When the Germans invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Thomas Toivi Blatt was twelve years old. He and his family lived in the largely Jewish town of Izbica in the Lublin district of Poland – a district that was to become the site of three of the six major Nazi extermination camps: Belzec, Sobibor, and Majdanek.
Blatt’s account of his childhood in Izbica provides a fascinating glimpse of Jewish life in Poland after the German invasion and during the periods of mass deportations of Jews to the camps. Blatt tells of the chilling events that led to his deportation to Sobibor, of his separation from his family, and of the six months he spent at Sobibor before taking part in the most successful uprising and mass breakout in any Nazi camp during World War II.
Blatt’s tale of escape, and of the five horrifying years spent eluding both the Nazis and later anti-Semitic Polish nationalists, is a firsthand account of one of the most terrifying and savage events of human history.
From the Ashes of Sobibor also includes a moving interview with Karl Frenzel, a Nazi commandant from Sobibor.