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MUSEUM AND MEMORIAL IN SOBIBÓR. THE NAZI GERMAN EXTERMINATION CAMP (1942–1943)

14.10.2020

Jarosław Sellin - SECRETARY OF STATE MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND NATIONAL HERITAGE - the letter

SECRETARY OF STATE
MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND NATIONAL HERITAGE
Jarosław Sellin

Ladies and gentlemen,

in 2008, the countries from which the largest number of victims came, namely – Poland, Israel, the Netherlands, and Slovakia, entered into an agreement to create a dignified place of commemoration of the victims of the former German Nazi death camp in Sobibór. In 2000 – under rabbinical supervision – archaeological research began with the aim to protect the ashes of the murdered and determine the topography of the site.

Wishing to preserve the memory of the victims and to honour those brave and determined people who rebelled against their torturers on October 14, 77 years ago, we decided to establish a new museum here. The construction and arrangement of the exhibition and educational building has already been completed, and in the coming days, the works related to the installation of the permanent exhibition will also come to an end. The efforts of many partners led to the creation of an important symbol of remembrance of the victims of the camp in Sobibór – including those known by name and surname such as the Dutch Jews, the nameless ones who disappeared from the neighboring villages and towns of the Lublin District, and citizens of other European countries. All of them make up the image of the defeat of humanity, which in places such as Sobibór is visible in every scrap of earth, in every stone. The memory of the victims bears witness to the inhuman policy of extermination so carefully prepared by the state apparatus of the Third Reich. It cries: Never again!

I would like to wholeheartedly thank the management and employees of the Museum, including employees of the Sobibór branch, for their care and commitment to fulfill the mission – to pay respect to so many brutally killed human beings, to commemorate their fate.

In the near future, we will receive a catalogue in which the curator of the Memorial in Sobibór, the State Museum at Majdanek, will present about 300 of the most important artefacts – items discovered during archaeological works. Next year, we plan to open the entire museum complex with a topographic ground commemoration.

The Polish State carefully looks after the traces of the sites of the Holocaust left by the German occupier – in the grounds of former camps, ghetto areas, and the remains of other places of torture alike. We expect that this effort will result in an increased awareness of the difficult heritage left by the Nazi criminal policy in Poland. We carry the memory of the departing witnesses further.

For the celebration of the 77th anniversary of the armed uprising of prisoners of the German death camp in Sobibór on October 14, 2020.

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