Robert Kuwalek

robert kuwalek and chri webb london

Robert Kuwalek and Chris Webb - London 2007

Robert Kuwalek - 1966 - 2014

The sad passing on June 7, 2014, of Polish historian Robert Kuwalek in Lvov, in the Ukraine has filled everyone who knew him with shock and sadness. Robert was a true giant in the field of Holocaust research. He wrote books, gave lectures and led many guided tours. He devoted his life to educate and explain one of the darkest periods in mankind's recent history.

He was passionate about honouring the memory of the destruction of European Jewish life and culture. His expertise and deep understanding shone a light in the darkness. He was patient, warm and cared deeply about building educational links between Poland and the Ukraine. He dedicated his life to educating young and old about the Holocaust, and was highly respected by all those who came into contact with him.

On a personal note, I first met him in Lublin in 2000, when I first visited the Majdanek Concentration Camp, in the company of British historian Mike Tregenza, who lived in Lublin, and Mike was recognised as an expert on Aktion Reinhardt and the Belzec death camp in particular.

Robert was a massive supporter of the ARC Group, who established the website, the website co-founded and named by me. This group specialised in the research of the death camps of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka, and Robert contributed much valued input into the history of the camps, and the Jewish Rolls of Remembrance. Some of this came from the archives at Majdanek as well as his own personal archive. In 2006, he was a co-founder of the Holocaust Education and Research Team (H.E.A.R.T.) and a supporter of the Holocaust Historical Society and we always appreciated his expertise and his guidance.

Robert was an accomplished tour guide and I will never forget the tour we took in 2004, where we visited Belzec, Izbica,Jaroslaw, Krakow, Lublin, Piaski, Poniatowa, Trawniki and Zamosc. His knowledge about all these places and what happened during the Holocaust was second to none. In 2005, he gave myself and Cameron Munro, a tour of Majdanek ,the so-called Umschlagplatz at Lublin and the former Jewish ghetto in Lublin.

His books on the Belzec death camp published in 2010, and his earlier work Lublin to Belzec, and his work for the Majdanek Museum in Lublin are a fitting legacy and Robert will never be forgotten for his friendship and willingness to share his love of history and consummate knowledge.

He is survived by a wife and daughter and of course will be greatly missed, but never forgotten. We were privileged to know him and were proud to call him a friend.

Rest in Peace dear Robert

Holocaust Historical Society 2019