June 14, 2022, celebration of the National Remembrance Day for the Victims of the German Nazi Concentration Camps and Death Camps

The National Day of Remembrance for Victims of German Concentration and Death Camps was established in 2006. For the third time, the participants of the ceremony and the Museum employees gathered at the Treblinka Museum to commemorate the Victims. June 14, 1940 is the date when KL Auschwitz began to operate. On that day, the first transport of Polish political prisoners arrived at the this camp. There were 728 people from Tarnów deported, among them soldiers of the Polish Army, members of independence organizations, scouts, students and a small group of Polish Jews.

The management of the Treblinka Museum awarded the “Meritorious for the Treblinka Museum” commemorative medals. The medals honour special merits for the Treblinka Museum. The Nazi German Extermination and Labour Camp (1941-1944).

The following people were awarded:

  1. Józef Maliński, President of the Mazowieckie Voivodship Board of Polish Society of War Veterans and Former Political Prisoners (ZKRPiBWP).

Mr. Maliński is particularly committed to educating young people from Poland and Germany about the Holocaust. He organizes meetings, during which he tells the story of his family, which rescued Jews during World War II. His family was awarded the Righteous Among the Nations medal.

  1. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik, director of the Office for Foreign Communication of the Polish Episcopal Conference. The medal is an expression of gratitude for the commitment to disseminating the difficult history of the Treblinka I Penal Labour Camp and the Treblinka II Death Camp.
  2. Bożena Kordek, the mayor of the Małkinia Górna commune. She has been offering advice and assistance for the Museum for many years. She promotes the Treblinka Museum among local government officials and other people and institutions.
  3. Regional Office for the Protection of Monuments in Siedlce. It has been carrying out supervision over the Museum for many years. In particular in the field of investment activities and archaeological research.
  4. The District Office in Sokołów Podlaski. The office performs administrative supervision over the Museum. It promotes the Museum among local government officials and other people and institutions. The office also encourages young people to visit the Treblinka Museum.
  5. Stanisław Staszic School in Małkinia Górna. The school has been cooperating with the Museum for many years. Students take an active part in the ceremonies organizes by the Treblinka Museum. Youth from this school cooperate with German youth and encourage others to visit the Museum
  6. Barbara Janina Sochal President of the Association of Janusz Korczak. In 2021, on the initiative of both the Treblinka Museum and the Polish Janusz Korczak Association, the Korczak Forest project was created. The aim of this initiative is to commemorate Janusz Korczak, Stefania Wilczyńska and all people who cooperated with them, and above all the children who were murdered in the Treblinka II Death Camp. So far, 47 maples have been planted in the Forest.

Having the medals been awarded, the ceremony was started with a musical performance by Witold Radomski, a resident of Kosów Lacki, a physical education teacher at the Primary School in Kosów Lacki. He is also a social and cultural activist. He performed the musical composition based on poems by Halina Birenbaum, a Holocaust survivor. During numerous meeting around the world, Halina Birenbaum promotes the difficult history of World War II and the Holocaust. She also includes Treblinka in her poems.

  1. The poem “Go and visit Treblinka”, which was written after returning from Poland in September 1986, was written in Hebrew as one of the few. Halina writes most of her poems in Polish and translates them into Hebrew.
  2. The poem “Do you see me, mom?” written in April 1983. The poem is from the book of poems “Even When I Laugh”
  3. “Thank you for love” from March 1985 also from the book of poems “Even when I laugh”.
  4. The fourth piece was “The Ballad of the Old Doctor”, referring to Janusz Korczak. The author of the text is Ryszard Marek Groński.

Employees of the Treblinka Museum familiarized the gathered people with the history of the Treblinka II Death Camp, the Treblinka I Penal Labour Camp, the gravel pit, the Execution Site, and the railway station by reading accounts of former prisoners and poems.

The following people also participated in the ceremony: Izabella Wrona – representative Marshal of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship, Dariusz Stopa – representative of the Marshal of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship, Urszula Krzymowska –  Councilor of the Sokołów Podlaski poviat who represented the Senator Waldemar Kraska, Elżbieta Sadowska – Starost of the Sokołów Podlaski District, Jacek Odziemczyk – Chairman of the Sokołów Podlaski District Council, Bożena Andrzejczuk from the Town and Commune Office of Kosów Lacki, Józef Rostkowski – Deputy Starost of the Ostrów District, prof. dr hab. Zofia Chyra-Rolicz – member of the Museum Council at the Treblinka Museum, Grażyna Sikorska – head of the Sterdyń commune, Ewa Siwek –  director of the Communal Culture and Sports Center in Małkinia Górna, Eliza Czapska – director of the Armory Museum at the castle in Liw, Małgorzata Iwańska-Kania – director of the Municipal of the Public Library in Sokołów Podlaski, Marcin Celiński – director of the Sokołów Cultural Center together with the delegation, Karolina Kolbuszewska –  director of the Museum of the Pilecki Family House in Ostrów Mazowiecka, Agnieszka Gaś – director of the Stanisław Staszic school in Małkinia Górna, together with Wojciech Hadała and young people.

The ceremony ended with the laying of wreaths at the monuments at the Treblinka II Memorial Site and at the Execution Site. After the ceremony, the participants visited the exhibition entitled “Fissures” by Barbara Janina Sochal and Aga Sochal. The theme of the exhibition concerns the Holocaust, with particular emphasis on Treblinka. The leitmotiv of the exhibition is a fissure, a tear, presented as a symbolic gap in history caused by the Holocaust. It is available in the conference room of the Treblinka Museum until August 2, 2023.

19 June 2023