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Tomasz Blatt (1927–2015)

It is with deep sadness that we learned of the passing of Thomas "Toivi" Blatt – one of the latest survivors of the Sobibór death camp. He died in Santa Barbara (USA) on October 31, 2015.

Thomas Blatt was born on April 15, 1927, in Izbica, Poland. On April 28, 1943, he and his family was deported to the German death camp in Sobibór. There his parents and younger brother were killed in a gas chamber. Thomas Blatt was employed in camp workshops, he worked also by burning some documents.

Blatt was among the 300 prisoners who participated in an uprising on October 14, 1943, and escaped from Sobibór. He found shelter at Polish peasants. By the end of the war, he joined the Polish Underground. In 1957 he emigrated to Israel and later settled in the United States.

He devoted majority of his life to commemorate Sobibór prisoners – he was a witness at lawsuits against Nazi perpetrators and an author of books on the Holocaust. He published his accounts in such books as From the Ashes of Sobibor (1997) or Sobibor. The Forgotten Revolt (2000). Based on his memoirs a movie Escape from Sobibor (1987) was made.