The site of the Treblinka concentration camp, in Poland, played host to a ceremony this past Friday commemorating 70 years since the Jewish prisoner revolt at the camp that became known as the “Treblinka uprising.”
The ceremony featured Samuel Willenberg, the last living survivor of the uprising, and Israel’s Deputy Minister of Education MK Avi Wortzman.
In an interview with The Algemeiner, Wortzman said he was especially moved by the opportunity to meet Willenberg.
“As Deputy Minister of Education for the State of Israel, it was an honor to stand in Treblinka with Mr. Willenberg, the last survivor of the uprising and carry his message of hope and strength to the future generations here in Israel,” he said. ”The Holocaust is a huge part of our collective history as a Jewish people and the children of Israel will continue to learn about it and visit Poland to try and understand what happened there and understand the importance of us having our own state and ruling our own destiny.”
Willenberg was part of a small group of prisoners who, with a copied key, opened the Nazi armory at the concentration camp, distributed the weapons and set fire to the camp’s installations. Though 200 of the 300 who escaped in the uprising were eventually captured and murdered, Willenberg was able to flee successfully, making his way to Poland, and then, in 1950, settling in Israel.
The ceremony was organized by the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland and featured hundreds of guests, including an Israeli delegation led by Jonny Daniels, a communications adviser to several Knesset Parliament members.