Talk:Alexander Pechersky

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Good article Alexander Pechersky has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
July 6, 2010 Good article nominee Not listed
September 16, 2010 Good article nominee Listed
Current status: Good article

What's the name?

So is it Pechersky or Peczerski? --Patpecz 23:03, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

The only spelling I had seen was Pechersky until you mentioned Peczerski. The Polish version of Wikipedia also has Peczerskiego. So I've added them all. Thanks! --Traal 19:08, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
I think we should change it to "Peczerski". Pecherski is the phonetic pronunciation in English of the Polish pronunciation "Peczerski", while Peczerski stays true to the original spelling. Remember how many spellings where changed when immigrants arrived to the US? Could this be a similar case?--Patpecz 07:35, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Original spelling would be in Cyryllic. --Captain Obvious and his crime-fighting dog (talk) 08:40, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
I know a Pole who met Pechersky who pronounced it "puh-CHAR-skee" --whatever that's worth. Cramyourspam (talk) 00:33, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Complete re-write

If you have anything to say regarding this, please do. I am 100% fluent in Russian and English (11 years in Russia and 20 years in USA.) Please ignore spelling and wacky characters. Meishern (talk) 06:30, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Alright. I completely rewrote this page and added a photo. There are now references and it looks more in line with what Russian Wiki has + more Russian Wiki - Pechersky Meishern (talk) 10:18, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Strange re-writes

If you plan on editing this article by deleting 50% of the carefully researched and referenced paragraphs using an IP, forget it, because I will revert every time. This is a nice article well documented with multiple references. You can't just delete 50% of it, compress it and call it a job well done. Pechersky lived a long life outside the couple of weeks he was in Sobibor and this article covers it. Add some new information instead of removing valid, referenced, informative, non-POV, well written data. Meishern (talk) 18:31, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

GA Review

This review is transcluded from Talk:Alexander Pechersky/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.
GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
    Put on hold because the lead summary does not adequately represent the article. See MOSlead

There were some minor fixes that I made. Quotes over 4 lines should be in block quotation MOSquotes. I fixed it. Also date formats should be consistent throughout MOSdates Again, I fixed it.

  1. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  2. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  3. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  4. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  5. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  6. Overall:
    Pass/Fail:
    Extremely interesting article.
I am failing this article at the nominators request. I felt I was following the MOSlead guidelines. What has resulted is an unnecessary edit war between nominator and reviewer.--Ishtar456 (talk) 12:01, 6 July 2010 (UTC)


Reviewer: Ishtar456 (talk) 16:34, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

The following cut and pasted from the nominators user page:

hi again, I'm not quite finished with the review, but I thought I would give you a heads up about an issue that would cause me to put it on hold. The lead only summarizes his part in the uprising. It should be a summary of the whole article, including early life, his induction into the military, his marriage and his death, etc.--Ishtar456 (talk) 19:25, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
i added some of the things u wanted. the problem is that he lived as quiet as a mouse. a man few would remember seeing in a room with other people. a non-descript, quiet man who spend years before and after the war teaching amateur violinists and saxophone players. nothing can be referenced about his marriage but the 1 sentence how he met his wife, and that is in the main part of the article. I saw no reason to repeat it in the intro since he never spoke about her, and it is unknown whether his marriage was successful or not. Pechersky was basically a nobody who for 21 days shined and did something so incredible that his deed must be remembered, praised and emulated by all oppressed people today and 1000 years from now. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 00:32, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

The summary should represent the whole article. It is perfectly acceptable to repeat info. that is in the main article. "He was married and had (insert number of) children." "He died on (insert date)". Since these details are in the article, they must also be in the lead.--Ishtar456 (talk) 05:31, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

See, but they don't have to be in the lead. Show me the Wikipedia rule that states that the lead must list everything in the main article. He refused to talk about his wife, didn't live with her, didn't talk about his children (0 refrences). I am not sure what you expect if there is nothing referenced regarding even the names of his children or their gender. Look at article about Napoleon and see how many of his relatives (who were appointed kings of major European countries) names are listed. Meishern (talk) 10:16, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
I did what you asked. Please see if there is anything else I should do. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 00:20, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

You are not over the seven day limit. I was going to give you a little extra time anyway, since I guessed you were away. I am going to be busy, at least until Wednesday, so you have a little more time to work on the lead, spend a little more time "tweaking" it. Mention his family. Break it into a few paragraphs (2-4 is acceptable). I just looked at it quickly tonight and I see "World War 2" , the 2 should be Roman (II) and it should be wikilinked. The first mention of a phrase like that should be wikilinked. After I give it a good read I will let you know what I find. I will not fail it without giving you some time to fix anything I might find, if it is small I will fix it myself. I think it is an excellent article, just have to give it an excellent lead.--Ishtar456 (talk) 05:25, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

