Philip Bialowitz, who was the last remaining survivor of the infamous Nazi death camp Sobibór, where an estimated 250,000 Jews were murdered between 1942 and 1943, died over the weekend at the age of 90.
A statement on his website said he died peacefully, surrounded by his four surviving children.
Bialowitz was a member of a small group of Jewish prisoners who overpowered their captors and freed approximately 200 of the camp’s 600 slave laborers. Over time, he became a symbol of Jewish bravery and resistance during the Holocaust.
After the Holocaust, Bialowitz trained in Germany to be a dentist, but eventually settled in New York City, where he worked as a jeweler
Bialowitz lectured frequently to diverse audiences in North America, Europe and Israel about both his experiences at Sobibór and the continued importance of mutual respect among people of different beliefs. His memoir, A Promise at Sobibór, was published in several languages.
He also testified at several war crimes trials.
A curriculum based on Bialowitz’s book was developed for Polish schools by the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
In an interview he gave to the German paper Der Spiegel after the uncovering of the foundations of the Sobibór crematoriums two years ago, he said that event was one of the most meaningful in his life. “I was elated! That was one of the best moments in my life. Sobibór was a top secret death camp, in the middle of the woods, secluded from the outside world. The Germans did everything to hide their crimes at the site. This discovery is a victory not only for the survivors, but for all of humanity.”
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News