75th anniversary of the prisoners’ uprising at the German Nazi death camp in Sobibór
On 14 October, relatives of the former prisoners of the death camp in Sobibór, representatives of state and regional authorities, ambassadors and diplomats, employees of associations commemorating the Holocaust victims met at the Museum and Memorial Site in Sobibór to commemorate the prisoners’ revolt and escape – one of the most remarkable acts of Jewish resistance during WW2.
The ceremony was organized by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the State Museum at Majdanek.
During the ceremony, for his courage and bravery, the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta was posthumously awarded to Lejba (Leon) Felhendler, one of the leaders of the uprising at the camp. A letter by President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda was read by Minister Wojciech Kolarski.
The award was taken by professor Nicholas Kittri, a nephew of Lejba Felhendler.
The speech was next given by Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, Minister of Culture and National Heritage prof. dr hab. Piotr Gliński.
The floor was also taken by the representatives of the states co-creating the Steering Committee for the Creation of the Museum and Memorial Site in Sobibór: Ambassador of Israel Anna Azari; Director General for Health, Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport of the Netherlands Angelique Berg and Ambassador of Slovakia Dušan Krištofík. Next, Ambassador of Russia Sergey Andreev gave a speech.
It was followed with speeches by Secretary of State at the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, President of the International Steering Committee for the Project of Construction of the Museum- Memorial Site in Sobibór Jarosław Sellin and director of the State Museum at Majdanek dr Tomasz Kranz.
Ecumenical prayer for the victims of the death camp in Sobibór was said by Michael Schudrich – Chief Rabbi of Poland, ks. Jerzy Ignaciuk – Orthodox parish priest from Włodawa, ks. dr Kazimierz Gurda – Bishop of Siedlce, ks. Mieczysław Cisło - auxiliary bishop of the Lublin Archcathedral, ks. Grzegorz Brudny – parish priest of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Lublin.
Then the ceremony took place at the glade with mass graves, where the participants laid wreaths and candles.
Following the official part, the exhibition “Recovered from the Ashes” presenting relics found during archaeological works in the area of the former German Nazi death camp in Sobibór was presented. As part of the celebrations an album "Recovered from the Ashes. Personal Belongings of the Victims of the German Death Camp in Sobibór" comprising 100 photographs of artifacts with their catalog descriptions was also presented.