- The translation in the subtitles are not yet synchronised correctly -
Alexsy Wajcen (Aleksej Waitsen) was born in the shtetl of Hodorov, a Jewish community not far from the town of Lvov in Ukraine. Horodov was part of Poland before the Second World War, but annexed by the Soviet Union after 1939. Alexsy was the oldest of five children. He served in the Soviet army from 1940 onwards and as a prisoner of war arrived in Sobibor, where he was selected for forced labour.
With the exception of one brother all other family members were killed by Ukrainian fascists during the war. Alexsy took part in the Sobibor revolt that was led by Alexander Pecherski and Leon Feldhendler. He fled and enrolled with the partisans. Later on he served in the Soviet army and continued to do so after the war as, among other things, a parachutist.
Alexsy Wajcen's recollections are confused and fragmentary. He says he didn't speak to anyone about Sobibor until well into the 'nineties, not even in private with his wife and children. It was forbidden to talk about Sobibor in the Soviet Union; anyone who did was punished severely.