The introduction to the article about Napoleon never mentioned the love of his life Josephine. The introduction to article about Ronald Reagan says nothing about Nancy. I can mention dozens of other featured articles that don't mention wifes, dogs, cats and favorite brand of underwear in the intro paragraph. Your insistance to mention Pecherskys wife in the intro paragraph has no benefit or logic. I think your criteria is off. I would like another person to review this article. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 10:12, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
I will not do the strange suggestions you requested to 'gimp' the article. I would prefer you fail the article than implement your suggestions that would weaken it. I spend over 40 hours researching and writing it, and I feel it is fine as is without mentioning Pechersky's unknown children and wife, along with your other strange ideas. I prefer to spend my time writing original content than listening to editorial suggestions that I know make no sense. You are entitled to your opinion however. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 10:26, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

A spouse is not a favorite brand of underwear. If you had not mentioned a wife in the article, I would not suggest you add her to the lead summary. The lead summary should represent the article See MOSlead. I did not say "gimp", I said "tweak", which means "to make better". I'm shocked by your reaction. I think that you are a half centimeter from having me pass this article and you are asking me to fail it. I'll let you think about your request today and if you do not change your mind I will fail the article. What a shame.--Ishtar456 (talk) 11:47, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

on second thought. I have your wish. I will fail the article as you suggested. I too have better things to do than get into an edit war over something as minor as this. I think I tried to help you improve your article and have it pass GAN fairly easily. I think there maybe a language barrier, or something impeding out communicate. Anyway. Take Care.--Ishtar456 (talk) 12:01, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
I dont understand what specifically you want. Perhaps my reaction was a bit out of order, yet you were never clear about your expectations besides changes to roman numerals and inclusion of wife into the intro section that should be expanded into 2-4 paragraphs. I spend 30 minutes looking at featured articles. Unfortunately this article will never qualify, since there just isnt enough referenced info. If you would please give me a list of what you expect to see in the intro, or anywhere else. I feel Mr. Pechersky deserves recognition so I will follow your lead as long as those suggestions dont interfere with the flow of the article. Sorry again if I snapped out a bit. I guess I am sensitive about the content I write. heh. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 11:55, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
I told you that I would not have time to give it a good read until after today. I am on my way to the hospital right now for a friend's surgery and had planned to give the article my full attention this tomorrow. I peeked in this morning to see that you had attacked me is several places. I think that you are an okay writer, but I don't think you read carefully. In any case I think that you overreacted and you have you wish I will fail the article. Anymore communication on this matter should be on the GAN discussion page.--Ishtar456 (talk) 12:08, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Comments from Author of Article ----------

I had the quotes properly formatted, but I guess someone else edited it and took them out for who knows what reason. I am trying to contact Thomas Blatt to allow him to donate 1 photo of Pechersky in the twilight of his life (nice photos). If he refuses, and the photos were taken in Soviet Union I believe that an act of Russian Congress in 1994 made all photos taken prior to 1992 within the old Soviet Union (that are not covered by secrecy laws), public domain whether they were taken by citizens, tourists or journalists. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 01:07, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

I put the quotes in block format: Quotes over 4 lines should be in block quotation MOSquotes.--Ishtar456 (talk) 05:35, 6 July 2010 (UTC)


I hope this is the GAN page. I write articles and am unfamiliar with Wikipedia acronyms. In any case, I rewrote the intro section. Still needs a bit of tweaking I think since I am not completely happy with it. Any comments would be appreciated. I hope your friend recovers. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 12:22, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Alright. The intro aint too bad now. I still feel its missing something, just not sure what yet. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 12:43, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Not the only successful uprising

There was also a successful uprising and mass breakout at Treblinka - on 2 August 1943. Norvo (talk) 01:24, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

The incident at Treblinka was not an uprising. Some people ran away. People escaped from every camp. The difference between Sobibor and Treblinka was that in Sobibor the majority of prisoners ran away, SS Germans were murdered, and it was an organized plan. In Triblinka escapes, there were groups of 2-7 people who escaped. That can not be considered an uprising. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 09:42, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
No, the Treblinka uprising was an uprising as detailed in planing and execution as described here. Guards were overpowered, Germans were killed. The difference may be in the ultimate goal of the uprising. In Treblinka the aim was to expose the Holocaust and release information on the camp; one live witness would be enough. At Sobibor the aim seems to have been to "save the people". Well, the news on Treblinka was already out and nobody seemed to care... -- Petri Krohn (talk) 16:32, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
I believe my source is this book. (Read the cover for the overview.) I cannot confirm, as I only borrowed the book from my fathers bookshelf some twenty years ago. Here is a full reference:
  • Steiner, Jean-François; Trans. Helen Weaver (1967). Treblinka. New York: Simon and Schusters, Inc.
-- Petri Krohn (talk) 18:29, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
You are correct. The mistake is mine. An article should be written about this event. For that matter the Sobibor article itself needs a rewrite as well as Treblinka. I compiled an extensive number of referenced info, its just between medical school and mba classes, with 4 daughters, I am swamped with crap to do. heheh. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 01:04, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Ukrainian auxiliary guards?

