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Escape from Sobibor

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  1,802 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
Poignant in its honesty and grim in details, Escape from Sobibor provides a vivid account of the biggest escape from a Nazi extermination camp during World War II. Breathtakingly suspenseful and horrifying at the same time.--Publishers Weekly.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 1st 1995 by University of Illinois Press (first published 1982)
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Jun 23, 2015 Erin rated it it was amazing
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I owe my discovery of Richard Rashke's Escape from Sobibor to my father. He introduced me to the death camp in one of our notorious late night discussions and his account of operations within the compound and the subsequent uprising that took place there were so captivating that I took it upon myself to learn more about the remarkably obscure chapter of Operation Reinhard.

Rashke's was the first title Google turned up and th

Escape From Sobibor is my first Holocaust book in almost 5 years. After reading many books over the years on the topic, I decided to stop. I thought I had learned all the basic facts (and most of the history) about one of the most horrific atrocities ever committed.

Then why this book? To be honest, its title drew me in. The word escape in Escape from Sobibor gave me hope. The prospect of some prisoners escaping and actually surviving the Sobibor extermination camp made me think that the book wo
Mar 11, 2013 Nancy rated it it was amazing
How many Holocaust books can you read before you cease to be shocked at human behavior? I thought I had reached my threshold yet found myself arguing with a casual acquaintance that they were not "just following orders," as the story goes. This brand of cruelty and impromptu games of torture cannot be taught. It was a mindset rather than chain of command.

Regardless of the horrors described, I was able and willing to disconnect the mental images I could have conjured. Perhaps in a minute way, thi

watch here.

Description: Color The Sobibor Death Camp was the site of this heart-wrenching story set during World War II. The 600 Jewish laborers enslaved there longed to escape, but the camp commandant gave orders that for every prisoner that tried to escape, and equal number of those left behind would be executed. Knowing this, the prisoners will all have to escape together, or perish in Sobibor one by one.

Sobibor archaeology

No words, no rating. Keep marching lest we all end up in this dark, si
Oct 31, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I received a copy via Netgalley in exchange for a review.
Way back, in the 80s, television use to have movies, made for TV movies. Sometimes they were like the garbage that Lifetime puts on, but sometimes they were actually good. One of the good ones was about an escape from a Nazi Death Camp. I thought of it when I saw this title offered at Netgalley. It turns out this is the back the movie drew on.
Richard Rashke relates the determined revolt and escape of several prisoners of the
Charlene Intriago
Jun 20, 2012 Charlene Intriago rated it really liked it
It took me a LONG time to finish this book. It is so intense. I had to step back from it for awhile, read some other stuff, and then go back. I almost abandoned it but I'm glad I didn't. The last few chapters were sobering. The author interviewed the survivors which involved him visiting several countries to do so. He also went to Sobibor with one of the survivors and walked through what remains of the camp. His description of that visit was what made the book well worth the read for me.
Lisa Vegan
May 30, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has interest in reading holocaust books
Wrenching and yet inspirational book about Sobibor, a Nazi death camp. This was not one of the concentration camps but a death camp, (one of only 4 - along with Treblinka, Belzec and Chelmno.) Here, there were not large numbers of Jews kept alive to work but only a handful from each transport. Just enough prisoners were kept alive to keep the camp running; the vast majority were murdered immediately upon arrival. This is the story of the inmates’ plan, escape, and what happened next. An importan ...more
Donna Brown
Nov 30, 2012 Donna Brown rated it it was amazing
It’s extremely difficult to look at a book like Escape from Sobibor with a critical eye. The usual concerns of characterisation, plot, setting etc don’t come into play. These are facets that cannot be changed if the story is to be told accurately. Therefore, when I review a book like this I have two main considerations: 1) the quality of the writing, 2) the accuracy of the details.

Escape from Sobibor is related in a unique manner, almost as if it were a work of fiction. In this way we are introd
This is a brilliant, heartbreaking book and put together very well. It's a non-fiction story about a real event, but the way it's written, it reads like a Frederick Forsyth novel. If you didn't know if was non-fiction you wouldn't guess from reading it. Yet the author also includes endnotes where he explains what sources he uses, and how he dealt with conflicting sources, and his opinions as to what was reliable and what wasn't -- just like in a regular history book.

I read this book feeling a lo
Lori Spier
Dec 11, 2012 Lori Spier rated it it was amazing
Shelves: holocaust, history
This is one of the hardest reviews I've ever written. The subject matter of the book (the exterminaton camp Sobibor in Eastern Poland) alone makes going "Yes! Wonderful!" just sound... off.

