Holocaust survivor to speak in Roseville

Philip Bialowitz is one of eight living survivors of Sobibór death camp
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Philip Bialowitz is among the last eight living survivors of the Nazi death camp Sobibór.

All of the Nazi death camps are infamous, but this site is perhaps one of the most notorious, as mass gassings at the site killed an estimated 250,000 people between 1942 and 1943.

But this camp is also known for another reason: a successful uprising.

In October 1943, Bialowitz joined a small group of Jewish prisoners who overpowered their captors and freed about 200 of the camp’s 600 slave laborers. The extermination camp soon closed, although most of the escapees were later recaptured and executed or died from land mines.

But Bialowitz made it out alive and on Thursday, March 10, he is coming to Roseville to tell his story. Chabad of Placer County is presenting this special lecture at the Maidu Community Center as part of its educational programs.

“We believe that it’s very important, especially for the youth, to hear firsthand experiences from individuals who have lived through the horrifying experiences of the Holocaust,” said Rabbi Yossi Korik, director of Chabad of Placer County, in a press release.

Over the past 20 years, Bialowitz has lectured frequently to diverse audiences in North America and Europe about his experiences at Sobibór and the continued importance of mutual respect among people of different beliefs.

He has testified at several war crimes trials. His memoir, “A Promise at Sobibór: A Jewish Boy’s Story of Revolt and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland,” has been published in English and Polish. A curriculum based on the book has been developed for Polish schools by the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

He resides in New York City, where he settled after the Holocaust and worked as a jeweler prior to retiring.

~ Sena Christian


Escape From Sobibór: An evening with Nazi death camp survivor Philip Bialowitz

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10

Where: Maidu Community Center, 1550 Maidu Dr. in Roseville

Cost: $20 for admission tickets, sponsorships available for $180 (includes two tickets, reserved seating and reception with speaker)

Info: Call (916) 67709960 or visit