Last survivor of Treblinka revolt passes away

Samuel Willenbeg, the last survivor of the Treblinka death camp passed away at the age of 93. Willenberg left behind him a wife a daughter and three grandchildren.  

Willenberg was born in Poland and was the last surviving member of the Treblinka extermination camp prisoner revolt that took place in 1943. He was also a participant of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and recieved the highest  national honors of the Republic of Poland including;Virtuti Militari, the Cross of Merit with Swords, the Cross of Valor, Warsaw Cross of the Uprising, the Polish Army Medal and the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland which were awarded to him by the Polish President Lech Kaczyński following the war. 

An Israeli sculptor and painter who was originally from Poland, Willenberg survived his life long friend and fellow Treblinka escapee, Kalman Taigman, who passed away in August 2012 at the age of 88. The death of Taigman made Willenberg the last survivor of the revolt. 

Over 800,000 Jews were killed in the Nazi extermination camp in Treblinka most of whom were from Poland and Greece. Some 2,000 gypsies met their death in the camp as well. Willenberg worked sorting through the personal possessions of prisoners who came to the camp. In his memoir, titled Revolt in Treblinka, Willenberg tells of how he came across the possessions of his two sisters, Tamara and Ita who were killed in the camp. 

On August 2, 1943 Willenberg participated in the revolt at Treblinka with about 200–300 others prisoners. The majority of the revolutionaries were gunned down by the guards on the tower who were armed with machine guns. Willenberg escaped the fences and made it past the range of the machine guns. He was shot in the leg during the escape.

Following his escape, Willenberg journeyed back to Warsaw where he managed to locate his father who was hiding on the "Aryan" side of the city. He joined the Polish resistance and after the war remained in the Polish army until 1950 when Stalinism was at its worst in Poland. He then immigrated with his wife and mother to Israel. 

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/208306

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