30 stycznia 2024

Making the invisible visible

The "Visualizing Janowska" project & non-invasive research of sites of violence

Ośrodek „Brama Grodzka ‐ Teatr NN”

Event program

The expert seminar on Janowska camp in Lviv was organized in Lublin in collaboration with The Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre in Lublin, Department of Jewish Culture and History, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin and the Lviv Center for Urban History (Lviv, Ukraine). The event took place at the Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre and had the form of a seminar that brought together researchers dealing with the Janowska camp in Lviv, specialists associated with institutions at former camp sites in Poland, and experts dealing with Holocaust archeology & non-invasive research. Its aim was to look at the state of research on the Janowska camp and the potential of applying non-invasive methods to studying the site and its vicinity, especially the probable burial grounds of camp victims. Jewish religious law (Halakha) prohibits interference with burial sites because it violates the peace of the dead. However, new technical possibilities and new research methods have opened up the field for studying and locating the burial grounds of Holocaust victims without disrupting them in the way traditional archeology does. The aim of the meeting was to share knowledge about contemporary research methods that are permissible under Jewish religious law, to look at the potential of using these methods and tools in relation to the Janowska camp in Lviv, and to jointly consider further directions of research, educational and commemorative activities at the camp and in its vicinity.
There were four expert presentations at the seminar:
Taras Nazaruk (Lviv Center for Urban History) presented the contemporary state of the Janowska camp, discussed its role within the wider context of the history of the Holocaust in Lviv and the commemorative activities that have been taking place in the vicinity of the former camp as well as the context of the current war in Ukraine.
Waitman Beorn (Northumbria University, Newcastle) presented his historical research concerning the history of the camp and his efforts to digitally map the camp site and provide access to such data to the wider audience in the form of an e-learning platform.
dr Sebastian Różycki (Warsaw University of Technology), dr Szymon Oryński (The Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences) and dr Szymon Lenarczyk (Wykop na Poziomie) presented methods and tools they use in their research of the sites of the former camps located on the territory of contemporary Poland, with the focus on non-invasive archeological research.
Aleksander Schwarz (Zapomniane Foundation, Rabbinic Commission for Jewish cemeteries) discussed the requirements of the Jewish religious law that have to be taken into consideration when conducting research in sites where Jewish remains are deposited.
The presentations were followed by a discussion between the panelists and with the audience focused around the potential next steps in uncovering the history of the Janowska camp and studying its topography, which can lead to its future commemoration (with special attention to the locations of the burial sites) in the context of the current war in Ukraine.


  • Zapomniane Foundation

  • Lviv Center for Urban History

  • Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre

  • Department of Jewish Culture and History, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University