Ośrodek „Brama Grodzka - Teatr NN” w Lublinie jest samorządową instytucją kultury działającą na rzecz ochrony dziedzictwa kulturowego i edukacji. Jej działania nawiązują do symbolicznego i historycznego znaczenia siedziby Ośrodka - Bramy Grodzkiej, dawniej będącej przejściem pomiędzy miastem chrześcijańskim i żydowskim, jak również do położenia Lublina w miejscu spotkania kultur, tradycji i religii.

Częścią Ośrodka są Dom Słów oraz Lubelska Trasa Podziemna.

Ośrodek „Brama Grodzka - Teatr NN” w Lublinie jest samorządową instytucją kultury działającą na rzecz ochrony dziedzictwa kulturowego i edukacji. Jej działania nawiązują do symbolicznego i historycznego znaczenia siedziby Ośrodka - Bramy Grodzkiej, dawniej będącej przejściem pomiędzy miastem chrześcijańskim i żydowskim, jak również do położenia Lublina w miejscu spotkania kultur, tradycji i religii.

Częścią Ośrodka są Dom Słów oraz Lubelska Trasa Podziemna.

Museum of the Holocaust of Polish Jews

The history of the Holocaust of Polish Jews has still been insufficiently uncovered and recounted, even though it regards nearly a half of the total number of Holocaust victims. This history is connected with Lublin and the Lublin region in a most particular way. It was from Lublin that the first transport of Jews bound for Bełżec set off on the night of March 16, 1942, marking the beginning of an act of genocide carried out on an industrial scale – as part of “Operation Reinhard” – in the deaths camps of Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka. When the operation was finally completed in November 1943 it cost the lives of more than two million Jews from the territories of the General Government and Bezirk Białystok. Their murder was organized by individuals from the Lublin heardquarters of “Operation Reinhard” (“Einsatzstab Reinhard”) under the command of Odilo Globocnik. The perpetrators planned to obliterate the memory of their mass-murdered victims, rendering them anonymous and deprived of history in order to erase forever their every living trace.

David Silberklang:

The absolute finality of Bełżec and of the other “Operation Reinhard” death camps — Sobibór and Treblinka — is one of the major reasons that their awesome evil power did not assume the symbolic proportions of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Remote from the public eye and from eyewitness testimony, and remote in time and place from the liberation, none of the three death camps could be seen, photographed, or immediately investigated by the liberators. And even if these camps had been reached by liberators, there were few survivors to tell the story. As a result, these camps and the operation they served have until recently also remained far from the center of popular consciousness and scholarly interest. [...]

In fact, Bełżec was the only one of the death camps in which the assigned tasks were actually completed and therefore was shut down by the Nazis. This in itself symbolizes what the Nazis had intended for the “Final Solution.” However, relatively little is known about this camp, which ceased operations and was dismantled nearly two years prior to the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

This explains why among all the death centres it was Auschwitz-Birkenau to have become the embodiment of the Holocaust in the collective immagination. However, such a picture of the Shoah is definitely incomplete. Almost twice as many Jews lost their lives in the General Government than in Auschwitz-Birkenau alone. Unfortunately, the fate of these victims is still overshadowed. Obviously we must never forget about Auschwitz, but it is of great importance that the full view of the Holocaust  includes other elements – such as “Operation Reinhard” – too. Hence the need to create the Museum of the Holocaust of Polish Jews in Lublin.

Lublin, as a location for the Museum, is also significant for one other reason. It was here that mere weeks after the city had been liberated – on August 29, 1944 – the Committee for the History of Jews was established, soon renamed as the Central Jewish Historical Commission. One of its main goals was to collect the testimonies of the Jewish Holocaust survivors. The Commission operated in Lublin until March 1945 when it was transferred to Łódź. Thanks to its work dozens of survivor accounts were recorded in this period.

Therefore, the city which had seen both the beginning and end of the murderous “Operation Reinhard”, commenced with the process of collecting testimonies from Holocaust survivors too. It was in Lublin that – for the first time in history – Holocaust survivor accounts were being officially recorded  in accordance with the first guidelines. 

Years later the “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre, founded in Lublin in the 1990s, became one of the continuators of this endeavour, aimed at salvaging the memory of the murdered Jews. After many years of active work, its creators decided that their message for the future generations should come in the form of an idea to establish the Museum of the Holocaust of Polish Jews here – in Lublin.

Museum of the Holocaust of Polish JewsBezpośredni odnośnik do tego akapitu

We live in the times of globalisation which forces every community, along with each individual person, to face weighty questions regarding the future – questions of a practical, as well as ethical and existential nature. One such question is of an absolutely fundamental and radical character: What do we exist for as a community? What do we want to give the World to make it a better place? Our intimate experience of discovering and salvaging the memory of the Jewish inhabitants of Lublin demonstrates how deeply the life of each community is connected with remembering the past.

The dramatic history of Lublin has bound us forever with the universal problem of memory which is still relevant today – not only in relation to our city but to the whole world. Lublin should show the world that it is possible to transform into a place of “good memory”, a place which is capable of facing its past in a wise, responsible and empathetic way. This is precisely why we are in such need of the Museum of the Holocaust of Polish Jews.

The work performed in Lublin in the autumn of 1944 by the Central Jewish Historical Commission can be regarded as the symbolic origin of the Museum. In a deeply significant sense it was the Commission that provided5 the groundwork for its creation.

The Museum will house the accounts of Holocaust survivors and its internal space will form a great and unique Storehouse of Memory.

Tomasz Pietrasiewicz