In all seriousness though, this is an excellent book. I''d heard of Sobibor before and read some books where the camp had been included in mini-chapter because, frankly, little is known about the camp. (Notably, Rashke's work also corrects many of the errors found in other books that cover Sobibor.) Exterminat
A Serious Lover
Nov 11, 2012 A Serious Lover rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-books
In this updated version of Escape from Sobibor I am struck with how difficult it is for survivors of tragedy to remember and bear witness and how difficult it is for those who record their testimony.

This was a wonderful blending of the first person accounts together with the personal histories of those giving testimony. As the Holocaust Survivors age it is of the greatest importance that their testimony be preserved.
May 06, 2013 Michael rated it it was amazing
I have read any books regarding the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis against Jews and other groups.This book described the brutality and hatred of many Poles also toward the Jews. It is difficult to attribute these crimes solely to the Nazis. There were hundreds of concentration camps that were used to kill, torture, and exploit the Jews and others deemed un worthy by the Nazis. To have such a vast network of horrors required more than just the Nazi criminals to run them. It is unbelievable t ...more
Bas Kreuger
Apr 06, 2013 Bas Kreuger rated it it was amazing
Special book as it describes a very unusual situation in the Holocaust, a group of Jews fighting back at their slavers and tormentors. The book combnes both the best and worst in man, courage and degradation.
The fact that a few people kept just a sliver of hope alive in wanting to escape and hit back at the Germans makes this into a special story
Rashke writes both the petit histoire of life in Sobibor as the big picture how the world learned (but not acted upon) information coming from Poland on
Nov 12, 2012 Larissa rated it really liked it
This is hard to review. So profound and provoking emotionally and intellectually. I still felt like the author felt pressed. Driven. I understand all the weight of giving a true revelation of the testimonies he gathered yet he seems unable to remain apart from it and I feel him close throughout the narrative. I cannot imagine being able not to internalize these experiences for him and I could not stay apart but feeling the weight of these truths on him strongly was distracting at times. I defini ...more
Jan 03, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holocaust, wwii
This is one of the best books written about the holocaust that I've read. This is a non-fiction account, but it reads like fiction (it's not boring). It is intense and emotionally challenging but incredibly worthwhile. I don't know why I wasted my time reading something like The Book Thief when I could have been reading this.
Mar 06, 2017 Frank rated it it was amazing
I have read many books on the Holocaust. This was by far the best I have ever read.
Jul 29, 2012 Flewts rated it it was amazing
This is an important contribution to the Holocaust historical record because it shows a truth that is not widely recognized: the Jews of Europe did not all go quietly and passively to be slaughtered by the Nazis. This is important for survivors and for their descendants, and it is an historical fact that has not been widely reported.

Most Holocaust historians focused on documentation, reasoning that interviews with survivors could not be trusted to be accurate. As good historians, they wanted doc
Apr 11, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember seeing the movie based on this book when I was younger. Rutger Hauer has always been one of my favorite actors. His role as Sasha I thought was perfect. Yet I think I was to young to really know what the story fully entailed. I knew it was during a war, and I knew that they were in a prisoner camp, I didn't really realize that Sobibor was a death camp during the Holocaust.

We learn about the Holocaust in school, we know the history, we know the horror. This was not a easy book to read
Mac  Ross
May 16, 2015 Mac Ross rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashwyn Mittal
Feb 16, 2016 Ashwyn Mittal rated it it was amazing

Very Good! Well researched! Well Analyzed!
(I bought the Kindle Edition)

