Dismantling and Liquidation of Prisoners at Sobibor Extermination Camp Following Partially-Successful Jewish Uprising
After the revolt, the Germans and the Trawniki-trained guards dismantled the killing center and shot the Jewish prisoners who had not escaped during the uprising.
Pursuant to discussions in the SS hierarchy in the summer of 1943, the Germans had intended to transform the facility first into a holding pen for women and children deported west from occupied Belarus after their fathers and husbands had been murdered in so-called anti-partisan operations, and later, into an ammunition supply depot. Although there is no information that new prisoners ever arrived in Sobibor after the murder of remaining Jewish prisoners in November 1943, a small Trawniki-trained guard detachment remained at the former killing center through at least the end of March 1944.
Within days after the uprising, the SS chief Heinrich Himmler ordered the camp closed, dismantled and planted with trees.
Karl Frenzel, commandant of Sobibor's Lager I, was convicted of war crimes in 1966 and sentenced to life, but ultimately released on health grounds.
Franz Stangl, chief commandant of Sobibor and later of Treblinka fled to Syria. Following problems with his employer taking too much interest in his adolescent daughter, Stangl went to Brazil in the 1950s. He worked in a car factory and was registered with the Austrian consulate under his own name. He was eventually caught, arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment. In 1971, he died in prison in Düsseldorf, a few hours after concluding a series of interviews with British historian Gitta Sereny.
Gustav Wagner, the deputy Sobibor commander, was on leave on the day of uprising (survivors such as Tom Blatt say that the revolt would not have succeeded had he been present). Wagner was arrested in 1978 in Brazil. He was identified by Sobibor escapee Stanisław Szmajzner, who greeted him with the words "Hallo Gustl"; Wagner replied that he remembered Szmajzner and that he had saved him and his three brothers. The court of first instance agreed to his extradition to Germany but on appeal this extradition was overturned. In 1980, Wagner was found dead of an apparent suicide by use of a knife, though it is just as possible that he was murdered.
John Demjanjuk, an accused Ukrainian former guard was transported from the United States to Germany on May 11, 2009, where he will be tried for the partial responsibility of 27,900 deaths out of the purported 299,000 Jews killed at Sobibor during the Holocaust. He was possibly the man nicknamed Ivan the Terrible by the Jewish prisoners, though these testimonials were later discounted as insufficient by an Israeli High Court Judge who then overturned his death sentence.