Willenberg’s Treblinka Exhibition Opens in Częstochowa

September 17, 2020
Source: Alon Goldman

An exhibition of bronze Treblinka sculptures, by our late landsmann Samuel Willenberg z”l, opened in Częstochowa on Thurday 17th September 2020. The Official Opening of the exhibition, entitled “The Image of Treblinka in the Eyes of Samuel Willenberg”, took place at the Częstochowa Municipal Museum, in the presence of the Mayor of Częstochowa, Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk.

In collaboration with the Institute of National Remembrance, which brought the exhibition from Israel to Poland, and at the request of Alon Goldman, the exhibition was intended to be part of the World Society’s Sixth Reunion, which was scheduled to be held in early October, in conjunction with the Huberman Festival in the Częstochowa Philharmonic. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for our next Reunion have been deferred until 2021.

The date of the exhibition going on display in Czestochowa is not random, as between 22nd September and 7th October 1942, about 40,000 Czestochowa Jews were deported to their deaths in the German death camp in Treblinka – in six transports of cattle trains.

Samuel Willenberg was lucky. When he arrived in Treblinka from the Opatów ghetto where he was staying, as he got off the train in Treblinka, he met his teacher from Czestochowa who told him, “If they ask, say you are a builder”. And so it was – of all the 6,000 Jews who had arrived on this transport, he was the only one to remain alive and was sent to a work group.

The exhibition presents figures and events that were etched into Samuel Willenberg’s memory during the ten months which he spent in the death camp until his escape on 2nd August 1943, during the rebellion which took place in the camp.

Ada Willenberg, widow of Samuel, speaking at the Official Opening, from Israel.

Mayor of Czestochowa, Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk, welcomes to exhibition to the city.

Official Opening attendees, socially distanced and masked.

“The Image of Treblinka in the Eyes of Samuel Willenberg” exhibition will remain on display on the city’s main boulevard
at the Galeria Dobrej Sztuki al. NMP 47 until mid-October.

A replica of the sculpture exhibition can be viewed in Israel at the “House of Remembrance for the Holocaust and Heroism of Ariel”, a house built by Holocaust survivors Yaakov (Kuba) Wodislawski z”l from Czestochowa and his wife Irina.
The website is http://memorial.ariel.muni.il/. The Museum address is: Derech Hanachshonim 14 Ariel, tel: 03-9060105.
Admission to the museum and tour is free, but please arrange your visit in advance.