The museum relied on funding from philanthropists and the local government, and no longer had the resources to keep the exhibition hall open or conduct tours of the former death camp after the local municipality halved its grant to the museum for 2011.
The Polish government has since announced that it will step in beginning in January 2012, and will make the Sobibor museum a branch of the nearby memorial and museum at Majdanek, located in Lublin. Both museums will operate as institutions of the Ministry of Culture. Until January 2012, however, the Sobibor museum will remain closed.
Sobibor is located on Poland’s eastern border, close to Belarus and Ukraine. Sobibor was established in 1940, and was the site of one of two successful uprisings by prisoners on 14 October 1943. About half of the prisoners escaped during the uprising, after which Sobibor was closed.