In 2013, Samuel Willenberg, visited the Treblinka concentration camp in Poland, where he had escaped as a young man 70 years prior. The last living survivor of the 1943 uprising at Treblinka, Willenberg, who was born in Częstochowa, spoke about the day a few hundred prisoners revolted, setting German barracks on fire, opening fire on Nazis, and rushing the fences towards potential safety.
Though he was shot in his leg, Willenberg, who lost his two sisters at Treblinka, was one of 67 prisoners known to have escaped. In 2012, Willenberg became the last remaining survivor after Kalman Taigman, his friend who testified at the Eichman trial, died at the age of 88 in Tel Aviv. Willenberg died last Friday at the age of 93, his daughter confirmed.
In 1944, Willenberg took part in the Warsaw Uprising, and moved to Israel in 1950 where he worked as the chief measurer for the government’s Housing Ministry, according to Haaretz‘s obituary.
Upon his retirement, he began to work as an artist, predominately a sculptor, with his art focusing on the Holocaust. Throughout his adult life, he returned to Poland with delegations of schoolchildren to tell his story.
His famous memoir, Revolt in Treblinka, was published in 1986 in Hebrew and 1989 in English…
…Willenberg resided in Tel Aviv, with his wife, Ada, a Holocaust survivor from Warsaw. He is survived by their daughter, Orit Willenberg-Giladi, a prominent Israeli architect. She designed the new educational center in the camp.
“The world cannot forget Treblinka,” Willenberg told the AP in 2010.
Related: Soon There Will Be No More Survivors