June 3, 2011
Sobibor museum saved from closure
The museum at the Nazi death camp at Sobibor will remain open, after intervention by the Polish government that followed the museum’s announcement it would close due to a shortage of funding.
Poland’s Culture Ministry announced Friday that the museum at Sobibor will remain open and would be administered by the museum at the nearby Majdanek death camp, The German Press Agency reported. In January 2012, the Sobibor museum is to become an independent state museum funded by the Culture Ministry.
The museum had said Thursday that it would close due to a lack of funds from the regional government.
“Holocaust survivors were relieved to learn that Polish authorities have reversed course and have agreed to reopen the Sobibor museum. Its closure was a moral taint and unworthy of Poland which itself suffered so grievously under the Nazi yolk,” Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, said in a statement. “We trust that such precipitous closures will not occur again. The demands of memory have prevailed on this occasion and they should not fall to shortsighted concerns in the future.”
About 20,000 people a year visit Sobibor. Some 250,000 people, mostly Jews, were killed there during the Holocaust.