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Escape From Sobibor
Richard Rashke
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Escape From Sobibor

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  1,118 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Poignant in its honesty and grim in its details, Escape from Sobibor offers stunning proof of resistance - in this case successful - by victims of the Holocaust. The smallest of the extermination camps operated by Nazi Germany during World War II, Sobibor also was the scene of the war's biggest prisoner escape. Richard Rashke's interviews with eighteen of those who survive ...more
Published (first published 1982)
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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
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
Charlene Intriago
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.
Donna Brown
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
Lisa Vegan
Sep 05, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Lori Spier
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
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
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
Bas Kreuger
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
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.
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.
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
John Findlay
This book really brings home the horrors of the Holocaust, and the will to survive that Jewish prisoners exhibited under horrendous conditions. I had never heard of Sobibor, one of the smaller and lesser-known extermination camps, before reading the book, but I will never forget it now. Life in the camp, and the planning for an escape attempt, are pieced together through interviews with the small number that survived to tell the story. The latter portion of the book encompasses the author's trac ...more
Patty Wells
Emotionally tough to read, but worth it

I saw the movie when it came out in 1981, but the book is so much more...everything. Emotional, informative, complete, to name a few. The author has updated his book and the backgrounds of the people involved to bring it current.
In the book, I found the events after the escape to be more shocking than what happened in the camp, where I expected to find such inhumanity. I was also enraged by our government's (and others) refusal to see the truth and do anyth
Victoria Brown
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
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
Janet Eshenroder
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
Excellent account of a comparatively little-known escape from the Nazi death camp, Sobibor. Very readable, even though the subject matter is of course, horrific. Well-documented. The basis for a widely-aired TV movie in the 1980's. Although most of the persons who intended or attempted to escape did not survive, some did. And it was inspiring to learn of their courage, their determination to fight back, and the impact of the sacrifices made in desperate pursuit of life and freedom.
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
I am glad that I read this at a time when the Jews of Israel are again under attack. I recall the prisoners planning to somehow get the word out to the world that this atrocity was occurring and someday they hoped for a country of their own where they could protect themselves in numbers. They remind me of the Vietnamese in that they hold the good of the whole over the good of the individual and will do whatever it takes to preserve its culture.
Shelly Riggle
A very important book

I really don't know that I liked this book because it had so many people and their stories and was a little disjointed; it jumped around a lot. I did feel it was very important, historically, and I was glad I pushed through it. I wanted to honor the writer for pushing forward and the people he wrote about. it was a great book just not an easy read and I feel better for having read 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
Brandi Melvin
I've read plenty of Holocaust books, but this one is especially haunting. It is baffling how poorly these people were treated both in and outside of Sobibor. The survivors accounts are sobering, and it is obvious that even though they physically escaped Sobibor, there is no true escape for them.
"Escape from Sobibor" is yet another account of the inhumane treatment of Jews during World War II. It differs from many other accounts in that it relates the escape of 300 Jewish prisoners in the Sobibor death camp. These Jewish men and women were not willing to simply wait for death, but fought back and escaped in large numbers. The author traveled all over the world to meet with the survivors of the revolt and hear not only how they were able to escape, but what happened to them afterward and ...more
An exceptionally written memoir detailing the lives of survivors, and those lost, from Sobibor, a Nazi death camp few have heard of. This book is full of horror and hope and you will never forget reading it.
Melanie Evans
A difficult read, but stories that MUST be heard!

I am so glad that I read this. These stories must be heard and never forgotten - have tissues and sleep medicine handy. Seriously...
This was a difficult book to read. Not because it was hard to follow, but because of the absolute horror these people had to live through. Now multiply that and the result is mind boggling.
Amazing book. The cruelty of the Nazis to the Polish Jews is beyond words. This is the story of one survivor's escape from a little known death camp. Everybody should read this book.
Robert Snow
Thirty years ago I took a course on the Holocaust and this was one of the required readings. The Professor was the nephew of a Polish partisan fighter and associate of Elie Wiesel at B.U. It was a most enlightening look at a very dark period of human history. The readings were difficult and stories of the camps gut wrenching. This book stood out as hope "only in the sense of escape" during that period of deep darkness, but it is also reminder that those who did these horrendous acts got away wit ...more
front cover of my ebook is different than the book above. Many misspelled words and made the people who survived the gassing seem as if they were zombies.
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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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