Sobibor to close to visitors as mass graves protected, museum building constructed

Katarzyna Markusz

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — The Sobibor Museum located on the grounds of the former Nazi death camp will be closed to visitors during planned construction work including protection of mass graves containing the ashes of victims of the camp.

This is the first stage of the international project to create a memorial on the grounds of Sobibor. The work is set to begin on Wednesday.

According to the architectural design, the area of the mass graves in the former camp will be covered with a layer of geotextile. The area then will be covered with crushed white marble. This work will take place under the supervision of Poland’s rabbinical commission for Jewish cemeteries.

The future museum building will have usable area of some 760 square meters.  According to the project, the museum building will consist of the exhibition hall with a permanent historical exhibition documenting the history of the extermination camp in Sobibor, as well as a lecture hall, a room for collections, a reception area and a service point for visitors, Agnieszka Kowalczyk-Nowak, a spokesperson for the Museum at Majdanek, told JTA.

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The mass grave exhibit and the shell of the museum are set to be completed by the end of 2017.

“The pace and timing of future work depends on the decision of the Steering Group, which continues to resolve some issues with the elements of commemoration,” according to  Kowalczyk-Nowak. She added that all work, including preparation of the exhibition, is set to be completed in 2019.

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