With regard to the Institute’s initiative, we are all the more pleased to note that the square on Strażacka Street in Częstochowa will be named after Samuel Willenberg. What is more, this is also the location of the Memorial to Częstochowa Jews, a commemoration designed by Willenberg himself and unveiled in the autumn of 2009. It is worth mentioning that the Institute of National Remembrance was one of the institutions supporting the initiative of naming the square, from where the Jews of Częstochowa were deported to death camps such as Treblinka during the war, after Samuel Willenberg.
In 2020, the Institute of National Remembrance initiated a year- long exhibition and educational project on the basis of 14 sculptures by Samuel Willeberg depicting people and situations he remembered particularly vividly during his imprisonment at Treblinka. These unique sculptures, constituting the world heritage of the Holocaust, were brought by the IPN from Israel for the purposes of the project.
The IPN’s exhibition "The Image of Treblinka in the Eyes of Samuel Willenberg" was intended not only to educate about the tragedy of the Holocaust, but also to familiarize the younger generation with the author of the sculptures, a Jew from Częstochowa, a soldier of the September campaign, a prisoner of Treblinka, a participant in the camp rebellion, a Warsaw insurgent, and an advocate of reconciliation between Polish and Jewish nations.
After the ceremonial opening of the exhibition in Warsaw on 28 January 2020, with the participation of Ada Krystyna Willenberg, the widow of the artist, the sculptures were presented at the IPN branches in Lublin, Cracow and Kielce, as well as in Gdańsk (at the Museum of the Second World War) and Częstochowa (at the Częstochowa Museum). On the basis of the exhibition, a virtual tour in Polish and English was also created. It is available at:
The exhibitions in individual cities were accompanied by educational workshops for young people prepared by the IPN’s educators. We are extremely pleased that Samuel Willenberg will be commemorated in his hometown, at the same time reminding young generations of the tragedy of war and of human heroism.
In the company of family members and in the presence of the Polish Ambassador to Israel, Marek Magierowski and his wife, Alon Goldman, the President of the Association of Częstochowa Jews in Israel, presented Ada Willenberg with a personal letter from the Mayor of Czestochowa, Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk, officially informing her of the decision to accept his proposal to name a square in Częstochowa after her late husband, Samuel Willenberg. Attached to the letter was a decision of the City Council which chose the location where the monument in memory of the Czestochowa Jews, the victims of the Ghetto and the Hasag forced labor camp stand as the proper place, a decision made unanimously.
Ada Willenberg thanked the Mayor for the respect the city bestows on her late husband and noted that these days, this is not something to be taken for granted. She also noted that the monument in memory of Czestochowa Jews, which was unveiled in 2009, was erected on the initiative of Holocaust Survivor, a native of Czestochowa and an Honorary Citizen of the city, Sigmund Rolat, who chose Samuel Willenberg as the artist to design and erect the monument.
More informaion about the travelling exhibition: