A Promise at Sobibór: A Jewish Boy’s Story of Revolt and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland

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Univ of Wisconsin Press, Nov 30, 2010 - History - 196 pages
This is the true story of Fiszel Bialowitz, a teenaged Polish Jew who in 1943 escaped the Nazi gas chambers at the Sobibór death camp. He joined with his brother and a small group of prisoners to carry out a daring and precisely planned revolt that killed SS officers and allowed roughly half of the camp’s 650 remaining Jewish prisoners to flee through minefields and machine-gun fire into the surrounding forest. Only about forty-two of them, including Fiszel, are known to have survived to the end of the war.
Philip (Fiszel) Bialowitz, now an American citizen, relates his eyewitness story in “realtime” perspective, from his childhood before the war to his life in the Izbica ghetto, his six months of internment and resistance at Sobibór, and his rescue by courageous Polish farmers. He also recounts the challenges of life following the war as a displaced teenager and his eventual efforts as a witness to the truth of the Holocaust.

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A PROMISE AT SOBIBÓR: A Jewish Boy's Story of Revolt and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland

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When a prisoner uprising freed hundreds of Jews from the Nazi death camp at Sobibór, Poland, in 1943, Bialowitz heard the leader call out, "If you survive, bear witness to what happened here! Tell the ... Read full review


1 Before War
2 War Begins
3 The Rosenbergers
4 Fritz
5 Summer 1942
6 Fall 1942
7 November 1942 to April 1943
8 Life in Sobibór
10 Escape from Sobibór
11 New Dangers
12 Liberation and Victory
13 Life as a Displaced Person
14 Resettling in the United States
Life after Sobibór

9 Planning Vengeance

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About the author (2010)

Philip (Fiszel) Bialowitz (1925–2016) was a retired jeweler. He frequently spoke in North America and Europe about his experience at Sobibór, including testifying at several war crimes trials, most recently at the German trial of John Demjanjuk in 2010. Joseph Bialowitz is Philip’s son and is an environmental manager and Holocaust lecturer who lives in California.

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