The location of the gas chambers at the notorious Sobibor death camp has been revealed, Yad Vashem announced Wednesday.
On October 14, 1943 some 600 prisoners rose up in revolt and escaped from the camp. Most were recaptured or murdered, but 100 to 120 managed to survive. Of those, 60 made it through to the end of the war, when Allied Forces arrived to free the captives.
But a quarter of a million Jews were murdered at the death camp in Poland, where the Nazis worked hard to cover up their evil crime. After the uprising, the Nazis bulldozed the site and planted evergreen trees to conceal the mass graves.
Now, an archaeological dig has uncovered the truth nevertheless.
Dr. David Silberklang, a senior researcher at the Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust research said, “The discovery of the exact location of the gas chambers at the Sobibior Camp is a discovery of the utmost importance in Holocaust research.”
He said it was important to understand that “there are no remains from any Jews who worked in the area of the gas chambers, and therefore these findings are the only thing left from those who were murdered.” Silberklang said “a small window has been open into their daily suffering.”
Personal effects of the victims who lived and died in the tragedy have been found near the gas chambers. Among the items uncovered were jewelry – including wedding rings – and perfumes, medicine and utensils.
Archaeologist Yoram Haimi added that “we found near the gas chambers wedding rings with the inscription in Hebrew, ‘Harei at mekudeshet li” (Behold, thou art consecrated unto me.”)
Silberklang said that for the first time the excavation taking place at the site would enable researchers would be able to better understand the murder process in the camp and what the Jews went through before their deaths.