Lessons from Sobibor

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Lessons from SobiborI never tire of stories of survival of any kind. I like to learn from them the values, beliefs and actions that supported them to come out of a crisis situation where it seemed the “odds” were against them.

A recent afternoon lecture by Phillip Bialowitz proved to be one of those inspiring stories. He was part of the biggest escape from a Nazi death camp in Sobibor, along with 300 others. He told the gruesome details of his family being killed and working at a camp where it is estimated that nearly 250,000 people were killed with gas. While the story is dark, his outcome is filled with light and love.

Lesson #1
You can still take inspired action seconds before a deadline and win.

Philip was standing up with a group of other Jews, preparing for death, as the firing squad began shooting. He fell to the ground as if he were shot. It worked. He waited until the firing squad vacated the premises and escaped to short-lived freedom.

Lesson #2
Focus on the good.

Even though death was a certainty in Sobibor, Philip and his fellow prisoners prayed that the camp would be bombed. Even though they would die in the bombing they would be grateful that the gas chambers would be destroyed and no more killings would happen there. This shows how you can focus on the good in ANY situation.

Lesson #3
Pray for and know that miracles exist

Six hundred slaves/prisoners worked at the camp processing and preparing all the other Jews for their surprise death. He knew he would never leave alive and yet he still focused on a miracle happening. He said what got him through every day was hope. His hope paid off.

Lesson #4
Masterminds give you what you need to complete the goal.

There was one person spearheading a plan of escape with a few other prisoners. They needed military intelligence to complete the plan. Who showed up at the camp soon after that awareness? Prisoners delivered to the camp straight from the military. They formed a mastermind and created a plan for escape. With the combined knowledge and skills of the mastermind, many of the escapees not only lived to tell their stories but also manifested the camp being shut down immediately! Within three days trees were planted. Now that’s VICTORY!

Lesson #5
Commitment to a bigger vision will drive inspired and meaningful actions.

The two mastermind leaders asked that if anyone made it out alive, that they would tell the world about Sobibor. Many made it out alive but their escape was not the end of the tale. With the war still in full force, they had to hide and find ways to survive. Philip went into hiding for over a year.

While over forty people made it out of the war alive after escaping the death camp, including Philip’s older brother, many were not able to speak about what happened. Phillip’s commitment to tell the world about Sobibor fueled his will to survive. He is not a “professional” public speaker, yet he travels the world in his eighties to educate the world about putting a stop to racism.

Lesson #6
You can survive mayhem and THRIVE

Phillip moved forward in life after the war. He found love and a new career. He says he still has nightmares yet he has lived a very fulfilling life. He currently lives in New York with his family and brother. He is a gracious man and fills the room with light. He has not let his tragedy paralyze him. It actually fuels him to live more fully.

You can see a short video of Phillip here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxBaNFFzQBs&feature=related

What lessons have you learned from crisis situations in your life?

Jeanna Gabellini, is a Master Business Coach who assists high achieving entrepreneurs, corporate leaders & their teams to leverage fun, systems and intentionality for high-octane results. An entrepreneur for 20 years she has a treasure trove of kick-butt tools to give you peace & profits.   A Gift For You! Get your complimentary Business Building Audio CD “Transforming from Chaotic Entrepreneur to Conscious Leader” for the entrepreneur who wants to be a SUPERpreneur: at: http://www.masterpeacecoaching.com/freecd

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