In the footsteps of Jews in the Lublin region. Report from the JHI study trip

Written by: Przemysław Batorski
Translated by: Lauren Colgan
From 13-15th June 2022, employees of the Jewish Historical Institute went on a study trip to the Lublin region. We saw an exhibition devoted to the memory of the Jews from Lublin at the “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre, the reconstruction of the Wołpa synagogue in Biłgoraj, took a look at the Jewish cemeteries in Chełm and Lublin, and went to the station from which Jews from Zamość were deported. The most important points were visits to the former Majdanek concentration camp and extermination centre, and the former Sobibór and Bełżec extermination camps.
Wyjazd studyjny ŻIH, czerwiec 2022, fot. Grzegorz Kwolek (ŻIH) (1).jpg

The State Museum at Majdanek, the grounds of the former German Nazi concentration camp and extermination centre, photo by Grzegorz Kwolek (JHI)


We saw an excellent new exhibition at the Sobibór museum, presenting selected objects from a collection of several thousand items belonging to the victims, found during the excavations – combs, glasses, brooches, pendants, keys, rings, drawings, and many, many more. We are impatiently waiting for the completion of the commemoration that is being built there. The monument in the former death camp in Bełżec made a strong impression on us. At Majdanek, we saw the only gas chamber outside Auschwitz I that has survived to this day, as well as the preserved and restored crematoria and camp barracks..

State Museum at Majdanek, the site of the former German Nazi concentration camp and extermination centere; entrance to the men’s bathhouse connected to the gas chamber / Guided tour of the “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre / Synagogue in Zamość / Museum and Memorial Site in Sobibór / Museum and Memorial Site in Bełżec / Jewish Cemetery in Chełm. Photos by Grzegorz Kwolek (JHI)


We didn’t choose the aims of our visit by accident – in 2022 we are commemorating the 80th anniversary of the German operation “Reinhardt”, the planned extermination of Polish Jews. In the years 1942-1943, the Germans murdered – mainly in the extermination camps: Treblinka, Bełżec, Sobibór, Chełmno nad Nerem (Kulmhof), Majdanek – nearly 2 million Jews from the General Government and the Białystok region. This was the end of most of the large Jewish communities in Poland. The President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, took the honorary patronage over the commemorations.  

Remembering the victims – Jews from Poland, but also from the Netherlands, Slovakia, Germany, Austria, Belarus, France, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Macedonia, and the countries of the former Yugoslavia – is our key task. We are glad that we can count on our partners in our initiatives.


With many thanks for the hospitality and tour, we encourage you to visit:

The “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre in Lublin

The State Museum at Majdanek

Museum and Memorial Site in Sobibór

Museum and Memorial Site in Bełżec

Biłgoraj Foundation XXI. Town on the Trail of Borderland Cultures

Adam Puławski, Chełm

Przemysław Batorski   redaktor strony internetowej ŻIH