On 2 August 1943, a revolt began in the Treblinka extermination camp. It was prepared by a secret group of prisoners, among them – several members of the military, who were familiar with handling firearms. They attacked the guards and set a container with fuel on fire. The main goal was to break the fence and escape into the forest. About 200 prisoners managed to escape, but majority of them were killed during the chase. About 70 people survived - among them Jankiel Wiernik from Warsaw, who wrote an extensive account of the functioning of Treblinka II (A Year in Treblinka) and Samuel Willenberg from Częstochowa, who shared his story in a memoir Revolt in Treblinka.
The commemorative events this year are a part of a wider commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Aktion Reinhardt, as a result of which, about 3 million Jews from German-occupied Poland were killed. The exhibition When I hear stories from Treblinka, something strangles and chokes my heart gathers accounts of people who managed to escape the death camp; their stories, collected by the Oneg Shabbat group in the Warsaw Ghetto, were kept in the Ringelblum Archive. Currently, the archive is being stored at the Jewish Historical Institute. It’s the most important collection of archives of the fate of Jews under German occupation in Poland.
The commemorative events include also the opening of the educational path “Treblinka II death camp”, created by the Memory of Treblinka Foundation. The educational path is available as a free smartphone application. Artist Michał Bojara has created a symbolic Band of Memory with the names of the victims of the death camp. The installation is a part of the Book of Names project, developed by the Jewish Historical Institute and the Memory of Treblinka Foundation. The aim of the project is to restore the memory about hundreds of thousands of nameless victims of this largest cemetery of Polish Jews.
After the official events, guests will visit the site with educators from the Jewish Historical Institute as guides. A map of the Treblinka II death camp will be made available for the visitors.