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Newest book on the Holocaust launched by the Museum

“Zagłada Żydów w Generalnym Gubernatorstwie. Zarys problematyki” constitutes a synthetic description of the Holocaust carried out by the Germans in the years 1942-1943 within the framework of the so called “Aktion Reinhardt.” The newest book by prof. Dariusz Libionka published by the State Museum at Majdanek is earmarked for a wide readership.

So many publications on the Holocaust in Poland have been written so far, but in fact there was not any book that would cover this topic in an accessible and synthetic way. “In the Polish historiography, there are too few synthetic publications. There are many detailed books that analyse the selected aspects of the history of the Jews in Poland. This book seems to be filling a kind of the gap in this topic.” – stressed prof. Adam Kopciowski from the Institute of Culture and History of Jews of Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin during a book launch event.

Dariusz Libionka starts with the description of the situation of the Jews before the war in context of Nazi anti-Semitism ideology, but the main parts of his book refer to the years 1942-1943 when the majority of the Polish Jews was murdered. He also describes the activities of perpetrators and mechanisms of extermination, including the process of constructing death camps, deporting Jews and plundering their property. In the introduction to his book, Dariusz Libionka writes: “During the night of 16 to 17 March 1942, “Aktion Reinhardt” started. Such a cryptonym denoted a mass extermination of the Jews carried out by the German and Austrian Nazis on the grounds of the General Government established in October 1939 on different parts of the occupied Polish territories. Between March 1942 and November 1943, about one and a half million Jews, mostly citizens of the Second Polish Republic, were killed in gas chambers located in Bełżec, Sobibór and Treblinka. The hundreds of thousands more Jews were killed in ghettos, in the concentration camp at Majdanek, labour camps as well as due to many mass executions performed during the deportation actions and manhunts. Among the victims were not only the Jews residing in the area of the General Government, but also the Jews living in the annexed Białystok region as well as citizens of several European countries. “Aktion Reinhardt” is one of the most dreadful episodes in the history of the 20th century. Just in a few months, the centuries-long history of the Polish Jews was rapidly and finally interrupted.”

The book launch is one of the events organised by the Museum aiming to mark the 75th anniversary of “Aktion Reinhardt.” Each project launched aims at commemorating the victims and providing valuable historical knowledge about the Holocaust on the grounds of the General Government in the years 1942-1943.