Commemoration of Jan Maletka

On November 25, 2021, a commemoration ceremony of Jan Maletka was held. A 21-year-old railway worker who was shot dead by a German guard while giving water to Jews who were kept locked inside death trains that were used to transport them to the Treblinka II Extermination Camp. The tragic events took place on August 20, 1942, at the railway station in Treblinka. The commemoration of Jan Maletka is organized as part of the “Called by the Name” project carried out by the Pilecki Institute.

The celebrations began at the Sanctuary of the Holy Trinity and Saint Anna in Prostyń with a holy mass that was offered for the “Called by the Name” and his family. Jan Maletka’s family was represented by Zofia Łopacka and Marianna Wróblewska – Jan’s nieces and Krzysztof Łopacki, grandson of Stanisław, Jan Maletka’s brother. The mass was celebrated by His Excellency Bishop Piotr Sawczuk in concelebration with Rev. Paweł Rytel-Adrianik, Ph.D. – Director of the Office for Foreign Communication of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, and the Canon Priest Józef Poskrobko, parish priest in Prostyń.

The organizers of the event were: Pilecki Institute, represented by Anna Gutowska, Deputy Director; Zbigniew Chrupek, Head of the Ostrów Mazowiecka District; Bożena Kordek, Head of the Małkinia Górna Commune; Edward Kopówka, PhD, Director of the Treblinka Museum. Distinguished guest were also present: Prof. Magdalena Gawin, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland; Justyna Pętkowska, initiator of the “Called by Name” project and Director of the Constituency Office of Marek Zagórski; Elżbieta Lanc, Secretary of State in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, Member of Parliament, Deputy Marshal of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship and the chairman of the Museum Council at the Treblinka Museum; Marcin Grabowski on behalf of Konstanty Radziwiłł, the Mazowieckie Voivoda; Mirosław Augustyniak, Councilor of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship on behalf of Adam Struzik, Marshal of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship; Councilors of the Sejmik of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship; Councilors of the Ostrów Mazowiecka District Council, headed by Dorota Subda, President of the District Council; Councilors of the Małkinia Górna Commune Council, headed by Jerzy Maliszewski, Vice-President of the Commune Council; Colonel Leszek Iwaniecki, Commander of the 22nd Military Cartographic Center in Komorów; Commissioner Justyna Biedrzycka, Chief of the Police Station in Małkinia Górna; Janusz Iwanowski, Senior Brigadier, Chief of the State Fire Brigade in Ostrów Mazowiecka; Presidents of the Volunteer Fire Department headed by Andrzej Wyszogrodzki, President of the Board of the District Branch of the Union of Volunteer Fire Brigades of the Republic of Poland; Dr. Karol Madaj, Director of the Museum of the Pilecki Family House; Barbara Janina Sochal, President of the Polish Janusz Korczak Association; Members of the Treblinka Museum Council; directors and other representatives of primary and secondary schools; Damian Bielecki, representing the Polish State Railways Foundation, partner of the commemoration.

After the mass, all participants went to the area of ​​the Commemoration of the Treblinka Train Station, where following guest joined the ceremony: Rabbi Yehoshua Ellis, representing the Jewish Religious Community of Warsaw; Joanna Dudelewicz, Deputy Director for Organizational, Economic and Investment Affairs at the Warsaw Ghetto Museum; Bartosz Borys, PhD, representing The Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute; Agnieszka Nieradko, representing the Rabbinical Commission for Cemeteries and the Zapomniane Foundation.

After the speeches, Prof. Magdalena Gawin together with Zofia Łopacka, Jan Maletka’s niece, officially unveiled a commemorative plaque, which was blessed by Bishop Piotr Sawczuk. Rabbi Yehoshua Ellis prayed for the dead on behalf of the Jewish community. Then the participants observed minute of silence in memory of Jan Maletka and all victims of the Treblinka II Extermination Camp and the Treblinka I Labour Camp.

The celebrations at the Treblinka Train Station ended with the laying of flowers in front of the stone with the commemorative plaque. Then, the delegations went to the Treblinka Museum to lay flowers at the Monuments to the Victims.

The ceremony was attended by many flag-bearers from nearby schools, fire brigades as well as the guard of honour of soldiers from the 22nd Military Cartographic Center in Komorów. The mood of solemnity was emphasized by music performed by the INSANO string quartet.


14 December 2021