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Sobibor, one of the Nazi killing centers, was located in German-occupied Poland. Its sole purpose was to kill Jews.

In the summer of 1943, prisoners at Sobibor started planning a mass escape, but the plan stalled. In September of 1943, a unit of Jewish Soviet Army prisoners of war arrived at Sobibor. One of these POWs was Alexander “Sasha” Pechersky, who became the leader of the Sobibor uprising, which began on October 14, 1943.

Out of approximately 200 prisoners who escaped Sobibor and were not immediately found, only about 50 survived the war.

Learn more about Sacha Pechersky’s role in the Sobibor escape, the official silence in the Eastern bloc and ideological refusal to acknowledge the suffering of Jews at Sobibor, and the ways in which people gradually became aware of the truth in an October 2017 Museum program below.