User Galassi (talk · contribs) is arguing that the Ukrainian auxiliary guards were not Ukrainian, as some of them were other ethnicities. At the same time in the article on Babi Yar he is arguing, that the Kiovan Russo-phone multi-ethnic (non-Jewish) citizens of the Ukrainian SSR shot at Babi Yar should all be called "Ukrainian". What defines the guards here as "Ukrainian" is not only that they spoke the Ukrainian language, but more importantly, that they swore allegiance to Ukrainian nationalism. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 16:15, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

According to the main Sobibor article the guards were multi-ethnic, not necessarily Ukrainian, althogh a significant number of them were in fact ethnic Ukrainians, undisputably. I myself personally knew 2 Trawniki men, and had to wash my hands after handshakes with them. However, we have no evidence that the guard ever swore any allegiance to any Ukrainian cause, or even were Nationalists. The Babi Yar discussion should go there, not here.--Galassi (talk) 16:42, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
OK, maybe the "swore allegiance" is too strong an expression. One could just say that they self-identified as "Ukrainians". However, in the 1942 context such self-identification cannot be taken lightly. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 17:01, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Their self-identification would be a mystery, unless documented.--Galassi (talk) 17:12, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Agreed --Львівське (talk) 04:57, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Every German SS identified and referred to the guards as Ukrainian. Galassi has his own views regarding Ukrainian role during the Holocaust which conflict with multiple historical sources. Despite Sobibor's location in Poland, Nazis trusted Ukrainians and repeatedly used them in every death camp. I am a bit busy now with another project, but in 2 weeks I will return with 10 references regarding Ukrainians in this article, as well as a few others which are being slowly hijacked with the goal of revisionist rewriting of factual history. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 00:59, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
"Every German SS identified and referred to the guards as Ukrainian". Can you source that?--Galassi (talk) 03:17, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
I put 5 references as to all guards being Ukrainian. If you revert me, be careful. Meishern (talk) 14:57, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
Those are some radical, unreliable sources you've got there. Wow. I'm not going to dispute that Ukrainian guards were there, but can we get some better sources here? --Львівське (talk) 04:57, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Radical sources? Pick any newspaper in USA, UK, Germany, Austria, Poland and I will reference it from there. They were technically Soviet since Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union. They were just all born in the area that is currently part of Ukraine. I can add 20 more references if you want. I am just not sure at which point you will be satisfied. Let’s say I put 5 references from different SS officers working at Sobibor from trial transcripts stating that every auxiliary guard was Ukrainian, and put 5 references from one main stream newspaper from the above countries. Would this settle the dispute? Cheers! Meishern (talk) 09:24, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

GA Review

This review is transcluded from Talk:Alexander Pechersky/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Jezhotwells (talk) 20:07, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

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I shall be reviewing this article against the Good Article criteria, following its nomination for Good Article status.

Disambiguations: fixed four dabs.[1] Jezhotwells (talk) 20:10, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Linkrot: no dead links. Jezhotwells (talk) 20:11, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Checking against GA criteria

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    Pechersky is remembered for organizing and leading the only successful revolt and mass-escape from a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Repetition of information given in preceding paragraph.
    The goal was: 1) To escape to freedom with as many prisoners as possible. 2) To take vengeance and kill the SS officers and guards. 3) To find and join the partisans, better expressed in prose, rather than a numbered list.
    Otherwise prose is good.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    All references check out as far as I can ascertain.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    Thorough and focussed.
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:
    Pass/Fail:
    A very interesting article. Just a few minor points above. On hold for seven days. Jezhotwells (talk) 20:29, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
    OK, thanks for attending to those details. I am happy to pass this as a good article. Jezhotwells (talk) 21:39, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I think Mr. Pechersky deserves it. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 19:45, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
There is a large POV issue remaining. See below.--Galassi (talk) 13:24, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
The russophone Israeli article specifically states that the guards were NOT EXCLUSIVELY Ukrainian, contrary to Meishern's insistence. I see it as a large POV infraction.--Galassi (talk) 13:33, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

