Last Friday, in Treblinka, took place an event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the revolt of the prisoners of the extermination camp. After the speeches given by the invited guests and the prayer for the victims, took place the laying of the cornerstone of the future Holocaust Educational Center. The invited guests had a chance to see an exhibition of former prisoner of the camp: Samuel Willenberg, and listen to a presentation of a concept for building of the Center by his daughter: Orit Willenberg. The event finished with a screening of a video “I was in Treblinka” and a promotion of a book “ What do we know about Treblinka? The state of the research”.
The extermination camp in Treblinka was built by the Germans in the mid 1942. It was created within Operation Reinhard, which aimed at physical liquidation of the Jewish people. Probably, more than 800 thousand people were exterminated there through gassing. In order to erase all traces of the crime, the corpses were burned on specially designed grids.
On 2nd August, 1943, the members of the Sonderkommando managed to stir up an uprising in Treblinka. The aim was to destroy the extermination camp.
During the rebellion only 200 people managed to escape from the camp and about 100 of them lived to see the end of the war. After the uprising, the liquidation of the camp began. In November 1943 they pulled down all the buildings and facilities. The area was ploughed and then sown with lupine.
Today, on the site of the former concentration camp there is a monument by Adam Haupt, Franciszek Duszeńko and Franciszek Strynkiewicz. The boundaries of the land are marked with two-meter-high stones set upright. The entrance gate has been commemorated with two concrete blocks, and the road, which was the last one for many thousands of people, has been paved with stones. Along the road there are concrete blocks that resemble train tracks. On the site of the executions there are 17 000 granite stones with sharp tops, of which the largest is the one where there is an inscription in: Polish, Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, English, French and German: Never again. The photos of the monument „Treblinka II — Commemoration” are one of the exhibits of the exposition ”Polish Art and the Holocaust”.