Since the 70th anniversary of the uprising of prisoners in Treblinka the Jewish Historical Institute has organized a number of events in order to commemorate all those murdered in the extermination camp. In 2013 they arranged a meeting with Samuel Willenberg – the last surviving Treblinka escapee and an insurgent in the Warsaw Uprising. The meeting was frequented by, among others, teachers – participants of another edition of Summer Academy organized by the Jewish Historical Institute. Guests who have come to the meeting had the opportunity to listen to Samuel Willenberg’s horrifying story about how among the clothes brought to the sorting department left over from the Jews murdered in the gas chambers he recognized the clothes of his two sisters.
Next day after the meeting there were solemn commemorations of the anniversary of the Treblinka uprising, visited by diplomatic delegations from the USA, Israel, Germany and Czech Republic as well as representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After speeches delivered by invited guests and a prayer for the intention of the victims, there was a ceremony of laying the cornerstone for the Centre for Education about the Extermination of Jews in Treblinka. The seventieth anniversary of the uprising was also an occasion for the opening of an exhibition of Samuel Willenberg’s works.
In 2014 and 2015 Samuel Willenberg was once again the honorary guest of commemorations in Treblinka, and despite his advanced years and the August heat he made the walk from the former railway ramp to the Statue for the Victims of the Treblinka Extermination Camp. In 2015 the exhibition “Looking for Treblinka” has opened, displaying objects found on the premises of the former extermination camp and the former penal labour camp in Treblinka. They were discovered during excavations conducted as a part of a 7-year long project directed by Caroline Sturdy Colls, PhD., from Staffordshire University. Alongside the permanent exposition there was a temporal one called “Treblinka in the eyes of the artist”. It consisted of works of 7 artists inspired by the objects found during the excavations.
The commemorations of Treblinka uprising anniversary are organized by the Jewish Historical Institute in cooperation with the Siedlce Museum. Each year members of the Children of the Holocaust Association, The Second Generation Association, participants of the summer academy of the JHI, representatives of Mojżesz Schorr Foundation, the Sigmund Rolat Foundation, the Polish Center for Holocaust Research and everybody who feels the need to pay their respects to the Murdered gather at Treblinka.