The Info List - Sobibór Museum

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The Sobibór Museum or the Museum of the Former Sobibór Nazi Death Camp (Polish: Muzeum Byłego Hitlerowskiego Obozu Zagłady w Sobiborze), is a Polish state-owned museum devoted to remembering the atrocities committed at the former Sobibor extermination camp located on the outskirts of Sobibór near Lublin. The Nazi German death camp was set up in occupied Poland during World War II, as part of the Jewish extermination program known as the Operation Reinhard, which marked the most deadly phase of the Holocaust in Poland. The camp was run by the SS Sonderkommando Sobibor headed by Franz Stangl.[2] The number of Jews from Poland and elsewhere who were gassed and cremated there between April 1942 and October 14, 1943 is estimated at 250,000;[3] possibly more, including those who came from other Reich-occupied countries.[4] Since May 1, 2012 the Sobibór Museum has been a branch of the Majdanek State Museum,[2] dedicated to the history and commemoration of the Holocaust camps and subcamps of KL Lublin.[5] Originally, the museum served as an out-of-town division of the district museum in Włodawa nearby founded in 1981.[6] It has been temporarily closed to the public from April 2011 due to lack of financial means.[7] The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage reopened the Museum with additional funding after its administrative reorganisation.[8]


1 Museum history 2 Research and conservation programs 3 References 4 External links

Museum history[edit]

Present-day museum, to be replaced with Visitor Centre. New designs were selected from 63 submissions in January 2013 after the commencement of international competition [9]

Sobibór trail of memory

Little was known about the camp before the Sobibor trial in Hagen, Germany, and the parallel Hiwi trials in Krasnodar in the former USSR,[2] inspired by the investigative work of Simon Wiesenthal and the highly publicized snatching of Eichmann by Mossad.[10] Most Holocaust survivors had left Poland long before these events, and the camp was largely forgotten.[11][12] The first monument to Sobibór victims was erected on the historic site in 1965.[13] The Włodawa Museum, which was responsible for the monument, established a separate Sobibór branch on October 14, 1993, on the 50th anniversary of the armed uprising of Jewish prisoners there,[14] some of whom successfully escaped in 1943 (see Escape from Sobibor, which aired on CBS in 1987), thus prompting the camp's premature closure.[15] The small-size museum was scheduled to be replaced with a modern visitor centre based on the results of an international design competition closed at the end of 2013 and sponsored by the Polish-German Foundation Pojednanie.[16] On 24 June 2014 the State Secretary from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage presented the winning design at a ceremony in Warsaw, in the presence of the King of the Netherlands Willem Alexander and his wife Queen Máxima, the partners in the project along with Israel, Poland and Slovakia.[17] Research and conservation programs[edit]

Aerial photograph of the Sobibór death factory possibly just ahead of formation. Permanent structures are not there yet, including Camp II barracks (lower centre), as well as Camp III, and Camp IV. The railway unloading platform (with visible prewar train station) marked with the red arrow, location of gas chambers marked with a cross. Undressing area marked with red square with adjacent "Road to Heaven" through the forest

The Museum complex comprises the museum building located near the former railway station, which are connected by a paved Trail of Memory; a cast-iron statue of a woman with child on the "Road to Heaven" (Himmelfahrtstrasse) sculpted by Mieczysław Welter, as well as a large circular enclosure with a mound of ashes and crushed bones of the victims, collected at the site and formed into a broad pyramid next to the original open-air cremation pits; and local archive of the facsimiles of testimonies and pertinent documents.[18] The camp is scheduled to undergo more advanced geophysical studies and further archaeological excavations. In the camp perimeter, there are practically no fixed objects of any kind since the SS meticulously removed as much evidence as possible.[15] Any research work around and near the graves is conducted under the strict supervision of the Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich.[19] The first excavation project was completed in October 2007. Over one thousand items belonging to the victims were unearthed. In October 2009, the second excavation phase was conducted, which determined the exact placement of double-row barbed-wire fencing posts around the camp. The work revealed numerous new artifacts as well, including false teeth, keepsakes from Marienbad, and many suitcase keys.[20] In the autumn of 2012 the north-western section around mass graves 1 and 2 was analyzed, including geophysical evidence of the barbed-wire enclosure that separated mass graves and cremation pits from the living area of Camp III, and the perimeter of the killing zone as well.[19] In May 2013 the Israeli and Polish archaeologists conducting excavations near Camp III, unearthed an escape tunnel 10 metres (33 ft) long and 1.6–2 m deep in some places, beginning under the barracks of the Jewish Sonderkommando and leading toward a double-row barbed-wire fence.[21] The tunnel may have collapsed with people inside; the camp perimeter is known to have been mined. Notably, the camp records do not mention any incident of this kind. Other new findings included children identification tags from the Netherlands, and seven human skeletal remains possibly those of the Jewish work-detail shot upon the completion of the removal of genocide evidence.[14][22] References[edit]

