The 78th anniversary of the revolt in the Treblinka II Extermination Camp

On August 2, 1943, on Monday afternoon, a revolt of prisoners of the Treblinka II Extermination Camp broke out. From the spring of 1943, the bodies of the murdered were successively burnt on the orders of Heinrich Himmler. Transports with deported Jews came much less frequently. Prisoners who worked in the commandos in the extermination camp realized that they were becoming unnecessary. Being useless in the extermination camp meant death. There were about 840 prisoners in Treblinka II when the revolt broke out, some of them did not take part in the revolt – they were mentally broken. It is estimated that about 200 prisoners managed to run away from the camp. About 100 survived the war.

On August 2, 2021, at the Treblinka II Extermination Camp, celebrations were held on the 78th anniversary of the revolt at the Treblinka II Extermination Camp. The Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute and the Treblinka Museum were the organizers of the ceremony.

Marek Zając began the ceremony by welcoming all the guests and reading the account of Abraham Lewin – a former prisoner of the Treblinka II Extermination Camp. Then speeches were delivered by Monika Krawczyk, the Director of the Emanuel Rigelblum Jewish Historical Institute; Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska, Deputy Speaker of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland; Tal Ben-Ari, Chargé d’affaires, from Embassy of Israel in Poland. The speech was also delivered by Robert von Rimscha, Head of the Culture Department of the Embassy of Germany; Jarosław Nowak, Foreign Minister’s Plenipotentiary for Contacts with the Jewish Diaspora, and Aldona Machnowska-Góra, vice-president of the Capital City of Warsaw.

There were also letters sent from Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Gliński, Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sport that were read by Edward Kopówka, Director of the Treblinka Museum. The letter to the participants of the ceremony was also sent by Adam Struzik, Marshal of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship.

At the end, Ada Willenberg, a widow of a former prisoner of the Treblinka II, Samuel Willenberg, spoke.

The ceremony ended with prayers conducted by Jewish and Christian clergy.

28 September 2021