An Israeli and Polish team of archaeologists has unearthed one of the main gas chambers at the Sobibor concentration camp, the Yad Vashem – World Center for Holocaust Research announced on Wednesday.
Located in eastern Poland, Sobibor was operated by the Nazis during the Holocaust from April 1942 to October 1943, during which time an estimated 250,000 Jews were murdered there. But after an uprising that saw several hundred Jewish prisoners try to escape, the Nazis closed the camp and bulldozed it in an attempt to erase its evidence.
“The discovery of the gas chambers at Sobibor is a very important finding in Holocaust research,” said Dr. David Silberklang, a senior historian at the International Institute for Holocaust Research.
Silberklang added, “It is important to understand that there were no survivors from among the Jews who worked in the area of the gas chambers. Therefore, these findings are all that is left of those murdered there, and they open a window onto the day-to-day suffering of these people.”
Photos released by the researchers of the site show a large rectangular building with brick walls that were subdivided into four chambers. A number of personal items were found at the site, including down a well, such as gold teeth, jewelry, perfume bottles, and medical items.
“The most poignant moment was when we found a wedding band next to the gas chambers, on which was the Hebrew inscription: ‘Behold, you are consecrated unto me,'” said Israeli archaeologist Yoram Haimi.