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About the Museum

About the Museum

Museum and Memorial Site in Bełżec was founded in 2004 as a branch of the State Museum at Majdanek. One of its main responsibilities is documenting and commemorating the victims of the German death camp in Bełżec. The museum’s activity concentrates on historical education and providing guide services.

In 1987, Miles Lerman, chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's governing board, appealed to the world for a duly commemoration of Jewish victims of the Third Reich. As a result, an agreement between the Polish government and the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington was concluded in 1995. According to the agreement, it was planned to erect on the grounds of the former death camp a commemoration of 500,000 people who were killed there. In a competition held in 1997, a project prepared by a group of artists was selected: Andrzej Sołyga, Marcin Roszczyk, and Zdzisław Pidek.

For artistic cooperation and project execution was responsible an architecture studio DDJM Biuro Architektoniczne. The authors of the Museum building and the project are architects Marek Dunikowski, Jarosław Kutniowski, Piotr Czerwiński and Piotr Uherek. Prof. Jan Grabacki was responsible for the structure. When the project was under implementation, the Polish government was represented by Andrzej Przewoźnik – the then Secretary of the Council for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom, while the American Jews were represented by Rabbi Andrew Baker – Director of International Jewish Affairs for the American Jewish Committee. In 2002, in accordance with the agreement with USHMM in Washington, he assumed responsibility for further construction works at the memorial site. In accordance with the agreement of 1995, a half of the costs related to the construction of the commemoration was incurred by donors from the United States whose names are enlisted on the wall of the Museum’s main hall.