Thomas Blatt
Thomas Blatt, circa 1950

"We had no dreams of liberation. We hoped merely to destroy the camp and to die from bullets rather than from gas. We would not make it easy for the Germans."Thomas Blatt, From the Ashes of Sobibor, 1997

Thomas was 16 years old when the Nazis deported his family to the death camp Sobibor in 1943. His family was killed upon arrival, but Thomas was selected for slave labor.

On October 14, 1943, the prisoners in Sobibor, including Thomas, staged a revolt that resulted in the deaths of nearly a dozen Nazis. 300 prisoners escaped, but only 54 lived to see the end of the war. After the uprising, the Nazis demolished the camp, where at least 170,000 people had been murdered. Thomas dedicated his life to ensuring that the crimes at Sobibor were not forgotten. He lived in Seattle for more than 20 years and was a member of the Holocaust Center’s Speakers Bureau.

More About This Survivor:

Full Testimony Thomas Blatt 2009 (51min 36sec)

Shoeshine Boy (1min 19sec)


Featured Artifact: Bowl from Sobibor

Featured Artifact: Stars