really "escape" Sobibor either.