Auschwitz and the Holocaust – dilemmas and challenges
The inspiration for the creation of the book Auschwitz and the Holocaust – dilemmas and challenges of Polish education [Auschwitz i Holokaust – dylematy i wyzwania polskiej edukacji], was the Polish nationwide educational-research conference, which took place in Oświęcim and Krakow (October 21-24, 2008).
Included in this publication are the majority of the subjects presented during the conference. This book is not only a summary of the discussion, but it expands on the topics that were presented there. It tries to summarize Poland’s didactic and research work in education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust. The texts included in this work touch on the different aspects of the problems seen from an
interdisciplinary perspective. An integral part of the book introduces the so-called good practices, which are de facto used in carrying out lessons on the Holocaust in small schools and educational centers.
Currently available only in the Polish language.
Auschwitz and the Holocaust - education at school and the Memorial Site
The issues related to the teaching of Auschwitz and the Holocaust in Poland, viewed and analyzed from various perspectives: historical, literary, sociological and pedagogical, are addressed in the latest publication of the Museum titled, “Auschwitz and the Holocaust - education at school and the memorial site.”
"It is not limited to the summary of the achievements of Polish science and teaching in recent years in the field of education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust. It is something more because the book raises new questions that the authors attempt to find answers to” - the scientific editor Dr. Piotr Trojański wrote in the introduction to the publication.
"These questions apply mainly to the role that schools and the Memorial Site Museum should play in the future education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust. What should be the relationship between them? In addition, it indicates possible ways out of the situation in which teachers and educators find themselves today, in relation to the introduction of a new core curriculum "- we may read.
The book has been divided into four parts. The first relates to education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust in schools. The articles contained in it address the issues of teaching these topics in the context of different subjects, mainly the Polish language and history. The second part addresses the pedagogical issues of the Memorial Site in the theoretical and practical point of view. In this context, various aspects of educational visits to museums and Memorial Sites were discussed.
In part three, the authors attempt to answer the question of the importance of memorial sites to education, while articles in part four attempt to find answers to the questions: How important for the teachings about Auschwitz and the Holocaust are the authenticity of the sites and words, and how testimonies and historical accounts shape the picture and memory of what happened under the counter. \
"Understanding the proper meaning of the Holocaust, as a kind of Europeanism solstice, should indicate the place of the Holocaust in the whole educational system - in history, cultural studies, philosophy, political science and civic teachings, religious studies and other sciences of the broadly understood anthropology. Not only in fear that nations that forget their history shall be doomed to its repetition but most of all, because people do not understand the foundations of the world that surrounds them; they are not able to actually co-create the world"- the Director of the Auschwitz Museum Dr. Piotr MA Cywiński, wrote in the preface to the publication.
The latest publication of the Museum is a summary of the conference, "Auschwitz and the Holocaust - education at school and the Memorial Site", which was organized by the International Centre for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust and the History Institute of the KEN (Commission for National Education) Pedagogical University Cracow in April 2013.
The book is available at the online bookshop of Auschwitz Museum in Polish language.
Czika, the Dog in the Ghetto, If the Stars Could Only Speak
Educational books for children in Polish language. The books published in Polish are subsequent works written by Batsheva Dagan, a former Auschwitz prisoner. In 2010, through the cooperation with the ICEAH, a volume of the author’s poetry was released, entitled, Blessed Be, Cursed Be: Reminiscences from “There”. • Czika, the Dog in the Ghetto – presents a story, based on actual events that took place in one of the Ghettos within occupied Poland. The main character is Czika – a dog belonging to a five-year old boy named Michaś, who, together with is parents, wanted to protect his dog from being taken by the occupational forces.
• If the Stars Could Only Speak – in this book, the author describes her experiences from the Ghetto and Concentration Camp while the German occupation in Poland during World War II. In short episodes, the author shows moments of love and worry about loved ones in a world filled with evil. The book focuses on her mother and children, who managed to survive, overcoming the sadness of separation and lived to see freedom. Only the stars were the witnesses of their secrets…
These books, are recommendations for parents and teachers who want to bring their children and students to this tragic chapter of history which was the Holocaust. Both of these books also include lesson plans created by Małgorzata Rusiłowicz, that allow teachers to take full advantage of working with the publications in the classroom.
