Traditionally, on the first Saturday of September, patriotic and religious ceremony was held on the premises of the former Treblinka I Penal Labour Camp. This year is the 80th anniversary of the creation of the Treblinka I Penal Labour Camp. Numerous participants paid tribute to the victims of this place.
The Treblinka I Penal Labour Camp was established in the late summer of 1941 on the initiative of the Sokołów poviat governor, Ernst Gramss. From the very beginning, the camp was aimed at maximal exploitation of prisoners’ cheap labor. The functioning of Treblinka I was officially sanctioned by the order of the governor of the Warsaw district, Ludwig Fischer, of November 15, 1941. In the initial period of the camp’s operation, civilians from the Sokołów poviat were imprisoned there, then also residents of the eastern poviats of the entire Warsaw district. The camp was intended mainly for the Polish population, but also Jews and Roma. The stay in the camp, in conditions of hunger, terror and slave labor, often ended in death. It is estimated that a total of about 20,000 prisoners were imprisoned in the Penal Labor Camp, of which about 10,000 died or were murdered. The liquidation of the camp was started by the Germans at the end of July 1944.
The ceremony began at the gravel pit – the place of slave labor of Treblinka I prisoners. The event started with the Way of the Cross. Then a mass was celebrated at the execution site. As every year, the ceremony was attended by numerous representatives of the families of former prisoners of the Treblinka I Penal Labor Camp. The representatives of state and local authorities, the representatives of the Union of Combatants from Kosów Lacki, school representatives and scouts were also present.
The ceremony was also attended by the bicycle group of the Sadowne Senior Club, representatives of the Fire Service and District Police Headquarters from Sokołów Podlaski, representatives of local work and the Independent Public Health Care Center in Siedlce.
During the ceremony at the execution site, the exhibition Prisoners of the Treblinka I Penal Labour Camp was presented, which is a continuation of the Treblinka I Penal Labor Camp – to see the invisible exhibition. This year’s exhibition has been supplemented with biographies of former prisoners, whose accounts were used to describe the everyday life of the camp. The exhibition aroused a lot of interest.
At the end of the ceremony, wreaths were laid and candles were lit at the monument commemorating the Victims of the Treblinka I Penal Labour Camp.