1. There are 44 Short chapters of 10-20 pages each of kindle.
2. The Author has tried to cover each aspect in 44 small chapters. For ex:- Story of the survivors, The Germans, Map of Sobibor, The Escape etc.
3. In the end, There is afterword which tells about the effect of movie 'Escape from Sobibor' on the lives of sobibor survivors.
4. In the end The Acknowledgements, Sources and Notes are also useful which tells us h
Victoria Brown
Apr 12, 2014 Victoria Brown rated it it was amazing
I remember watching this movie as a child and when I found this book I couldnt wait to read it. It is such a major time period in history that is so unbelievable its been easily forgotten just how horrible and devestating this was. This is the story of Sobibor a Polish death camp during the holocaust where over 250,000 yes that number is huge 250,000 Jewish people were sent to their death. This story focuses on the brave thirty who staged a revolt and were able to kill Nazi guards and help almos ...more
Feb 09, 2017 Reanna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: holocaust
This is one of the most interesting holocaust books I have ever read. It is fascinating that it not only explores Sobibor, the extermination camp, and the escape of the prisoners there, but also talks about the author's journey in interviewing those who are still alive from the escape. A harrowing and humbling experience that will stay with me for a long time.
Henrieke Hommersom
Feb 13, 2017 Henrieke Hommersom rated it really liked it
Shelves: around-the-world
Definitely worth the read. The eyewitness reports were wellwritten. The book overall was highly informative.
Janet Eshenroder
Mar 20, 2013 Janet Eshenroder rated it really liked it
E-book. Amazing story of a little known Nazi death camp in Poland. There are ghastly accounts of cruelty, in part because there were many survivors, but the story is also filled with hope and resistance. This is the answer to the question, "Why did the Jews submit to their annihilation?" Sobibor was the largest prisoner revolt and escape in all of WWII (military and civilian). By the second third of the book when you get to the escape you are on the edge of your seat. A few hundred Jews successf ...more
Andrew Davis
Oct 09, 2015 Andrew Davis rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This is a very powerful story of the largest escape during the II World War by over 300 Jewish prisoners from a death camp in Sobibor. Only over 30 survived the war and told the world story of survival and mass death of over 250,000 Jews. An amazing story of how a small team of SS men and Ukrainian guards could exterminate so many in perhaps only a couple of years.
Stories of survival after escape demonstrate basest instincts of many living in the area who were killing escapees for their gold sto
Feb 17, 2013 Simone rated it it was ok
Shelves: poland, non-fiction, 2014
I am of the way into this audiobook, and my opinion is exactly the same as Auschwitz A Doctor's Eyewitness Account by Miklós Nyiszli except perhaps I am not as vehement regarding the narration. Although the same complaints apply, I’d give it 1.5 stars instead of just 1. Still, it’s not much better.

Here is my review of that book:

It’s hard to criticize the content of someone’s personal recollections of what they experienced in harrowing times. It's interesting, I'm interested.

I think these things are important to learn about and remember. In some its
Jul 29, 2014 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, holocaust
This was an impressive effort--the author spent probably uncounted hours tracking down and interviewing the survivors of the Sobibor death-camp escape. His account traces the lives of a number of individuals, how they ended up in the camp, how they survived and reacted to the brutality while there, the escape itself, and then the aftermath, concluding with telling the story of the interviews he conducted with the survivors and how their lives have been affected by their experience. This was a ri ...more
Gayle Francis Moffet
Nov 09, 2015 Gayle Francis Moffet rated it it was amazing
Deeply researched and meticulously told, it's a Holocaust memoir that I hope won't be forgotten. Sobibor was a death camp, not a concentration camp. When you got to Sobibor, you died unless you were one of a very lucky few who had a skill the Nazis could use. Rashke's narrative tells the story of the camp through the eyes of people who managed to escape in the most successful escape from a Nazi camp in all of World War II. It's factual with a great sense of courage behind it, and the bittersweet ...more
Sandeep Chopra
Dec 31, 2016 Sandeep Chopra rated it liked it
Well researched and well written - there is no doubt about that. But I cannot count this book amongst the great ones that have been written about this subject. The reason is difficult to pinpoint but I think that soul is missing in the way the author has gone about writing this. It's almost as if he had taken on a project and has completed it - a sort of a Phd thesis submission. The gravity, heart and feeling which should have been splattered all over is conspicuously absent.

There is a certain
Jan 07, 2015 Jeanette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: real, history, wwii
Wow. There aren't a lot of words that can be used to describe a story as horrific, yet still inspiring, as this one. I don't know how I missed this one and the film that was made from it for so long, but I am glad that I finally found it. It is disturbing, but it is necessary to learn and keep learning about the atrocities committed during WWII so that we can make sure they do not happen again. Richard Rashke has climbed the list to the top of my favorite non-fiction writers. I also really enjoy ...more
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Richard Rashke is the author of nonfiction books including The Killing of Karen Silkwood (2000) and the forthcoming Useful Enemies. His books have been translated into eleven languages and have been adapted for screen and television. Rashke is also a produced screenwriter and playwright; his work has appeared on network television and in New York.
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“That’s the reason it’s so important to keep the memory alive, so that people know about it. Another ten or fifteen years, there won’t be any witnesses.” 0 likes
“Esther never believed for a moment that she’d end up in the frying pan, as the women called the gas chamber. A friend in Staw had once told her, “Esther, I have a feeling you’re going to survive. When you do, knock on my tombstone. Then I’ll know that the Germans lost the war.” 0 likes
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