^ Contact information (2013). "Head of the Museum". Museum of the Former Death Camp in Sobibór. Retrieved 2013-06-09.  ^ a b c MBOZS (2013). "Sobibór extermination camp. Commemoration". The State Museum at Majdanek. Retrieved June 8, 2013.  ^ M.Z.C (2011). ""Z popiołów Sobiboru" (From the Ashes of Sobibor)". Oficjalna strona internetowa (official webpage) (in Polish). Muzeum Ziemi Chełmskiej im. Wiktora Ambroziewicza w Chełmie. Retrieved 2013-06-08.  ^ MBOZS (2013). "Sobibór extermination camp. History". The State Museum at Majdanek. Retrieved June 8, 2013.  ^ "Aktualności". Muzeum we Włodawie informuje o zmianach (in Polish). Muzeum Pojezierza Łęczyńsko-Włodawskiego. 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-07.  ^ MPŁW (2013). "Historia muzeum". History of Włodawa State Museum (in Polish). Muzeum Pojezierza in Włodawa. Retrieved 2013-06-07.  ^ K.P. (July 5, 2011). "Sobibor Museum can't pay the bills". Poland News, Events, Lifestyle. Krakow Post. Retrieved 2013-06-07.  ^ TRW (May 2013). "Muzeum Byłego Hitlerowskiego Obozu Zagłady w Sobiborze jest oddziałem zamiejscowym Muzeum Państwowego na Majdanku". Archiwum (in Polish). Twoje radio Włodawa. Retrieved 2013-06-07.  ^ Wystawa pokonkursowa projektów nowego muzeum w Sobiborze. Sobibor Museum webpage. ^ Victor Smart (2009). "Adolf Eichmann Capture in Argentina". Operation Eichmann. Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team. Retrieved 2013-06-08.  ^ Richard C. Lukas, Out of the Inferno: Poles Remember the Holocaust University Press of Kentucky 1989 - 201 pages. Page 13; also in Richard C. Lukas, The Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation, 1939-1944, University Press of Kentucky 1986 - 300 pages. ^ Michael C. Steinlauf. "Poland". In: David S. Wyman, Charles H. Rosenzveig. The World Reacts to the Holocaust. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996. ^ E.S.R. (2013). "Museum of the Former Sobibór Death Camp". Information Portal to European Sites of Remembrance. Gedenkstattenportal zu Orten der Erinnerung in Europa. Retrieved 2013-06-07.  ^ a b Virtual Shtetl (2013). "A discovery in the former Sobibór death camp". The extermination camp in Sobibór. Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Retrieved June 8, 2013.  ^ a b Lest we forget (14 March 2004), "Extermination camp Sobibor" The Holocaust. Retrieved on May 17, 2013. ^ Press release (2013). "Press release concerning the redesign of Sobibor". Sobibor Foundation. Retrieved 2013-06-08.  ^ "Prezentacja projektu Muzeum-Miejsca Pamięci na terenie byłego niemieckiego obozu zagłady w Sobiborze". Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.  ^ "Sobibor". Muzeum Byłego Hitlerowskiego Obozu Zagłady w Sobiborze (in Polish). Museo.pl, Chełm. 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-07.  ^ a b Mgr Wojciech Mazurek (2012-12-27). "Wstepne wyniki badan archeologicznych Muzeum Bylego Hitlerowskiego Obozu Zaglady" (PDF file, direct download 3.76 MB). Badania Archeologiczne (in Polish). "Sub Terra". Retrieved 2013-06-07.  ^ Yad Vashem (2013). "Archaeological Excavations at Sobibór Extermination Site". Research Projects. International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem. Retrieved 2013-06-08.  ^ Press release (05.06.2013). "Próba ucieczki z obozu zagłady. Odkryli nieznany tunel w Sobiborze (Amazing discovery of a secret escape tunnel in Sobibor)". Wiadomości lokalne (in Polish). Gazeta Wyborcza. Retrieved June 11, 2013. Article features photograph of geophysical studies area.  Check date values in: date= (help) ^ Nir Hasson (Jun 7, 2013). "Archaeologists find escape tunnel at Sobibor death camp". Haaretz Daily Newspaper. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sobibór extermination camp.

