Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Escape from Sobibor” as Want to Read:
Escape from Sobibor
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Escape from Sobibor

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  2,763 ratings  ·  152 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
Kindle Edition, 390 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Dephinium Books (first published 1982)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Escape from Sobibor, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Richard Rashke I saw the movie without English subtitles. I was disappointed with what I understood. The movie fictionalized the story and took every opportunity to …moreI saw the movie without English subtitles. I was disappointed with what I understood. The movie fictionalized the story and took every opportunity to sensationalize it. The true story is strong enough to sustain a gripping two-hour movie. The true story offers opportunity for expansion, such as a greater role for Rabbi Leon Feldhendler, without distortion of reality or history. I await the subtitled version for my final verdict.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,763 ratings  ·  152 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Escape from Sobibor

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
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
May 30, 2007 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
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. ...more
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
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
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
As the survivors have said, if you were not a witness to the atrocities of the Holocaust, and in particular, in the death camps like Sobibor, it is impossible to understand. Even so, it is important that we are aware and that we try to understand.

This is a well-researched book offering the personal reports from survivors who managed to resist, escape and then either fight with partisans or hide until the Russians pushed the front lines past their hiding places. Then years later, these traumatize
Lori Spier
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Doreen Petersen
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii
What a moving book! I still cry and honor those who were killed in all the death camps. One would think after learning of this history we would never let history repeat itself but alas we have not. Shame on us.
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
A Serious Lover
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We must never forget!

I find it interesting as I finish this book to realize it is a minute past midnight on January 27. Also now known as Holocaust Remembrance Day. A rather fitting day to finish reading about Sobibor, a Death Camp I was not really familiar with. I've studied so many stories of the Holocaust...I've visited Dachau while in my 20s. I never thought anything could affect me more. Then I stumbled over Richard Rashke's book and now the tears are streaming down my face. To read the tru
Heather Schreiber wolters
Unbelievably well written, emotional piece of work. The stories told made me feel like I was there. Such first-hand accounts of the atrocities of camps I have never even heard of. Triumphant and brave. I wish I had an opportunity to meet these men and woman who are true hero’s of the war. The strongest and bravest people I’ve ever heard of.
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
I've read many books on concentration camps, work camps or death camps and had never heard of a camp call Sobibor and was very interested in why I hadn't read much about it and where it was. The author did a good job of answering my questions. I was impressed with this book. ...more
Noella Allisen
Oh this is a tough one to review. An important subject never to be forgotten. The depth of the research that went into this story is evident. The reading of it was a challenge for me but not just because of the horrific details of brutality. Oh there were so many. I couldn't connect to any one character and there were so many names and places that I couldn't remember either. Add to that the fact that every couple of chapters had some 'oopsey' editing problems. ...more

A Buried Treasure: How I Discovered Sobibor

I didn’t find Sobibor.
It found me.
- Richard Rashke.

“ I accidently stumbled on the story in 1979 while rummaging through the stacks of the Library of Congress. I was in the Holocaust book stacks thumbing through the first Holocaust book I pulled off the shelf when I noticed the word Sobibor. The author simply defined it as a death camp in eastern Poland. Although I knew a few things about the Holocaust, a camp called Sobibor was not one of them.

As I co
Bas Kreuger
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Gina Anderson
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of the escape from Sobibor is both inspiring and horrifying. Some brutal images from the book I can't get out of my mind. I learned many pieces of history that I didn't know before despite reading quite a few books on the holocaust. Although incredibly well researched and a historical gem, I often got lost in the stories of the people (Wait, who did that? Who was he/she?). Every single person at that camp has a story, even those we do not know. ...more
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-it, ebooks, history, wwii
Because this book was made into a 1980s TV movie, its name has been familiar to me most of my life, and I've always meant to read it. Even though Holocaust literature exhausts me, I feel compelled to read more and more of it, almost like I owe it to the survivors and the murdered to keep my eyes open and truly see their sufferings. It's my way of saying I will not forget, and I will not let it happen again. And now that my new son-in-law (who I adore) is half Jewish and my grandchildren will be ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I've watched the movie many, many times. It used to show every year around Xmas. We had 1 tv station, that wasn't even on air for 24 hours. They had a limited number of movies that they used to play every year during the holidays. This was one of them. It was my first lesson on the Holocaust.

The movie makes up only a part of the book. The book tells the stories of the few escapees of Sobibor, following them before, during, and after Sobibor. There was to be a second movie that continued the stor
Glen Chern
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Powerful and Valuable Account

Author Richard Rashid presents a very powerful and poignant narrative of the Nazi death camp known as Sobibor, located in eastern Poland. Rashid brilliantly describes the events that led preceded and followed the escape from the camp by its Jewish prisoners on October 14, 1943. Much of the attention is paid to the Jews who escaped. These included Polish, Russian and Dutch Jews who were captured and sent to Sobibor in 1942-1943. The author also discusses the Nazi offi
Roland Cavanaugh
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I like to read WWII books and am fascinated by much of it. Though morbid, the period is very interesting and clearly shows the depths of human depravity and human determination to overcome that depravity. This book is not for the squeamish. It covers the era of Sobibor, a Nazi death camp where 250,000 Jews were murdered during the Holocaust (conservatively). It follows the arrival of the first prisoners and continues through the escape and the aftermath, including the genuine difficulty many had ...more
Ginger Miller
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Although I have read this book before I wanted to read it again in order to review it. The accounts from actual survivors of the Sobibor revolt tells such a different story from Holocaust historians. The author is correct when he states that historians often use it as a mere footnote because there is no German document supporting such a revolt as being as remotely successful as this one was. I was led to believe only ten or twelve survived and the rest were killed. Such was not the case
Anthony Ambruso
Aug 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Depressing on more level than one

I was interested in learning about Sobibor. I did and found the information worthwhile. However, I was struck by the hopelessness and misery of everyone in this book. The utter selfishness of everyone in not helping or misusing everyone that was contacted. Poles and Ukrainians of every flavor lacked all human decency: reporting and stealing from everyone around them. It was difficult identifying the "bad guys" in this book. Even holocaust historians appeared to s
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Last Jew of Treblinka
  • Inside the Gas Chambers: Eight Months in the Sonderkommando of Auschwitz
  • Rena's Promise: A Story of Sisters in Auschwitz
  • Auschwitz
  • Survivors: True Stories of Children in the Holocaust
  • A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy
  • Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chambers
  • I Escaped from Auschwitz
  • Auschwitz #34207: The Joe Rubinstein Story
  • In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer
  • I Have Lived a Thousand Years
  • Treblinka
  • All But My Life: A Memoir
  • 999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz
  • Outcry: Holocaust Memoirs
  • The Pianist: The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939–45
  • The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank
  • The Seamstress
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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.

News & Interviews

We all want to spend more time lost in the pages of great books. That's the idea behind our annual 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge! It's...
44 likes · 5 comments
“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.” 3 likes
“To survive, Esther followed two basic rules. Try not to be noticed, and don’t fall in love.” 0 likes
More quotes…