GA Requested

Hi, I am the primary author of this article. I changed the duplicate sentence and changed the enumeration. Please let me know if it’s acceptable! Cheers! Meishern (talk) 10:37, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Certainly not, sorry to say. You insist on referring to guards as exclusuvely Ukrainian, which is hopefully a goodfaith error (is it?).(Кроме «украинеров-западенцев» добровольцами были русские, белорусы, прибалтийские и «туркестанские» добровольцы. По источнику в Травниках обучались ещё и граждане бывшей Югославии – словаки и хорваты. Во всяком случае, в 1943 году Глобочник получил разрешение от Гиммлера на набор русских. http://webstudio.il4u.org.il/projects/lagerya_op_reinhard/travniki.html). Absolutely unacceptable.--Galassi (talk) 13:22, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
Your 'source' is someone's blog in Israel, and since I can read Russian, it talks about 'Травники/Travniki' training camp that had multiple nationalities. The Ukrainian volunteers though exclusively made up the Sobibor SS auxiliary guards and everyone from German SS to Sobibor survivors are unanimous on that point. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 18:45, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Very strange statements

It is stated that Pecherskij was

As an escaped POW, Pechersky was conscripted into a special penal battalions, conforming to Stalin's Order No. 270 and was sent to the front to fight German forces in some of the toughest engagements of the war

It is obviously false. In the Executive Order of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union from 30.05.1951 and other documents like commendation list from 1949 about awarding A. Pecherskij stated that he fought in the 15 assault battalion 1st Baltic Front, not in a penal battalion. This assault batallions were special batallions for former POWs completely different from penal batallions (for example commanders in this batallions, excluding batallion and company's commanders was also POWs but in penal batallions all commanders was special officers, it was standard salary in assault batalions, all soldiers had their own ranks as before etc, see order приказ НКО № Орг/2/1348 about assuaul batallions).

in 1948, during Stalin's persecution of Jews, known as the 'Rootless cosmopolitan' campaign targeting those who allegedly lacked true loyalty and commitment to Stalinism and the Soviet Union, Pechersky was arrested and imprisoned in the GULAG labor camp system along with his brother. Only after Stalin's death in 1953 and mounting international pressure for his release, was Pechersky freed. His brother however succumbed to a diabetic coma while in prison.

It was impossible that person in GULag was presented to the medal ([2]) in 1949 and awarded in 1951! On the contrary, under the Executive Order of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (and Stalin was member of this Sovet!) Pecherskij was awarded two medals.--Вантус (talk) 22:11, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

I wrote parts of this article including those 2 statements, with their references. At the time, 3 years ago, I could find no reference regarding the years or the exact names of medals Pechersky was awarded, but only that he was awarded for bravery. You referenced a very interesting website, an excellent website might I add, according to which he was awarded 6 medals all on the same day in 1951.
I took a look again now at more sources, unavailable 3 years ago and found that every source agreed that he was placed in a Shtrafbat in 1944. Sources also agree that he was watched by KGB in 1946, and during Stalin's 'Rootless Cosmopolitan' Campaign he was kicked out of Communist Party and lost his job. Rootless Cosmopolitan campaign came to an end in 1949. So perhaps that and his slowly growing fame around the world made them give him his medals? Speculation on my part. However if you understand Russian, this is a good recent documentary including his time after Sobibor. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpplDlRCgvY?t=33m14s . This is also something new with good reference selection http://holocaust.su/rubric19/article64 (page 2 text and references page 3).
However nothing but that one original source mentions that he was actually imprisoned in a Gulag, just that he was repressed; and I found a new reference that states his brother committed suicide in 1957 after being arrested. So I think it would be fair to make that change (remove Gulag) if nobody objects. Cheers! Meishern (talk) 12:52, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

A side comment

Much emphasis is put in this article on the first-person account of Thomas Toivi Blatt, who was born in 1927 and during the uprising of October 1943 was only 16 years old, whilst supposedly posessing intricate knowledge of the Pechersky's plan all the way through. They both met in 1980 in the Soviet Union. Blatt flew in from Los Angeles and (like all Americans) was treated by the Soviets at Rostov with suspicion. Pechersky was in his seventies and spoke Russian. This was perhaps the time when the particulars of the uprising were recounted. Unlike Lanzmann, Polish-born Blatt makes no mention of the presence of any translators during the interviews. He makes no mention of taping the story on a tape-recorder either. Due to highly sensitive nature of this material, we need to limit ourselves to the circumstances of their meeting rather than trying to state things about Sobibor as facts in Wikipedia's editorial voice. Poeticbent talk 16:33, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

The chief difference between the prisoner uprising at Sobibor, and for example, the uprisings at Treblinka and Birkenau, was that the Soviet soldiers were involved including Pechersky who took the leadership role. Obviously, the presence of the Soviet POWs at Sobibor drew considerable interest from the Soviet NKVD after World War Two, and greatly impacted on the western court proceedings due to their absence at the trials. The immediate result was that no independent testimony from Pechersky exists. All information written in Russian was filtered by the Soviet political apparatus. Poeticbent talk 12:37, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

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