In the Museum building there is a permanent exhibition which presents the history of both camps – Treblinka II Extermination Camp and Treblinka I Penal Labour Camp. The exposition is complemented by exhibits discovered during archaeological research. The main element of the exhibition is a model of the Extermination Camp.
The room is equipped with a TV set with educational films for museum visitors in Polish, English, Hebrew and German.
Treblinka Station. Between Life and Death
The main axis of the presented exhibition is railwayman Franciszek Ząbecki. Today, more than 70 years after World War II has ended, he is almost forgotten. Franciszek Ząbecki was a righteous man, who happened to live in inhumane times, though his inner beliefs did not allow him to stay passive towards reality. On 22 May 1941, already a member of the Polish Underground State, he started to work for the General Directorate of Eastern Railway as a train dispatcher at the railway station in Treblinka. Together with his family, he occupied a company flat here. He was an involuntary participant of the drama, taking place in the vicinity, and had his unique input in documenting the calamitous history of Treblinka. After World War II has ended, Franciszek Ząbecki still worked for the railway. He described his war experiences in a book published in 1977, called Wspomnienia dawne i nowe (Old and New Memories). He was also a protagonist of a documentary called Świadek oskarżenia (Witness of the Prosecution). The assumption behind the presented exhibition is to let the history witness speak, which is why it is based on the selected quotes from the published memories of Franciszek Ząbecki.
Thanks to the kindness of the Jewish Historical Institute, we have the opportunity to present in our Museum a temporary exhibition entitled: “Don’t they know that they are going to their death?” Quotes from the writings of Emanuel Ringelblum / photographs by Alan Metnick.
The photographs presented at the exhibition are the aftermath of two visits of the American artist Alan Metnick to Treblinka – in 2005 and 2014. The photographs are accompanied by quotes from Emanuel Ringelblum’s letters reflecting the mood prevailing in the Warsaw Ghetto after the deportation of the Jewish population to the Treblinka Death Camp began.
„(…) The Treblinka Memorial attracts and repels at the same time. The stones don’t welcome you but there’s a magnetism found in the kinetic energy jutting and breaking from the ground reminding you, constantly reminding you of a world, a place you don’t want to live in, and yet you’re pulled to it, experiencing and remembering. And when you do leave you never forget the place – the stones – the experience of shards of jagged stones breaking from the ground and threatening you. Even on warm, summer days with a quiet forest surrounding all. And that too provides no relief because you know what happened there happened also on warm, beautiful, summer days. There was no escape, no relief. The Stones express that: no relief, no escape.”
Alan Metnick, author of photographs
The exhibition will be available to visitors until the end of this year.