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  • 7 October 2013

    Philip Bialowitz, one of the eight surviving prisoners of the German Nazi camp, met with Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski in Warsaw on 7 October. The occasion was the forthcoming 70th anniversary of the revolt in Sobibor (14 October 1943) which led to the escape of 300 prisoners.

    They discussed the importance of preserving a fitting memory of the revolt in the Sobibor camp, which was liquidated by the Germans soon after the outbreak of the revolt. “We should constantly remind people who played what role during WW II to disclaim falsehoods about events that happened then,” said Minister Sikorski. Philip Bialowitz said his mission was to “tell this truth to the whole world.” He went on to stress that he is “a living eyewitness of those events.”
    The discussion also focused on the need to enhance work on the project to revitalise the camp site and to build a tourist information centre. The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in cooperation with partners from the Netherlands, Israel and Slovakia and the Foundation for Polish-German Reconciliation. Philip Bialowitz told the minister about his recent visit to the Bundestag, where he appealed to the German authorities to commit themselves to the project. “In the Bundestag I appealed to them to  support the project. For one, because there were many German Jews who were killed in Sobibor,” stressed Philip Bialowitz. Minister Sikorski assured his guest that the issue will be raised at the intergovernmental level.
    Philip Bialowitz was sent to Sobibor from the ghetto in Izbica, where he had been forced to live since 1943. In Sobibor, he lost his father, two sisters and his niece. He was instrumental in staging the revolt, which erupted on 14 October 1943. After his escape from the camp, for several weeks he stayed with a Home Army unit that helped him survive. Later he found shelter in a Polish village. He wrote about his life in the death camp in a book "A Promise at Sobibor: A Jewish Boy's Story of Revolt and Survival in Nazi Occupied Poland."
    MFA Press Office

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