Meeting VII: 3-4 November 2003
At its VII meeting, the Council discussed the project for the International Centre for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust, submitted by the directors of the State Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. This project is a culmination of the concept of an International Centre of Education contained in Stage II of the Government Strategic Oswiecim Programme.
The Council placed its firm support in the project formulated by the Museum, expressing its appreciation for the decision to create such a Centre within the Museum's structures.
The Council also discussed problems with conservation regarding the State Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, especially the hair of camp victims. The condition of the hair is deteriorating all the time. Faced with the choice of burying the hair or submitting it to further conservation, the Council decided to withhold both conservation and burial for the time being. Regarding the eroding ruins of the gas chambers and crematoriums at Birkenau, the Council decided to undertake rapid conservation and commenced a debate on enclosing these areas in order to afford the ruins better protection from damage caused by visitors.
The Council also met the directors of the museum facilities at the following former German camps: Stutthof, Kulmhof, Treblinka, Sobibor, Gross-Rosen and Majdanek. The Council is concerned about the increasing imbalance in the functioning of these facilities following their administrative division into state museums on the one hand and regional museums on the other. In the Council's opinion, the role of the State in caring for these facilities should be reconsidered, perhaps by means of legislative amendments.