Arkady Wasjspapir Dies: The Last Survivor of Sobibor


13 Shevat 5778

29 January 2018

 

The Picture of the Day:

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence hanged and burned in effigy by Palestinians in Bethlehem.

U.S. President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence hanged and burned in effigy by Palestinians in Bethlehem over the weekend.

The Outrageous Quote of the Day:

“Ahed Tamimi is a Palestinian heroine . . . in the eyes of anyone who thinks that the occupation is one big and ongoing injustice. She is a student every principal would like in his school. A girl with awareness and political involvement, activist and sophisticated.”

Ram Cohen, principal of the Alterman High School in Tel Aviv, outrageously praising the abominable “Palliwood actress” Ahed Tamimi and calling for her release from detention where she is being held awaiting trial because of her continuous, provocative attacks on Israeli soldiers.

Can you believe this?

It was simply nauseating to listen to the paeans extolling the vicious Tamimi over the last week–from King Abdullah of Jordan pleading with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence to get Israel to release Tamimi to the hideous Jewish Voice for Peace organization announcing a birthday party for Tamimi on January 31 in Oakland, California.

 

The News on the Israel Street

Palestinian terror in the last 24 hours . . .

Two Palestinian terrorists wearing IDF uniforms attempted to penetrate the Itamar community; one was captured and the other escaped.

The terrorist captured at Itamar last night.

The terrorist captured at Itamar last night.

Palestinian terrorists fired on an Israeli family as they were traveling by car near al-Suriya. No one was physically wounded, and the terrorists escaped.

Other “rock” and Molotov attacks occurred at Yitzhar, Luban Al-Sharqiya, Galis, Al-Azariya, Janniya, Hevron, Al- Aruv, on Route 443 beside Beit Horon, Beit Verik, the Carmela Crossing, Nabi Saleh, Sinjil, Qalqilya, Al-Khader, Gush Talmonim, Ghadira, Hizma, Beitar,  Hawara, Abu Dis, Beit Furik, Tekoa, Deir Nizam, Beit El, Bil’in, and Yabed among other places.

The above attacks were reported to Rescue Judea and Samaria, hakolhayehudi, and rotter.

The “relocations” continue . . .

Maybe the time has come to stop calling deportations “deportations” and begin calling them “relocations.”

The current government plan which began being implemented this morning is to relocate 600 illegals each month for the next three years.

Two illegals (the two with the suitcases) at Ben Gurion this morning headed for Rwanda.

Two smiling illegals (the two with the suitcases) at Ben Gurion this morning voluntarily headed for Rwanda.

TODAY’S BLOG:

Arkady Wasjspapir Dies: The Last Survivor of Sobibor

Arkady

Arkady Wasjspapir (1922-2018)

 You may not recognize the name of Arkady Wasjspapir.

It has been reported in recent days that 96-year-old Arkady Wasjspapir died on January 11 in Kiev, Ukraine. 

Wasjspapir was the last known survivor of the Sobibor Concentration Camp. 

His life has been chronicled at the website Sobibor Interviews.

Here are a few quotations from the article about Wasjspapir:

In September 1941 twenty-year old Soviet soldier Arkadij Wajspapir was severely injured during combat with the German Wehrmacht, and shortly after that he was taken prisoner by the Germans in Minsk. Until March 1942 he was looked after in a hospital for POWs. After being discharged from the hospital, he was transported to the Minsk concentration camp. In September Wajspapir and other Jewish POWs, including Alexander Petsjerski, together with approximately nineteen hundred Jewish-Russian civilians, were transported to Sobibor. Wajspapir and his fellow-soldiers did not know what kind of a camp it was. He expected it would not be pleasant. But it never occurred to him that the prisoners from the Soviet Union were brought to Poland to be killed there. Upon arrival in Sobibor men were selected to work in the camp. The camp was to be extended with new barracks in Lager IV and this required carpenters. The SS selected eighty soldier – Wajspapir among them – to work as carpenters in the Baukommando; the other soldiers and the other Jewish prisoners from the Soviet Union disappeared into the gas chambers.

In another part of his interview, he described the SS Commandant of Sobibor Camp 1, Karl Frenzel (Frenzel was eventually tried, convicted, but only sentenced to life in prison; he was disgustingly released after serving only 16 years, and died in 1996 at age 85):

Wajspapir dealt with, among others, SS-Oberscharführer Hubert Gomerski, who often beat the prisoners with his whip. He also knew SS-officer Karl Frenzel, leader of the Baukommando. ‘Saying he was cruel would be putting it mildly,’ according to Wajspapir. ‘He was an out-and-out sadist’. Frenzel always carried a whip, which he often used – without any provocation – to strike prisoners on the head, in the face or on other parts of the body. ‘Many a prisoner was crippled after such treatment, or even died.’ Wajspapir also saw Frenzel taking a group of sick prisoners to Lager III where they were killed. Another time he took a mentally ill boy from Minsk, who was hiding under his wooden bed, from the barracks and led him to Lager III.

Wajspapir was one of the 8 organizers who devised the plan to escape from Sobibor, one of 4 who gave the signal to begin the uprising, and one of many who led the fight within the camp on October 14, 1943. From the Sobibor website:

Armed with axes Wajspapir and Yehuda Lerner made their way to the tailor workshop in the afternoon of the 14th of October. There they hid behind a curtain. ‘About one hour later,’ says Wajspapir, ‘SS officer Siegfried Graetschus – the leader of the Ukrainian guards – entered the workshop. He stopped at the door and tried on a coat that the tailors had made for him. I stepped from behind the curtain, walked past the officer to the door, turned around and hit him on the head with the sharp edge of the axe. Graetschus let out a scream, did not immediately fall to the ground but tumbled headfirst, because the blow was obviously not forceful enough. Then Lerner came at him and hit him on the head with the axe. Graetschus fell to the floor and died. I yanked the gun from his holster and pocketed his papers. The tailors dragged the body away from the door and covered it with clothes.’ At that moment the Ukrainian guard entered the workshop. The tailors panicked, but Lerner and Wajspapir kept their cool and also killed the guard with their axes.

In the end, 11 SS officers were killed, and about 300 prisoners escaped. 100 of these were captured immediately; of the remaining 200, most fought in partisan groups, and only 47 survived the war. Some of them moved to Israel.

In the wake of the escape, Nazi guards killed all remaining prisoners and destroyed the camp.

Between 167,000 people and 170,165 were murdered in Sobibor–almost all of them were Jews.   

After the war, Wasjspapir married (his entire family had been murdered in the Holocaust) and had two sons. He lived and worked as an engineer in eastern Ukraine before retiring to Kiev in 1994.

Arkady Wasjspapir

May His Memory Be Forever Blessed 

 

 

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