The publication of the books has been made possible thanks to the financial support by the Foundation for the Remembrance of Victims of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp in Oświęcim as well as the Israeli Embassy in Poland. Both items are available at the on-line bookstore of the Auschwitz Memorial.
Batsheva Dagan (born in 1925 in Łódź as Izabella Rubinstein), writer and poet, is an individual who has survived the Holocaust. Following the war, she and her husband adopted the surname Dagan and immigrated to Israel where she lives to this day. She began her professional career as a pre-school teacher and, following her university studies she worked as a psychologist and lectured at a teacher’s college. She has developed psychological and educational methods to help share knowledge with children and young people about the Shoah, and is the author of several publications that are used in Holocaust education, such as: What Happened in the Shoah? A Story in Rhyme for Children Who Wish to Know as well as Today the Siren Cried for Me.
Małgorzata Rusiłowicz is a Polish language teacher at the Polish Community Primary School in Białystok, works with the Jewish Historical Institute as well as the Center for Citizenship Education in Warsaw, and is a lecturer at the Polish Language and Cultural School in Saint Petersburg, Russia. For 12 years she has undertaken the challenge of educating about the Holocaust at a primary school. She is the author of several educational projects dealing with multiculturalism and human rights for teachers, educators, lecturers, students, children and young people, as well as individuals interested in cultures.
European pack for visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum
The “European pack for visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum” — an English language publication for teachers and educators who are planning a visit to the Auschwitz Memorial Site.
The publication is the result of a several year undertaking by professionals from the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, the Council of Europe as well as the Polish Ministry of Education.
In this book you will find not only all the necessary practical information about organizing the visit, but above all, texts and historical materials, lesson plans, and information about the contemporary meaning and functioning of the Auschwitz Memorial.
The first part of the book is devoted to preparing for the visit. This includes, what students should know before they come to the Memorial, what emotions they will have to cope with during the tour, and how a meeting with a witness of history can be useful — these are just a few of the topics touched upon.
In the second part, which concerns the visit to Auschwitz, there is information concerning the history of the Museum, the activities of the International Centre for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust and other educational institutions functioning around the Memorial Site, and a brief description of the Museum's exhibition. One of the chapters is devoted to the basic problems that may arise during the visit, including both the organizational and emotional issues.
What to do once the group returns from their visit to the Memorial Site is the subject of the third part the publication. Among the subjects addressed in this section are topics, such as, creating a summary of the group’s visit, suggestions for interdisciplinary projects that take place at the intersection between the history of Auschwitz and the modern world. There are also several lesson plans, including, "What to do with what you learned in Auschwitz."
DOWNLOAD the “European pack for visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum”.
Folder “Auschwitz: Remembrance and Education”
A folder presenting the work of six Oświęcim based institutions that deal in education connected with the Auschwitz Memorial Site. “You can learn about Auschwitz and the Holocaust anywhere. However, it is in Oświęcim that you can learn not only the history of the camp’s function, acquaint oneself with memoirs of witnesses, but also personally see the original, material proof — from the ruins of the crematoria and gas chambers to a single children’s shoe. Learning at the authentic, emotionally charged place makes it easier in understanding the tragedy and uniqueness of the Holocaust as well as the extreme conditions of camp life” — we read in the introduction to the folder “Auschwitz: Remembrance and Education”.
Taking part in the project were: the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust, Auschwitz Jewish Center, International Youth Meeting Center, Center for Dialogue and Prayer, Association of Roma in Poland, and the St. Maximilian Center in Harmęże.
The folder contains descriptions of educational work done by each institution as well as photographs, contact information, maps and directions, and also detailed information relating to the various forms of visiting the Auschwitz Memorial Site.
The publication is available electronically in Polish and English DOWNLOAD.
How to teach about Auschwitz and the Holocaust
Jak uczyć o Auschwitz i Holokauście [How to teach about Auschwitz and the Holocaust]. This publication consists of lesson plans in history, the Polish language, social studies, ethics and religion; during these lessons the teacher presents materials from assorted historical sources and literary texts, which can be of help in teaching about Auschwitz and the Holocaust.
As a supplement to the lesson plans are there materials suggested by the authors of the educational programs, as well as a wide variety of literary and historical essays that are helpful in preparing lessons for young people.
Currently available only in the Polish language.
