Germany allocates $1.1 million for Sobibor museum

Permanent exhibition to open in 2020 at site of Nazi extermination camp, where as many as 300,000 Jews were killed in 1942-3

Signs in eight languages at the site of the Sobibor death camp in Poland. (Flickr/Sgvb)
Signs in eight languages at the site of the Sobibor death camp in Poland. (Flickr/Sgvb)

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — Germany will allocate $1.1 million for a new museum in Sobibor.

The money will be used to create a permanent exhibition, to be opened in two years, at the site of the former Nazi extermination camp. The agreement was signed last week.

The establishment of a permanent exhibit is part of the construction of a new Museum and Memorial Site in Sobibor, implemented by Poland in cooperation with Israel, the Netherlands and Slovakia. Partners in the endeavor are the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation and the State Museum at Majdanek. The main work is to be carried out in 2019 and 2020.

The German government will donate the $1.1 million to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation. At present, a building is being built to house the permanent exhibit.

The German ambassador to Poland, Rolf Nikel, in signing the funds transfer agreement, said that “sustaining memory and engaging in historical truth means that we too today must give the young generation respect for everyone, regardless of their ethnic background, religion, political views or mental health.”

The Sobibor extermination camp operated from May 1942 to October 1943. There, the Nazis murdered from 170,000 to 300,000 Jews from Poland, the Netherlands, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany and Belarus.

On October 14, 1943, an uprising broke out in the camp, during which some of the prisoners fled. It was one of three such uprisings in Nazi death camps. The other two took place at Treblinka and Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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