Jules Schelvis was born to a Jewish family in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. After graduating from high school, he studied at the the Printing Office Lindenbaum in Amsterdam to become a printer. In 1940, age 19, he married his sweetheart, 17-year-old Rachel Borzykowski. In 1943, they were rounded up along with both their families during the Nazi Occupation of Holland and deported to Westerbork transit camp and then to Sobibor. There Jules was separated from Rachel and his family, who were murdered, and selected to join a forced labor unit sent to the Lublin Reservation complex in Dorohucza. From there he was sent to the Radom Ghetto to work in the weapons factory there. In Radom, he witnessed the liquidation of the Jews in November 1943. He was then sent on a death march to Tomaszów Mazowiecki. As the war was ending in April 1945, he reached Vaihingen an der Enz near Stuttgart, where he was liberated by the French army. He returned to working as a printer and in 1946 married Johanna Leevendig, with whom he had two children. Over the years, he gradually became an historian and independent scholar of the Holocaust. He published newspaper articles and books, including Within the Gates (Binnen de Poorten, 1982), Sobibor: A History of a Nazi Death Camp (Dutch title: Vernietigingskamp Sobibor, 1993) and A Train to Sobibor (2001). He also appeared in the 1990 Dutch documentary Revolt in Sobibor. He founded and chaired the Dutch Sobibor Foundation and lectured frequently in Holland, Poland, and Germany. Jules Schelvis was awarded the Dutch Order of Orange-Nassau (Orde van Oranje-Nassau) and the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.