The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/aktion.reinhard/sobibor/sobibor.08

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Sobibor & SS Sergeant Fallaster
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project, Vancouver Island, CANADA
Keywords: Fallaster,Sobibor

Archive/File: holocaust/poland/reinhard/sobibor sobibor.08
Last-modified: 1993/03/24            

"To make Sobibor run still more smoothly, the Nazis built a high-powered
generator that provided enough light so that they could gas Jews at night,
and a small train with dump cars like those used to haul coal in the mines
south of Krakow. The train tracks began at the unloading platform in front
of the Officers' Compound, stretched into Camp II past the warehouses where
the sorted clothes were stored, along the sorting sheds, parallel with the
tube leading to Camp III, to the rear of the gas chambers, and then to the
mass graves. The miners' train toted suitcases from the boxcars to the
sorting sheds, bundles of clothes from the warehouses to the empty cars
sitting on the spur inside the camp, wood to Camp III, and corpses from the
gas chambers to the burial pits.

SS Sergeant Fallaster was in charge of the Jews who laid the tracks, and
he built his railroad with blood. Short, squat, homely, and slightly hard
of hearing, he whipped his crew to a frenzy so that his train would be
ready for the first transports to squeak into the `new' Sobibor. If a Jew
wasn't working fast enough, or if he angered Fallaster, the Nazi would beat
him with a sledgehammer. Sergeant Fallaster smashed dozens to death that
summer. Those who escaped with broken bones were taken to Camp III and

Up to late summer, the bodies of the gassed Jews were buried in mass graves
two hundred feet long, thirty to forty-five feet wide, and fifteen to
twenty feet deep. Covered with lime, the corpses would swell six to ten
feet in the sun like mounds of dough. Once the gas from decomposition was
released, they would sink back down, and the Jews would cover them with
dirt. The Nazis found that burying the corpses caused three major problems.

The summer of 1942 was one of the hottest on record, and the stench of the
more than fifty thousand Jews rotting in Sobibor was overpowering. Like a
pestilence, the smell spread over the sweet-scented pine forest and seemed
to penetrate everything, including SS uniforms. Furthermore, the water
table at Sobibor, only a few miles from the Bug River, was high. After the
snow melted in the spring, the southern tip of the camp just outside the
fences turned into a swamp. The Germans were concerned that their drinking
water would become contaminated and that typhoid would break out. They were
also worried that someone someday might stumble on the mass graves, and
Sobibor would no longer be a secret.

So the Nazis dragged in a steam shovel and forced the Camp III Jews to dig
up and burn all the corpses. The Jews stacked them like sacks of rotten
potatoes on train tracks resting on concrete pillars. Then they sloshed the
mounds with gasoline or kerosene and set fire to the wood piled underneath.
They worked in crews around the clock. By night, the sky was bright with an
orange glow. By day, black smoke curled in the windless sky as if the
forest of the owls were on fire." (Rashke, 52-53)

                            Work Cited:
Rashke, Richard. Escape From Sobibor (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company,

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.