I am healthy and I feel fine…
I am healthy and I feel fine… is a collection of letters by Marian Henryk Serejski put together by his daughter Krystyna Serejska-Olszer, that includes memoirs and historical documents. The book is enriched with educational materials, and teachers can use this publication during history or Polish language lessons.
The archival documents concerning Marian Serejski are from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Archive in Oświęcim.
Currently available only in the Polish language.
Remembrance – Awareness – Responsibility
Remembrance – Awareness – Responsibility is a book chronicling the international conference, Remembrance – Awareness – Responsibility, organized in 2007 in conjunction with commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Museum on the terrain of the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz.
Among those taking part in the debate were: Elie Wiesel, Władysław Bartoszewski, Yehuda Bauer, Zygmunt Bauman, Halina Birenbaum, Israel Gutman, Romani Rose, and Stefan Wilkanowicz.
The Polish-English language publication is divided into the subjects of the panel discussions: The Memory of Witenesses to History; he Memory of Generations; Awareness; Responsibility; he Challenges for the Future; The Future – Museums and Memorials; he Future – Education Centers. This publication also features biographical sketches of the conference participants.
The ICEAH folder
A Polish-English folder covering activities of the Internetional Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust. The folder is available in printed and digital versions. Divided into thematic chapters, the guide recounts the founding of the Center, its educational work, and information on volunteer programs and educational publications. There is also a detailed list of the Center's educational offerings for teachers, educators, and secondary-school and university-level students interested in enhancing their knowledge of the history of Auschwitz and the Holocaust.
Files to download
The Center has also taken part in a pilot program that involves testing a comic book called The Search in Polish schools; the goal of this is to bring young people closer the to the history of the Holocaust in an unconventional, graphic manner. The Center’s employees were involved in the creation of this publication and in the piloting of the program. The publisher of the comic book is the Ann Frank Foundation in Amsterdam. Currently, a supplement presenting the Holocaust from a Polish perspective is in the works.
The series: Voices of Memory
Each publication is dedicated to one of many complicated problems dealing with the history of this camp; and it includes research articles that delve into a certain topic, as well as a selection of source material and lesson plans, which make it easier for the teacher to use the resources contained in the textbooks during history and Polish language lessons. Available in the English language in Bookstore.
The Evacuation, Liquidation, and Liberation of Auschwitz
The first issue of 'Voices of Memory' is dedicated to the evacuation, liqiudation, and liberation of Auschwitz. It incudes a historical outline written by Andrzej Strzelecki ('Preparations for the evacuation of the camp'), selected sources (accounts and memoirs, photographs and documents), biographical sketches of the authors of accounts, and timeline of important events in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
LANGUAGE: EN, PL.
Medical Crimes. The Experiments in Auschwitz
Irena Strzelecka wrote in her historical outline: The SS physicians serving in the concentration camps, among them Auschwitz, played a special role. Violating the Hippocratic Oath, they participated in the mass extermination of the Jews, carried out the selections of newly arrived Jewish transports, and oversaw the killing process. They sentenced the most seriously ill and overworked prisoners in the camp hospitals to death in the gas chambers or killed them with lethal phenol injections to the heart, and then deliberately falsified their death certificates. They carried out medical experiments on prisoners and made a mockery of the mediacal profession in a variety of other ways. By supporting the extermination programm in the camp, they earned themselves a place in history as medical criminals'. The volume includes 11 biographical notes of SS physicians who took part in the killing process in the concentration camps (Clauberg, Schumann, Mengele, Wirths, Kremer, etc.). There are also biographical sketches of the authors of memoirs, accounts and testimonies, and timeline of important events in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
LANGUAGE: EN, PL.
Medical Crimes. The hospitals in Auschwitz
Irena Strzelecka's outline includes: the development of the camp hospital network, conditions and the medical treatment of prisoners in the camp hospitals, the extermination function of the Auschwitz hospitals, the hospital offices. Additionally, the volume includes the following selected sources: conditions and the medical treatment of prisoners in the camp hospitals, the extermination function of the Auschwitz hospitals, the falsification of the hospital records, the camp hospital in works of art by former prisoners.There are also biographical sketches of the authors of memoirs, accounts and testimonies, and timeline of important events in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
LANGUAGE: EN, PL.