"Sobibor. Ministerstwo zbuduje muzeum", at the RP.pl webpage. (in Polish) Retrieved June 8, 2013. "Sobibór bez zwiedzających", at the RP.pl webpage. (in Polish) Retrieved June 8, 2013. "The Museum of the Former Nazi Death Camp in Sobibór has been closed," at Sztetl.org webpage. Retrieved June 8, 2013. The museum faced with closure on April 30, 2011, at the Fight Hatred.com webpage. Retrieved June 8, 2013. "How to get there", at Polish Forums.com webpage. Retrieved June 8, 2013. Archaeological Excavations at Sobibór Extermination Site, at Yad Vashem website

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Sobibór extermination camp

Camp organizers

Odilo Lotario Globocnik Hermann Julius Höfle Richard Wolfgang Thomalla Erwin Hermann Lambert Karl Steubl Christian Wirth


Franz Paul Stangl a Franz Karl Reichleitner b


Karl August Wilhelm Frenzel Hermann Michel Johann Niemann Gustav Franz Wagner

Gas chamber executioners

Hermann Erich Bauer Heinz Kurt Bolender

Other officers

Rudolf Beckmann Paul Bredow Herbert Floss Erich Fritz Erhard Fuchs Siegfried Graetschus Lorenz Hackenholt Josef "Sepp" Hirtreiter Jakob Alfred Ittner Erich Gustav Willie Lachmann Willi Mentz Paul Rost Ernst Stengelin Ernst Zierke Heinrich Barbl



Ivan Demjanjuk "Trawnikis" c Volksdeutsche

Prominent victims

Helga Deen Anna Dresden-Polak Emanuel Lodewijk Elte Else Feldmann Isidore Goudeket Jakob van Hoddis Han Hollander Gerrit Kleerekoper Pati Kremer Kurt Lilien Juan Luria Messaoud El Mediouni Helena Nordheim Abraham de Oliveira Emanuel Querido Jud Simons Philip Slier Leo Smit Max van Dam Michel Velleman

Resistance Survivors


Philip Bialowitz Thomas Blatt Selma Engel-Wijnberg Leon Feldhendler Dov Freiberg Alexander Pechersky Jules Schelvis Joseph Serchuk Stanislaw Szmajzner

Nazi organizations

General Government SS-Totenkopfverbände

Planning Methods

Documents Evidence

Operation Reinhard

Höfle Telegram

Aftermath Memorials

Sobibór trial Sobibór Museum

Related topics

The Holocaust Operation Reinhard Nazi concentration camps Extermination camp

a 28 April to 30 August 1942 b 1 September 1942 to 17 October 1943 c Up to 200

Death camps: Auschwitz-Birkenau Bełżec Chełmno Jasenovac Majdanek Maly Trostenets Sajmište Sobibór Treblinka

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The Holocaust in Poland

Main article The Holocaust Related articles by country Belarus Belgium Croatia Denmark Estonia France Latvia Lithuania Norway Russia Ukraine

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Camps, ghettos and operations



Auschwitz-Birkenau Chełmno Majdanek Operation Reinhard death camps

Bełżec Sobibór Treblinka


Kraków-Płaszów Potulice Soldau Stutthof Szebnie Trawniki Warsaw

Mass shootings

AB Action Bronna Góra Erntefest Jedwabne Kielce cemetery Aktion Krakau Lviv pogroms Lwów professors Palmiry Sonderaktion Krakau Tannenberg Tykocin Bydgoszcz Wąsosz Bloody Sunday


List of 277 Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Poland (1939–1942) Będzin Białystok Brest Częstochowa Grodno Kielce Kraków Lwów Łódź Lubartów Lublin Międzyrzec Podlaski Mizocz Nowy Sącz Pińsk Radom Siedlce Sambor Słonim Sosnowiec Stanisławów Tarnopol Wilno Warsaw

Other atrocities

Action T4 Grossaktion Warsaw Human medical experimentation

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Perpetrators, participants, organizations, and collaborators

