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Discovery in Sobibor Extermination Camp

Published on Tuesday February 11th, 2020

More than 70 years have passed since the graves of the Sobibor extermination camp were discovered, and last week, five plaques with the names of Jews cruelly murdered were discovered. This new discovery was found during excavations carried out by Israeli archaeologist Yoram Chaimi, together with the Polish archaeologist Vitak Mazork, and the Dutch archaeologist Iber Shekhot, on the ground where the extermination camp was. The three men discovered the plaques, additional testimony attesting to the terrible events that occurred in this place at the time of the Shoah.

In an interview with the newspaper "Israel Hayom", Chaimi reports that two members of his family were murdered during the Holocaust: "It was very moving to find these named plaques because it is clear that there is a human story behind them''. On one of the plaques, the name Mr. Nunes Vas was inscribed. After carrying out checks on Yad Vashem's website, two potential first names were discovered bearing this name, Marcus and Meyer. Marcus was born in Amsterdam on May 19, 1899, and was murdered on June 4, 1943, in Sobibor. Meyer is also from Amsterdam, he was born October 19, 1878, and was murdered in Sobibor exactly the same day. Chaimi adds: "This is a testimony that Jews who were brought to Sobibor thought it was a place where they would be able to start a new life. This illustrates their naivety and the cunning of the Nazis, who led the Jews to believe that they would settle elsewhere. That is why the Jews took with them those plaques bearing their names".

Sobibor is one of the notorious extermination camps of the Holocaust era and it operated to carry out the destruction of the Jewish people. It is estimated that at least 170,000 people were murdered there during this period. The camp operated in the conquered Lublin region of Poland and was named after a nearby village. At a later stage, the camp was completely destroyed to remove all traces of the horrors committed there. In addition, a forest was planted on that site. To conclude, Chaimi said that he, together with his colleagues, would try to find the families to whom these plaques belong: "Maybe next year they will be able to organize an Azkara for their loved ones exterminated in Sobibor. "

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