Punishment in Auschwitz
Pursuant to National Socialist ideology, concentration camps were planned as the most effective instrument of terror against the political opponents of the Third Reich, as lawless territory where SS brutality and violence could have free sway. In a pretense of justice, there were concentration camp rules based on Prussian military discipline, but the majority of the prisoners were unfamiliar with the regulations; when applied, the rules were always interpreted to the detriment of the prisoner. SS men and prisoner functionaries (trusties), mostly recruited from among German criminals, taught the prisoners the rules of camp life. They followed the orders of the camp administration in enforcing the SS regime on a daily basis, and regarded themselves as the lords of life and death over the prisoners whom they tormented in ingenious ways and, on occasion, killed. Reasons for beating and tormenting prisoners were never lacking. They were beaten, or even beaten to death, for the smallest infraction, for any tardiness, for any self-defensive reflex, for the suspicion of a violation, or for no reason at all. The most frequently imposed kinds of regulation punishment included flogging, penal calisthenics during non-working hours, assignment to the penal company (Strafkompanie – SK), strappado (known at Auschwitz as “the post” – Pfahlbinden), and three varieties of confinement in the camp jail: in ordinary cells (usually on bread and water), in dark cells, and in standing cells (Stehzelle).
LANGUAGE: EN, PL.
Pregnant Women and Children Born in Auschwitz
The fifth volume in the "Voices of Memory" series is devoted to the youngest Auschwitz prisoners, the children born there and their mothers. The author of this volume, Helena Kubica, has spent many years, studying the camp records and accounts by survivors. She has collected the photographs that are presented to the readers. The picture that emerges is one of the unimaginable suffering, woe, and monstrous crime, that left an indelible mark on those who lived through it. The tragedy of expectant mothers in the camp was not only an utter contradiction of the joy of motherhood, but even more so any absolute violation of natural law and human dignity.
LANGUAGE: EN, PL.
The Auschwitz Crematoria and Gas Chambers
The gas chambers and crematoria of the Auschwitz camp are known to the entire world as a place of special historical, symbolic, and emotional significance. After all, the largest mass murder in modern Europe was committed there: the extermination of more than a milion Jews — men, women and children — deported from all countries occupied by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. The gas chambers and crematoria of Auschwitz are above all a symbol of the Shoah, but they also have enormous significance for Roma, Poles, Russians, and other peoples whose representatives suffered and died in this and other extermination centers.
LANGUAGE: EN, PL.
Roma in Auschwitz
The seventh edition of "Voices of Memory" about Sinti and Roma in Auschwitz. The Gypsy "family camp" ("Zigeunerlager") was established in February 1943 in Birkenau. A total of 21 thousand Gypsy prisoners were registered there. The "Gypsy camp" was characterized by hunger, overcrowded barracks and poor hygienic and sanitary conditions. By the beginning of August 1944, there were only about three thousand people. On August 2, they were taken to the gas chambers of Crematorium V and murdered. The "Gypsy camp" was liquidated in this way. In addition to scholarly articles, excerpts from survivor accounts, photographs, and documents, we are publishing for the first time the seven portraits of Roma painted in Birkenau by the prisoner artist Dinah Gottliebova on orders from camp physician Josef Mengele. We hope that this book will help by providing more complete information about the “forgotten Holocaust,” as the slaughter of the European Sinti and Roma by the Nazis is often referred to, in the hope that there will never be a repetition of this tragedy that Auschwitz has come to symbolize.
LANGUAGE: EN, PL.
Poles in Auschwitz
We are proud to present a special volume in the Voices of Memory series. It is devoted to Polish prisoners of Auschwitz concentration camp. The Poles were the first prisoners in the camp and they made up the largest group of victims in the first period of its operation. This publication consists of a historical article, a collection of accounts, and a selection of documents and photographs. These three parts make up a valuable, informative, and compelling whole.
LANGUAGE: EN, PL.
Jews in Auschwitz
The ninth volume in the "Voices of Memory" series is unique. Previous volumes presented such various aspects of the Holocaust of the Jews as medical experiments, punishments, evacuation and liquidation of the camp and the history and functioning of the gas chambers and crematoria. Now we are attempting a comprehensive account of the Holocaust of the Jews in Auschwitz. We are offering our readers an opportunity to explore the story of the Jewish victims of Auschwitz in a systematic way. An important element of the publication is tracing the routes and organization of transports to the camp, and characterizing deportation from individual countries. This gives the reader some idea of the enormous logistical, organizational and material resources that Nazi Germany put into the "Endlösung der Judenfrage". This publication makes apparent the weight that the German state apparatus attached to effectively conducting its operation to exterminate the Jews.
