May 30, 2018

Treblinka

26 May 2018

Our video showcases various physical viewpoints on the memorial that now stands at the site of the Treblinka extermination camp and its surroundings. 

As one of the Operation Reinhard camps, somewhere between 700,000 and 900,000 Jews were murdered there. Our group of eighteen students and two professors of Holocaust history and memory explored the memorial site on May 26, 2018.

One of the most striking features of the memorial site is one’s inability to gather the full scope of it from any one point around or within it. There is always a corner to be turned; more to be seen in what seems to be an endless array of stones commemorating different peoples and families who perished at Treblinka.

At the beginning of the video, the sound of buzzing bees and other insects can be heard and seen. They were all over the entryway to the memorial site and set a foreboding tone for our visit to Treblinka. The bugs constituted one part of the nature by which we were surrounded during our visit; there is a stark dissonance between what took place at Treblinka in the early 1940s and the buzzing bees, singing birds, and fast-growing grass that now occupy the space.

The nature of the memorial allows each visitor to experience it individually and vastly differently from one another. It is not a museum exhibit; there are no plaques telling observers what each stone object is supposed to represent nor can original remnants of the extermination camp be seen. The video attempts to showcase this multi-perspective, individual experience that is the memorial at Treblinka, while allowing the viewer to observe the memorial site in contrast with the natural sounds and sights that surround it.

Please see our video report on our visit to the site of the former extermination camp at Treblinka here.
 
 
Group 2: Isabel Carleton, Steven Kish, Alyssa Pauly
Photography and videography by Steven Kish and Alyssa Pauly.
Music arrangement and production by Steven Kish.