MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

Recapitulation

The purpose of the last stage of the study visit at the Auschwitz Museum and Memorial Site is enabling the participants to look from a distance at their experiences and the knowledge which they acquired during the visit. This usually takes place during the so-called recapitulating class that several scenarios are provided below.

The recapitulation includes a discussion about what the pupils saw and what they experienced when staying at the area of the former camp. They should also think about their impressions and emotions, articulate them and try to confront them with prior expectations. It is important that during the discussion, the young people are able to talk in an open way about the dilemmas, differences in opinions and controversies which arose during the visit.

The recapitulating discussion may be treated as an introduction to broader educational activities in the area of the school. This is particularly important in case  a visit was a part of a thematic educational project. In such cases, after returning, the pupils, under the teacher’s supervision, prepare the results of their work, evaluate them and then present them in class or at school. Therefore, a visit at the Memorial Site may be ended with a report or an essay, a film, preparation of an exhibition of paintings or photographs or recital of poems written by pupils.

The consequence of the educational visit at the Auschwitz Memorial Site is a reflection on the causes of genocide and crime against humanity, as well as the ways of preventing them. Thence, a discussion on the modern forms of xenophobia, intolerance, prejudices and persecution is necessary. It is necessary to conduct it in a manner that the historical references to Auschwitz have a current context and become a starting point for the analysis of such phenomena nowadays. An important issue is making the young people aware of the fact that the memory about the tragic events from the time of German Nazism and the times of WWII should, in consequence, lead to adoption of responsibility for other people. Drawing conclusions will make it easier for young people to get better orientation in the modern world. The stance, shaped in this manner, will enable them to reflect upon and to counteract the phenomena which today may lead to violation of human rights and crimes.