LUBLIN , Poland, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Archeologists have found the location of the gas chambers at Sobibor, a World War II death camp in occupied Poland.
After an eight-year investigation, Polish and Israeli researchers announced they unearthed the remains of a brick building containing gas chambers were 500 people could be killed at a time. The camp was destroyed in 1943, on the order of SS leader Heinrich Himmler, after a prisoner uprising in which 300 detainees escaped. Himmler demanded all traces of the camp be eliminated.
The camp, on Poland's eastern border near the city of Lublin, was built by Jewish slave labor, and over 250,000 people were believed to have been exterminated there.
Dr. David Silberklang of Israel's Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust Research said:
"The discovery of the exact location of the gas chambers at the Sobibior Camp is a discovery of the utmost importance in Holocaust research. There are no remains from any Jews who worked in the area of the gas chambers, and therefore these findings are the only thing left from those who were murdered. A small window has been open into their daily suffering."
The discovery may also offer insight into the prisoner revolt, in which 11 Nazi officers and camp guards were killed.
The archeological dig at the camp, in progress since 2007, has uncovered personal items of the prisoners, including wedding rings, medicine and perfume bottles.