The Nazi Germans used Izbica, the Polish village where Philip Bialowitz was born, as a transitory ghetto for Jews on their way to the destruction camps in Eastern Poland. In Izbica Philip Bialowitz survived a fire squad as a young boy. He was deported to Sobibor in 1943 and selected for forced labour upon arrival. Philip's elder brother, Simkha, took care of him wherever possible. Philip was involved in the revolt and was assigned by its leader as a messenger who had to draw the Germans' attention and bring them to a place where they could be killed.
After the revolt Philip, who was almost eighteen by then, managed to flee and to find a hiding place with a Polish family who hid him and his brother in a barn. He did not want to stay in Poland after the war because of anti-Semitism. He emigrated to the United States after having stayed in two refugee camps (for Displaced Persons) in Germany.
Philip feels obliged to keep the reality and horrors of Sobibor in remembrance. He often gives lectures and he told the story of his life in a book, "A Promise at Sobibor: A Jewish Boy’s Story of Revolt and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland."