The Nazi regime and its armies conducted some of the worst crimes humanity has witnessed. They were eventually defeated by the Allied powers, but in the weeks and months that leading up to their eventual defeat, they tried to cover their tracks by murdering witnesses and destroying facilities and documents.
One of their death camps in Sobibor, Poland, was recently excavated, and what was discovered there is almost too horrifying for words.
The Nazis’ greatest war crime was undoubtedly the attempted extermination of European Jews and numerous other minority groups.
Poland, which was taken over by the Germans in 1939, was home to many of the worst camps, including Auschwitz and Treblinka.
Sobibor, though less well known, was another death camp for Jews and other marginalized groups.
It was a part of Operation Reinhard, which led to the deaths of over 2 million people.
Trains overflowing with people were sent here, never to return.
By the last months of the war, the Nazis attempted to cover up their work…
…by burning Sobibor to the ground and filling the graves with concrete.
Just recently, a team of Israeli and Polish archeologists traveled to Sobibor to uncover the graves.
Their goal was to gain a greater understanding of the crimes committed there, and hopefully bring closure to the victims’ families.
One member of the team, Yoram Haimi, had two uncles who were murdered in Sobibor.
They discovered items like these keys, which were once used to lock the prisoners in their cells.
Personal items were also found, like this ring, which says, “Behold, you are consecrated onto me.”
This well was once used by the prisoners of the camp.
They found bodies, too — a frightening number of them.
Less than 60 prisoners made it out of the camp alive by the time the war was over. The rest were buried in mass graves like this one.
This body was found face down. This person clearly was shot in the back of the head.
Though the majority of the camp was destroyed, these walls to a gas chamber still remained.
Hundreds of thousands were murdered inside these walls. Hopefully, this investigation may bring some peace to the souls of the departed.
The research team referred to Sobibor as one enormous crime scene, and it’s easy to see why.
Perhaps now the families of the victims can finally get the closure they all deserve.