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Escape From a Nazi Death Camp is a docu-drama that stuns and must be seen

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Escape From a Nazi Death Camp (PBS Distribution)


PBS Distribution offers a summer escape that no one wants.
And everyone remembers.
Escape From a Nazi Death Camp is a docu-drama about the insurrection at Sobibor, a Nazi death camp created solely for mass extermination. Using firsthand accounts and dramatic sequences, the film returns to Sobibor with the last remaining survivors to reveal their extraordinary story of courage, desperation and determination.Through the compelling accounts of Thomas “Toivi” Blatt, Philip Bialowitz, Selma Engel-Wijnberg and former Russian POW Semjon Rosenfled, the true horror of life in Sobibor emerges. Unlike Auschwitz and Dachau, Sobibor was created purely for extermination. Within 17 months, a quarter of a million people arrived at the camp and were put to death almost immediately. A “lucky” few men and women were plucked from the crowds to work as prisoners in the camp as bakers, tailors, metalworkers and carpenters. However, being selected for this work meant only that one’s life was on loan. No one was supposed to leave Sobibor alive.
The idea to escape began in spring 1943, when prisoners began to hear rumors that Sobibor might be shut down. In June, a note discovered in the coat pocket of a recently exterminated prisoner revealed that when the Belzec death camp was closed, all its prisoners were put to death. Determined that they would not meet the same fate, the Sobibor inmates formed a secret “escape committee.”
Led by Leon Feldhendler, former head of the Zolkiewka ghetto, and Russian POW Lieutenant Alexander “Sasha” Pechersky, the underground prisoners agreed to a large-scale organized escape. Dramatic re-creations transport viewers to the afternoon of October 14, 1943, as the prisoners’ audacious plot unfolds. In key locations around the camp, the program tracks the action minute-by-minute–from the first Nazi killed in the storeroom to the perilous job of severing the phone wires. By the end of the day, after two hours of covert action, more than a dozen Nazi and Ukrainian guards were killed and more than 300 prisoners escaped.
“Although Sobibor represents a devastating aspect of the Third Reich and its reign of terror, it is important to remember the determination and courage of the prisoners to escape,” said Simon Young, executive producer, DSP. “Every facet of this multi-layered story unfolds like a Hollywood blockbuster–from the last-minute change of the escape plan to the systematic ensnaring of camp guards–yet every terrible and inspiring moment is absolutely true.”