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26.10.2021

“Sobibór: A History of a Nazi Death Camp” – soon in the Bookstore of the State Museum at Majdanek

Jules Schelvis (1921–2016) not only wrote down his memoirs describing his fate during World War II, but as the only Sobibór survivor, he also created a monograph concentrating on the history of SS-Sonderkommando Sobibor. The Polish version of Schelvis’ work will soon be released.

“Together with 3005 others, my wife Rachel and her family included, I was deported to Sobibór on June 1, 1943. None of the deportees knew what was ahead of us. When I was liberated by the French armed forces in Vaihingen an der Enz near Stuttgart on April 8, 1945, I began to write down everything that had happened to me in the past several years. It turned out that I was the sole survivor from that transport to Sobibór” – Jules writes in the introduction to his monograph. The Polish version of “Sobibór: A History of a Nazi Death Camp” will soon be published by the State Museum at Majdanek.

When creating his work, Jules Schelvis relied on the testimonies given by perpetrators during investigations and their trials, the statements of the Polish witnesses, the preserved German documents, and the accounts of other Sobibór survivors. The monograph’s chapters describe various aspects and details of the camps functioning and organisation; characterise the perpetrators and their victims. As a result, Schelvis’ work provides the readers with a wholistic description of the events that happened in the Sobibór death camp between 1942 and 1943. The monograph was released for the first time in the Netherlands in 1993. It constitutes a primary source concerning the mass extermination of Jews perpetrated by Nazi Germany within the framework of “Aktion Reinhardt.”

Thanks to the support of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport; and the efforts of the State Museum at Majdanek, Jules’ work will soon be at the disposal of the wide readership in Poland. The first Polish edition of “Sobibór: A History of a Nazi Death Camp” will soon be available on purchase on site and in the online bookstore of the State Museum at Majdanek and its branches.

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