Paul Sobol, one of the last Auschwitz witnesses, passed away yesterday, aged 93.
Paul Sobol was one of the very last Belgian witnesses of the Auschwitz horrors. He was born in 1926, of Jewish descent, was arrested in Brussels with his entire family on 13 June 1944 and deported with the XXVIth convoy from Mechelen to Auschwitz on 31 July 1944.
On the scene he narrowly escaped immediate extermination in the gas chambers. He was selected for labour and experienced the terrible ordeal of life in the concentration camps. He was liberated by the Russian troops in January 1945: he had survived his deportation.
As of 1987 he decided, just as many others at the time, to start testifying, something he continued doing throughout his life. For years on end he met tens of thousands of pupils. Paul testified not only for the Auschwitz Foundation (he was one of its board members), but also for institutions focusing on remembrance, such as the former Veterans Institute or the War Heritage Institute.
It is with great regret that the War Heritage Institute takes leave of one of the last Shoah remembrance messengers.
Images © Jerusalem Piérard WHI