Major perpetrators


Josef Bühler Eichmann Eicke Ludwig Fischer Hans Frank Globocnik Glücks Greiser Himmler Hermann Höfle Fritz Katzmann Wilhelm Koppe Friedrich-Wilhelm Krüger Kutschera Erwin Lambert Ernst Lerch Oswald Pohl Reinefarth Scherner Seyss-Inquart Sporrenberg Streckenbach Thomalla Otto Wächter Wisliceny

Camp command

Aumeier Baer Boger Braunsteiner Eberl Eupen Kurt Franz Karl Frenzel Karl Fritzsch Göth Grabner Hartjenstein Hering Höss Hössler Josef Kramer Liebehenschel Mandel Matthes Michel Möckel Mulka Johann Niemann Oberhauser Reichleitner Heinrich Schwarz Stangl Gustav Wagner Christian Wirth

Gas chamber executioners

Erich Bauer Bolender Hackenholt Klehr Hans Koch Herbert Lange Theuer


von Bodmann Clauberg Gebhardt Fritz Klein Mengele Horst Schumann Trzebinski Eduard Wirths

Ghetto command

Auerswald Biebow Blösche Bürkl Konrad Palfinger von Sammern-Frankenegg Stroop


Wolfgang Birkner Blobel Felix Landau Schaper Schöngarth von Woyrsch


Camp guards

Juana Bormann Danz Demjanjuk Margot Dreschel Kurt Gerstein Grese Höcker Kaduk Kollmer Muhsfeldt Orlowski Volkenrath

By camp

Sobibór Treblinka


Einsatzgruppen (SS) Ordnungspolizei (Orpo battalions) WVHA RKFDV VoMi General Government Hotel Polski



Belarusian Auxiliary Police BKA battalions Brigade Siegling Black Cats Central Rada


Jewish Ghetto Police Żagiew ("Torch Guard") Group 13 Kapos Judenräte


Waffen-SS "RONA" Waffen-SS "Russland" Ostlegionen, Bataillone (Cossack Division, Russian "ROA")


Ukrainian Auxiliary Police SS Galizien Ukrainian Liberation Army Schutzmannschaft (Battalion 118, Brigade Siegling, 30. Waffen SS Grenadier Division) Trawnikimänner

Other nationalities

Estonian Auxiliary Police Latvian Auxiliary Police (Arajs Kommando) Lithuanian Auxiliary Police Battalions (Schutzmannschaft, Ypatingasis būrys) Pieter Menten (Nederlandsche SS)

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Resistance: Judenrat, victims, documentation and technical




Ghetto uprisings Białystok Częstochowa Sobibór Treblinka Warsaw Ghetto Uprising


Mordechai Anielewicz Icchak Cukierman Mordechai Tenenbaum Marek Edelman Leon Feldhendler Paweł Frenkiel Henryk Iwański Itzhak Katzenelson Michał Klepfisz Miles Lerman Alexander Pechersky Witold Pilecki Frumka Płotnicka Roza Robota Szmul Zygielbojm


Jewish Ghetto Police Adam Czerniaków Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski

Victim lists


Kraków Łódź Lvov (Lwów) Warsaw


Auschwitz Bełżec Gross-Rosen Izbica Majdanek Sobibór Soldau Stutthof Trawniki Treblinka


Nazi sources

Auschwitz Album Frank Memorandum Höcker Album Höfle Telegram Katzmann Report Korherr Report Nisko Plan Posen speeches Special Prosecution Book-Poland Stroop Report Wannsee Conference

Witness accounts

Graebe affidavit Gerstein Report Vrba–Wetzler report Witold's Report Sonderkommando photographs


Sonderaktion 1005

Technical and logistics

Identification in camps Gas chamber Gas van Holocaust train Human medical experimentation Zyklon B

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Aftermath, trials and commemoration


Holocaust survivors Polish population transfers (1944–1946) Bricha Kielce pogrom Anti-Jewish violence, 1944–46 Ministry of Public Security


West German trials

Frankfurt Auschwitz trials Treblinka trials

Polish, East German, and Soviet trials

Auschwitz trial (Poland) Stutthof trials Extraordinary (Soviet) State Commission


Museum of the History of Polish Jews Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum Majdanek State Museum Sobibór Museum International Youth Meeting Center in Oświęcim/Auschwitz March of the Living

Righteous Among the Nations

Polish Righteous Among the Nations Rescue of Jews by Poles during the Holocaust Garde