Claude Lanzmann
Director Claude Lanzmann in Jerusalem, July 2010. Photo by Emil Salman
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French director Claude Lanzmann will visit Israel this week to take part in the inauguration of a new display room in kibbutz Lohamei Hageta'ot. The new hall, called "Treblinka," will include a display describing the project for the annihilation of European Jewry, with particular focus on the notorious death camp. The exhibition will include photographs, testimonies, archive exhibits and a partial list of companies that benefited from forced Jewish labor, including Mercedes, BMW, Kodak and Siemens. Video footage will include excerpts from Lanzmann's film Shoah.

This is the first time Lanzmann has agreed to allow any museum to permanently display parts of his work, and he will be a guest of honor in the hall's inauguration.

"The new display hall celebrates the importance of documenting and remembering the work of those heroes who fought against all odds to immortalize and document the horrors for future generations," said Rami Hochman, director of the Ghetto Fighters' House museum. "I wish to thank Mr. Lanzmann for his permission to display parts of his film, and for his intention to honor us by arriving for the inauguration."

Hochman stressed that the Treblinka hall will be the first museum space dealing with the Holocaust in Israel that will have Arabic as one of its display and instruction languages. He said this continued a long tradition of joint Jewish-Arab activity of the humanist center at the museum.

At the center of the exhibition will be one of the museum's most important exhibits - a model of Treblinka built by Ya'akov Viernik, one of the few surviving fighters of the 1943 rebellion who managed to escape the camp. When the camp was destroyed after the rebellion was put down, the Nazis eliminated any physical remains of the camp. Viernik was a master carpenter in the camp and had created the model in 1959. The model, which was later used in the Eichmann trial, underwent restoration and repairs ahead of its inclusion in the exhibition.