The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: places/poland/wlodawa/wlodawa.008

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Life and Fall of Wlodowa: The Sobibor Uprising        
Summary: from the Yizkor book of Wlodawa
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project (CANADA)
Keywords: Wlodowa

Archive/File: places/poland/wlodawa/wlodawa.008
Last-modified: 1993/03/17

              The Life and Fall of Wlodawa and Surroundings
                   Translated by Shoshana Leszczynski
             (Transcribed by Ken McVay,

        [Please refer to Wlodawa.001 for transcription comments]


Ada Lichtmann

It was in the days of the great terror, when they were persecuted like
dogs. Homeless. After I was uprooted from my native town Krakow to
several labour camps I arrived in Sobibor and here after a merciless
selection, I remained working in the laundry.

In this extermination camp about 600 people were busy with all kind
 of work. There were also workshops for tailors and shoemakers.
Many of them were occupied classifying and amending  the garments
that the victims stripped off before going into the gas chambers. In a
special room there were drawers in which there was an assortment of
jewels and gold teeth which were pulled out from the Jewish corpses. In
this room a selected group of labourers worked under strict supervision.

Not far from the laundry there was a knitting factory managed by a
sixteen year old Jewish student, Micha Spira from Mebidgosh. She came to
Sobibor after denunciation directly from school with her uniform and her
schoolbooks. In this knitting factory 20 women were working unravelling
the yarn of woolen sweaters that had been taken from the corpses and
were also knitting socks for Hitler's murderers.

Once a train arrived with Jews and their belongings from Holland. A
special car containing all kinds of food was attached to this train: 
Cheeses, coffee, sugar preserves and other good things were to be
found there. This was a present from the queen of the Netherlands for
her citizens who left for "labour camps".

These Jews enjoyed of an extraordinary reception. Upon descending from
the train they found tables full of bread, marmalade and coffee. They
were removed to the working houses where they were told to write letters
home saying that they had arrived safe and sound and that all was well.
Only after having signed their letters were they sent to the Sanitary
Center -- the gas chamber. One one  of these days a rebellion broke
out. Seventy French Jews, seeing that they had been brought to an
extermination camp revolted and tried to fight their way to freedom. The
resistance failed and all were shot in front of the other camp

The laundry was next to the area of the railway station where the Jews
arrived. In my work, bringing and delivering the laundry I saw, in the
year 1943, a train with Jews from the Ghetto Wlodowa. From the sides of
the wagons planks were missing in several places, a sign that they had
been plucked up by the Jews who had jumped from the galloping train.

The Jews of Wlodowa refused to descend from the cars. They had taken
with them such things as pots and bottles as they had been told that
they were going to labour camps. These they now threw at the SS-men. The
SS-men fired but the Jews did not get off until the camp leader Gustav
Wagner came and appeased them.  He told them that nothing bad would
happen to them and that people were needed for different kinds of work.
The Jew  finally believed that they were being led to work and
abandoned the cars. On that very day they died in the gas chambers.

On  1943 the Jews of Wlodowa who had worked in the workshops
rebelled. Micha Shapira who had supervised the knitting factory also
participated in this mutiny. She was shot at by the SS-man Karol Frenzel
while trying to escape.

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