Auschwitz Center for Genocide Prevention Seminars
Seminars for representatives of governments from whole world. The purpose of the seminars of the Auschwitz Center for Genocide Prevention is to make the governmental employees from the whole world sensitive to the issue of genocide, including its political, economic and humanitarian consequences.
The originator and the sponsor of these seminars is the New York philanthropist Fred Schwartz.
Auschwitz in the Collective Memory in Poland and the World
The programme encompasses specialist visit at the areas of the former camp Auschwitz – Birkenau, lectures and workshops devoted to the history of German occupation in Poland, history of Auschwitz, as well as conflicts of Polish and Jewish memory, Polish and Jewish relations and political history, along with social and political situation in Poland after 1989. Participants of seminars also visit other memorial sites in Poland, including the areas of the former camp in Majdanek, Gross-Rosen or the extermination centre in Bełżec.
Auschwitz — My Land
The main purpose of the project which has been implemented since 2004 is training of teachers and pupils and the presentation to the teachers from the Oświęcim Poviat the educational possibilities for working with pupils at the Auschwitz Memorial Site.
A competition entitled “Auschwitz — My Land. The History and Memory After 60 Years” was initially an educational project addressed to middle and high school teachers and pupils from the Oświęcim Poviat. In the next years, the schools from Western Małopolska and Silesia Districts were also invited to participate in. Since 2010, the project has been continued under the new title: “Auschwitz — My Land. The History and Memory After Years.”
From the beginning of the implementation of the “Auschwitz — My Land. The History and Memory After Years” project, the subjects of individual editions have been changing and the group of interested parties has grown. Initially, these were pupils from the Oświęcim Poviat, later from Małopolska and Silesia Districts and in 2010 also from other regions of Poland. In total, over 3,500 people participated in five editions of the project organized since 2004.
Organizers of the competition are: The International Centre for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust, the International Youth Meeting Centre in Oświęcim and the Małopolska Teachers’ Training Centre (MCDN) — Teachers’ Training Centre in Oświęcim.
Auschwitz, History, Civic Education
A cycle of seminars and study visits for counsellors and supervisory employees in penitentiaries. Since 2008, it encompassed penitentiaries of the Cracow Prison Service Inspectorate. In the course of time, cooperation with the Silesian Inspectorate was also established.
During the seminar, the counsellors and employees who directly supervise the inmates are substantially prepared for future cooperation with the Museum with respect to organization of educational classes for inmates. Seminars for councillors and employees are the first stage of the project.
The second stage of the project encompasses classes with inmates. In cooperation with councillors and seminar participants, the Centre organizes trips of inmates to the Memorial Site, as well as lectures, multimedia presentations and screenings of films in penitentiaries. In the educational process implemented in penitentiaries, teaching about what happened in Auschwitz may serve not only as transfer of knowledge about the history, but may also influence shaping of proper moral and social stances and prevent manifestations of disdain and intolerance.
Holocaust Education in the European Perspective
A three-year programme entitled “Holocaust Education in the European Perspective,” in cooperation with the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, was launched in 2010. It is attended by teachers, trainers, instructors, methodologists and employees of the educational departments in the memorials related to the WWII history.
During the seminars, the participants from Poland and the Netherlands present examples of good practice in teaching about the Holocaust and WWII in both countries. Special emphasis is placed on education in the Memorial and the Museum, preparation of young people for visits, educational tours and innovative didactic solutions used in the teaching about the Holocaust.
The participants can choose one of the tasks below:
- preparation of a textbook based on the concept of peer education to be used together with a travelling exhibition entitled “Anne Frank — A Story for Today”;
- preparation of a textbook preparing young people for a visit in Auschwitz and in other memorial sites;
- preparation of didactic materials that accompany the Polish edition of a graphic story entitled “Searching”;
- preparation of a concept of an educational travelling exhibition devoted to the issues of Auschwitz.
A project entitled “Holocaust Education in the European Perspective” is financed from the funds of the Dutch Ministry of Social Care, Sports and Heath. The Polish group of organizers included specialists from the International Centre of Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust, Jewish Historical Institute and the State Museum in Majdanek.
Judaism: the History and Culture of Jews — the Holocaust
A project of cyclical seminars “Judaism: the History and Culture of Jews — the Holocaust” has been organized since 1993 by the State Museum Auschwitz–Birkenau together with the International School for Holocaust Studies in the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem within the cooperation between the Ministries of Education of Poland and Israel.
Its purpose is to deepen the knowledge about the history of the European Jews – especially the Polish Jews, about the Holocaust of the Jewish nation during WWII, as well as becoming acquainted with the history of the modern Israel and methods of teaching about the Holocaust. Since the beginning of the project, approx. 500 Polish teachers and educators took part in it.
The International Summer Academy
The programme of the Academy include historical lectures as well as discussions and meetings concerning the commemoration and preservation of the authentic and historic Memorial Site. One of the topics discuss how the memory of Auschwitz can be used in education in contemporary societies. The participants have an opportunity to visit the site of the former Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz. Apart from the study tours of the Memorial, participants also take part in a series of workshops regarding archival documents, camp art, and contemporary conservation methods.
The seminar is divides into three parts: The goal of the first part is to present the history and culture of Polish Jews during the interwar period. During the second part, the participants learn about various aspects of the history of the Auschwitz concentration camp and the Holocaust. The last part of the seminar is dedicate to the contemporary methods of education on the topic of the history of Auschwitz and the Holocaust, as well as to various forms of commemorating these events.