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Symposium 'Excavating Sobibor'

On 14 March 2024, the NIOD symposium 'Excavating Sobibor. Holocaust Archaeology between Heritage, History and Memory' will take place at the Trippenhuis in Amsterdam. The archaeological research at the site of the former Nazi-extermination Camp Sobibor, which began in 2000 and continued until 2020, represents the most extensive archaeological excavations to have been held at a Holocaust site.

For this conference, NIOD is bringing together an international group of interdisciplinary scholars to shed light on archaeological research on Sobibor and its broader context from multiple perspectives.

Do you want to attend? Admission is free, but registration is required. Mail to:

Date: 14 March 2024
Location: Trippenhuis, Kloveniersburgwal 29, Amsterdam 

About the symposium

Camp Sobibor operated from May 1942 to October 1943. Approximately 180,000 people, predominantly Jewish, were killed there. The majority were Polish Jews, with more than 34,000 Jews deported from the Netherlands. Following the October 14, 1943, uprising, the SS decided to liquidate the camp and obliterate all traces.

The symposium will discuss the results of archaeological research at the Sobibor memorial site. In a broader perspective, the symposium offers a retrospective and a forward-looking examination of the role and significance of archaeological research on Holocaust and terror sites, exploring potentially innovative insights attached to these memorial places.

The symposium marks the completion of the NIOD project 'Sobibor - Archeology of Destruction'.  Additionally, two book publications from the project will be presented during the conference:


Schedule of the day

  • 09.30 - 10.00: Walk-in
  • 10.00 - 1015: Opening 
    • Welcome - Martijn Eickhoff (director NIOD)
    • Introduction - Erik Somers (NIOD, project leader ‘Sobibor. Archaeology of Destruction’)
  • 10.15 - 10.40: Keynote speech Barbara Hausmair
  • 10.40 - 11.40: The excavation of Sobibor from the perspective of the archaeologists:
    • Film Documentary ‘Deadly Deception at Sobibor’, an introduction to the Excavations at Sobibor in Film – Gary Hochman
    • The Archaeologists Wojchiech Mazurek. Yoram Haimi and Ivar Schute interviewed by Erik Somers
  • 11.40 - 12.00: Coffee and tea break
  • 12.00 - 13.00: Excavating Sobibor: from Stakeholders to Interpretations
    • The difficult Web of Stakeholders in the Archaeology of Sobibor - Katarzyna Grzybowska
    • The Finds from Sobibor and the Expressiveness of the Material Culture of Holocaust Camps - Claudia Theune
  • 13.00 - 14.00: Lunch
  • 14.00 - 14.10: Speech - Maarten van Ooijen (Outgoing State Secretary of the Ministry of VWS)
  • 14.10 - 15.00: Applying Archaeology in Narrative and Design
    • Public History; Book Publication Traces of Sobibor – Erik Schumacher
    • Sobibor Finds in the Presentation at National Holocaust Museum, Amsterdam – Annemiek Gringold
    • The results of archaeological research applied to the lay-out of the Sobibor site and museum - Tomasz Oleksy-Zborowski
  • 15.00 - 15.40: Archaeology and Memory Culture: Now and Then
    • Panel session with Hannah Wilson, Zuzanna Dziuban, Zofia Woycicka. Moderator: Martijn Eickhoff
  • 15.40 - 16.00: Coffee and tea break
  • 16.00 - 16.45: What Can We Learn from the Sobibor Excavations for Future Archaeological Research?
    • Panel session with Barbara Hausmair, Caroline Sturdy-Colls, Anna Zalewska. Moderator: Jelke Take
  • 16.45 - 17.00: Reflections with Frank van Vree
  • 17.00 - 17.15: Book presentations and closing remarks
  • 17.15 - 18.15: Drinks

Do you want to attend? Admission is free, but registration is required. Mail to:

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