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Semyon Rosenfeld, the last survivor of the Sobibor death camp, dies
Last survivor of Sobibor death camp dies aged 96
Ukranian-born Semyon Rosenfeld escaped the extermination camp in 1943 during an uprising along with 300 other prisoners, most of whom were recaptured; he made aliyah in 1990 and is survived by two sons and five grandchildren
The last living survivor of the Sobibor death camp, died Monday at the age of 96 at a hospital in central Israel.

 

   

Semyon Rosenfeld is survived by his two sons and five grandchildren. In recent years Rosenfeld lived in a retirement home in the community settlement of Yad Binyamin in central Israel. He was pronounced dead at the Kaplan Medical Center in the city of Rehovot.

 

Semyon Rosenfeld, the last survivor of the Sobibor death camp, dies
Semyon Rosenfeld, the last survivor of the Sobibor death camp, dies
 

Rosenfeld was born in Ukraine in 1922 in the town of Ternovka, and in 1940 - with the breakout of World War II - was drafted into the Red Army. A year later he was captured by the Germans and sent to set up a labor camp in the capital of Belarus, Minsk, along with 230 other Jewish prisoners.

 

He was later transferred to an extermination camp near the railway station of Sobibór near Włodawa in Poland, where some 250,000 Jews were murdered between April 1942 and October 1943.

  

Rosenfeld escaped the camp along with 300 other prisoners in September 1943 during an uprising - led by Alexander Pechersky - in which 11 SS men were killed. Many of those who took part in the uprising were killed or captured in the days that followed. Rosenfeld, however, hid in the woods with a small group of prisoners until the spring of 1944.

 

Semyon Rosenfeld with his grandson who lives in the United States
Semyon Rosenfeld with his grandson who lives in the United States

 

In an interview several years ago, Rosenfled said the uprising was triggered by the answer of an SS man who was asked what happened to other prisoners who arrived with him. “He pointed at smoke (rising from a crematorium) and said: ‘There.’”

 

Pechersky, who initiated the revolt, then asked the 21-year-old Rosenfeld whether he could kill a man with an axe. Semyon replied he couldn’t kill a man but he could kill a Nazi. "I wasn’t afraid because I didn’t have time to be scared. I only thought about my life," he said.

 

He later participated in the capture of Berlin by the Soviet forces and was demobilized in October 1945. Rosenfeld made aliyah in 1990 with members of his family, some of whom now live in the United States.

 

The Sobibor death camp was destroyed by the Germans at the end of 1943 in order to erase the evidence of its existence.

 


פרסום ראשון: 06.03.19, 11:37
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