From the Warsaw Uprising to Auschwitz
Seventy years after the outbreak of the military uprising in Warsaw, we wish to remind of the fate of those citizens of the Polish capital city who were deported to Auschwitz II-Birkenau in August and September 1944. There were nearly 13 thousand: men, women and children, including just a few-week-old infants as well as elderly people. Their route led from Warsaw via the transit camp in Pruszków to Birkenau. In Birkenau they got off the trains at the notorious railway ramp and after registration, were placed in prisoner barracks. The persons transported to Birkenau came from various social environments. They represented different professions such as medical doctors, clerks, workers, artists, and scientists. There were also some Jews amongst the deporteeswho were hiding with the help of fake Aryan documents. This volume of Voices of Memory is an opportunity to approach the fate of this group of the camp's victims, as well as to present a wider historical perspective related to the Uprising itself, and to the fate of the inmates from Warsaw Warsaw after their evacuation from Auschwitz-Birkenau.
LANGUAGE: EN, PL.
Soviet Prisoners of War in Auschwitz
The first group of Soviet prisoners of war (POWs) were deported to Auschwitz in the summer and autumn of 1941. The camp for Russian POWs on the premises of KL Auschwitz operated from the autumn of 1941 to the end of the winter of 1942. Soviet POWs were a select group of Auschwitz-Birkenau victims. They experienced mass execution by shooting, collective torturing, and were the first group to be imprisoned in the Nazi-Germany concentration camp system, where numbers were tattooed on their bodies replacing names and surnames. The POWs were also test victims for the mass killing of people using Zyklon B. The most comprehensive part of the publication constitutes a detailed selection of sources (accounts, memoirs, testimonies) divided into four chapters: Murders carried out on the first group of POWs (summer and autumn of 1941), Soviet POWs in the main camp (October 1941 - March 1942), Soviet POWs in Birkenau (March 1942 - January 1945) and Evacuation. The complementary publications include documents related to the extermination of Soviet Pows, as well as archival and contemporary photographs.
Women in Auschwitz
The first transport of women to KL Auschwitz arrived on 26 March 1942. It comprised of German women from KL Ravensbrück. On the same day, the Nazis brought in Jewish women from Poprad in Slovakia, and a few weeks later, the first transport of Polish women from the prisons in Krakow and Tarnow. Women accounted for approx. 30% of all prisoners registered in KL Auschwitz. Among them were: 82 thousand Jewish women from various countries, 31 thousand. Polish women, 11 thousand Roma, Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, French, German, Czech, and Yugoslavian women. Women were initially housed in Auschwitz I, and later in Birkenau in the BIa and BIb sections. The most extensive part of the publication constitutes a comprehensive selection of sources (accounts, memoirs, testimonies) divided into ten chapters, including Roll-calls, Selection, Punishments, as well as Living, Sanitary and Quarantine Conditions. The memories of former female prisoners are of particular importance as they describe the fate of women in the camp: hard physical labour, selections for the gas chambers, starvation diet, illness, beatings and abuse, as well as poor sanitary conditions. The publication is enriched with extensive iconographic materials (drawings of former prisoners) and documents of the camp administration.
PRESENTATION WITH VISUAL MATERIALS USED IN THE BOOK “VOICES OF MEMORY, PART 1”
PRESENTATION WITH VISUAL MATERIALS USED IN THE BOOK “VOICES OF MEMORY, PART 2”
PRESENTATION WITH VISUAL MATERIALS USED IN THE BOOK “VOICES OF MEMORY, PART 3”
PRESENTATION WITH VISUAL MATERIALS USED IN THE BOOK “VOICES OF MEMORY, PART 4”
PRESENTATION WITH VISUAL MATERIALS USED IN THE BOOK “VOICES OF MEMORY, PART 5”
PRESENTATION WITH VISUAL MATERIALS USED IN THE BOOK “VOICES OF MEMORY, PART 6”
PRESENTATION WITH VISUAL MATERIALS USED IN THE BOOK “VOICES OF MEMORY, PART 7”
PRESENTATION WITH VISUAL MATERIALS USED IN THE BOOK “VOICES OF MEMORY, PART 8”