"We heard the whine of the generator that started the submarine engine which made the gas that killed them. I remember standing and listening to the muffled screams and knowing that men, women and children were dying in agony as I sorted their clothes. This is what I live with," he said.The mention of the submarine engine was, of course, seized on by Holocaust deniers. Supposedly a submarine engine would be a diesel engine and that is a big no-no for deniers (most other people find this irrelevant). To date only Eichmann mentioned the use of such an engine for gassings in regard to Christian Wirth's early gassing experiments, and it was hearsay and probably also an example of distorted memory.
Mr. Blatt never claimed to be in the extermination zone proper, so even if he would say such a thing, that would be but a speculation. But did he say that? I contacted Mr. Blatt, and here is his response, which he kindly permitted me to post online:
Dear Mr. Romanov
This is the first time I heard about submarine engine in Sobibor.
It was a Tank engine.
Must be a mistake by the journalist.