On October 14, 1943, 600 Jews imprisoned in Sobibor, a secret Nazi death camp in eastern Poland, revolted. They killed a dozen SS officers and guards, trampled the barbed wire fences, and raced across an open field filled with anti-tank mines. Against all odds, more than three hundred made it safely into the woods. Fifty of those men and women managed to survive the rest of the war.
In this edition of Escape from Sobibor, fully updated in 2012, Richard Rashke tells their stories, based on his interviews with 18 of the survivors. It vividly describes the biggest prisoner escape of World War II. A story of unimaginable cruelty. A story of courage and a fierce desire to live and to tell the world what truly went on behind those barbed wire fences.
©1982, 1995 Richard Rashke (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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I am ¼ of the way into this book, and my opinion is exactly the same as “Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account” by Miklós Nyiszli... except perhaps I am not as vehement regarding the narration. Although the same complaints apply, I’d give it 1.5 stars instead of just 1. Still, it’s not much better.
Here is my review of that book:
It’s hard to criticize the content of someone’s personal recollections of what they experienced in harrowing times. It's interesting, I'm interested.
I think these things are important to learn about and remember. In some itsy bitsy way it’s giving meaning to their lives.
The narration of this audiobook however was so poor that sadly it’s about all I am taking away from it. Monotone, staccato, no emotion, unvarying in pitch, no intonation, mechanical… such a shame; it ruined the book for me.
I do not usually write reviews unless the book is really good or terrable. My bad spelling is one good reason why I don't review many books as I do read those of others and I owe those people a big thank you.. it I s hard for me to call a book or story very good or great when it is about the extermination and physical and mental abuse of millions of innocent people.Both the writing and reading of the book really was interesting. It kept my attention to the point if I think I missed something I would go.back and start over. The author went around the world from south America to Russia to find people who survived the death c a np Sobibor and the massive escape attempt which some survived and did succeed in escaping. Think.what bravery. A massive escape attempt from a Nazi extermination camp. . The author interviewed most/all of the survivors who agreed to be interviewed and incorporated their stories in the book.It reads like a good novel and not at all like a like a dry academic historical book. If you have any interest in the holocaust or how individuals react and survive in condition where they can die a horrible death at any moment. Or how desperate people can reach down deep and gather the strength to say no more no more. this s is a book for you.
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Yes, the narration was excellent and made the pronunciation of the names so much easier
I haven't read anything focused on the holocaust before. But had read and listened to books like "The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau". Both of which are of the highest quality! Both seem extremely well researched, well organised, and both personal. Both do an excellent job at bring to fore the best and worst of humanity.
My favourite scene was the beginning of the uprising despite, all the odds being against the captives and any realistic expectation of victory. The grim determination and the description of empowerment were awesome.
Could this ever happen again?
The must gut wrenching part of the story is when the message from the Jews made it to the allies. The response to that message? Nothing, the rest of the world including the Pope did nothing to help the Jews. How the rest of the world turned abandoned the Jewish people is unbelievable!
A really good historical account. This is by no means a novel from one perspective. Enjoyed the after story more, going over the authors journey with survivors to get their stories.
Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.
Listening to this book for me was plain old hard work, the narration was so distracting and painful that it was hard to concentrate on the story. The setting in a German extermination camp means of course the subject matter is difficult, but the long term group in Sobibor (artisans, gardeners... talented folks they kept alive) staged a rebellion killing German soldiers and allowing many inmates to escape. I was unfamiliar with this camp or the events which occurred there and enjoyed the additional points of view. I loved the Wikipedia article about Sobibor Concentration Camp and reading it helped me follow the book better.
The author did many interviews with survivors and has recorded the history of the event... thank you for your hard work... however, it wasn't an easy listen in content, organization or narration and can't say I enjoyed it. This is not a "Schindler's List" or "Night" in the quality of writing. Just a part of history we shouldn't forget.
I watched the movie many years ago and naively thought " OK cool they have escaped now they are free" Wrong. The escape from the camp was just the start of the ordeal for the many who would break free. THis book has done an amazing job at showing how truly great the ordeal of the the holocaust survivors was. There was no run of to the forest and live happily ever after. Those that broke free and made it to the woods would still have to endure a constant fight for their lives for many many months. This book does a brilliant job at describing the many different stories of some of its survivors. I now have a much deeper appreciation for the range of difficulties faced by condemned people fleeing the notorious death camps for all of Europe was one very large prison. If the movie needed a sequel then this book is its equivalent.
I titled this review as they fought back and one with reluctance. I didnt want to sound gimmicky on such a subject but the fact is that facing certain death, those that fought back and still lost their lives would still take a small victory with them. Incredible courage.
Yes. I always had a judgmental opinion regarding the People who were Jewish that assisted the Nazis efforts and this book opened my heart regarding their experience and reasons. In some ways I am able to hold more peace as a result
The writer and narrator for having the courage to tell this particular story
This book was so thoughtfully crafted. There were numerous times throughout the narrative in which I was drawn to tears. It is a hopeful representation of what Took place in that spot of horrendous tragedy. Well I was blown away by the account of the escape, I was doubly pleased to read the telling of what happened afterwards. This truly is a must read for everyone.
Horrific historical events
Esther, who maintained her faith in spite of the horrors.
The narrator was bland, like a reader of news, rather than a performer. He reads it with odd pacing. The character voices are better than the narrative, but still could have used more emotion, not even up to the level of a newscaster or newsreel presenter, more like someone sight-reading a newspaper.
The various recalling of the arrivals of the trains and how the survivors felt, and started to numb themselves to the inevitable. A survival mechanism, but still hard to hear.
This is by far one the most moving and exciting books I have read. The author develops the characters from the memory of survivors. I learned much about the horrible death camps, their captors, and their eventual revolt. Not for the squeamish.
"A superb and very moving account."
Excellent in every way. It combines horror with hope, dignity, determination and survival. This book has also stood the test of time. Highly recommended.
"Harrowing But Gripping"
I have seen many TV programmes and films and read a few books that feature The Holocaust but this audiobook was one of the best I have listened to in terms of bringing the horrors of this period of history to life. Despite the brutality and cruelty of the subject matter, this book has a very real story to tell and one of the unquestionable bravery and heroism of the very few who survived and were able to tell their story. Very well read and a gripping storyline.
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