World

Thomas Blatt, survivor of mass escape from Sobibor and witness at Demjanjuk trial, dies at 88

  • FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2010 file photo Polish born Thomas 'Toivi' Blatt, one of the joint plaintiffs during the Demjanjuk trial, waits in the court room in Munich, southern Germany, prior to the trail against John Demjanjuk. Blatt, a Holocaust survivor, who lost both parents and a younger brother in the gas chamber of Sobibor, died Saturday morning, Oct. 31, 2015 at his home in Santa Barbara, California, a close friend, Alan Heath, told The Associated Press. He was 88 years old. (Christof Stache/Pool Photo via AP, file)

    FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2010 file photo Polish born Thomas 'Toivi' Blatt, one of the joint plaintiffs during the Demjanjuk trial, waits in the court room in Munich, southern Germany, prior to the trail against John Demjanjuk. Blatt, a Holocaust survivor, who lost both parents and a younger brother in the gas chamber of Sobibor, died Saturday morning, Oct. 31, 2015 at his home in Santa Barbara, California, a close friend, Alan Heath, told The Associated Press. He was 88 years old. (Christof Stache/Pool Photo via AP, file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2010 file photo Polish born Thomas 'Toivi' Blatt one of the joint plaintiffs is seen in a courtroom in Munich, southern Germany during a trial day against John Demjanjuk. Blatt, a Holocaust survivor, who lost both parents and a younger brother in the gas chamber of Sobibor, died Saturday morning, Oct. 31, 2015 at his home in Santa Barbara, California, a close friend, Alan Heath, told The Associated Press. He was 88 years old. (Frank Leonhardt/Pool Photo via AP, file)

    FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2010 file photo Polish born Thomas 'Toivi' Blatt one of the joint plaintiffs is seen in a courtroom in Munich, southern Germany during a trial day against John Demjanjuk. Blatt, a Holocaust survivor, who lost both parents and a younger brother in the gas chamber of Sobibor, died Saturday morning, Oct. 31, 2015 at his home in Santa Barbara, California, a close friend, Alan Heath, told The Associated Press. He was 88 years old. (Frank Leonhardt/Pool Photo via AP, file)  (The Associated Press)

Thomas Toivi Blatt, who was among a small number of Jews to survive a mass escape from the Nazi death camp of Sobibor in 1943 and who decades later served as a prominent witness at the trial of the alleged camp guard John Demjanjuk, has died. He was 88.

Polish-born Blatt, who lost both parents and a younger brother in the gas chambers of Sobibor, died Saturday morning at his home in Santa Barbara, California, a Warsaw-based friend, Alan Heath, told The Associated Press.

Heath remembered Blatt as a "quiet and modest person" who suffered nightmares and depression until the end of his life, yet never wanted vengeance either for the Germans for the murder of the Jews or the complicity of many of his anti-Semitic Polish countrymen.