Oral History

Tomasz (Toivi) Blatt describes gassing operations in the Sobibor killing center

Tomasz was born to a Jewish family in Izbica. After the war began in September 1939, the Germans established a ghetto in Izbica. Tomasz's work in a garage initially protected him from roundups in the ghetto. In 1942 he tried to escape to Hungary, using false papers. He was caught but managed to return to Izbica. In April 1943 he and his family were deported to Sobibor. Tomasz escaped during the Sobibor uprising. He went into hiding and worked as a courier in the Polish underground.


I am sure when they were in the gas chambers, they didn't believe it. When the first gas did come in, probably they didn't...underst...stood what's happened to them. After I finished cutting the hair, they told us to go out, and, uh, while still on the way back to my...to the camp where our barracks were I heard already the motor, the gas motor working with a high...You know from the gas motor, the scream. They started...they started very loud like "Ahhh....," very loud, even louder than the motor. They had a big motor there. Later about 15 minutes down...down and until quiet was. This was Sobibor.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
View Archival Details

This content is available in the following languages

Thank you for supporting our work

We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.