MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

IAC Meetings

Meeting XXX: 24-25 May 2016

11-07-2017

On 24 and 25 May 2016, the 30th session of the International Auschwitz Council under the Prime Minister of Poland was held. The session was presided over by Prof. Barbara Engelking.

On the first day of the session, Director Piotr M.A. Cywiński summed up the activities of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in the past months since the previous meeting of the Council. He devoted particular attention to the upcoming World Youth Days and the visit of Pope Francis in Auschwitz-Birkenau. The second point concerned grants of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage within the Memorial Sites priority, presented by Jan Łazicki from the Ministry. In the afternoon, members of the Council visited conservation works in the brick barracks of the former Birkenau camp; they were emphasizing great involvement and conscientiousness of the conservators.

On the second day of the meeting, Dr. Anna Ziółkowska presented the report concerning the condition of the Memorial Site in Chełmno nad Nerem (Kulmhof). The advancement of works – aiming at arranging former camp premises, commemorating the Victims in a dignified way and adapting the Memorial Site to the requirements of its visitors – were highly appreciated by IAC members.

In the face of the absence of representatives of the city of Cracow during the meeting, the Council appointed secretary Marek Zając as the person responsible on its behalf for the works necessary to be undertaken at the Memorial Site in Płaszów.

On behalf of Jarosław Sellin, the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Jan Łazicki presented information concerning the advancement of the realization of the Sobibór project as well as the plans of the Ministry concerning the future of the Memorial Site in Treblinka. The IAC members expressed their positive opinion regarding the willingness and readiness of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage to assume responsibility for the Memorial Site in Treblinka. This issue shall constitute the subject of the next IAC meeting.

Moreover, Members of the Council adopted three resolutions.

RESOLUTION NUMBER ONE
The International Auschwitz Council under the Prime Minister of Poland appeals to the authorities of the Capital City of Warsaw to name one of the streets in the city after Władysław Bartoszewski. The entire path of his life as well as steadfast attitude of the longtime President of IAC; his merits for Warsaw, Poland and Europe – leave no doubts that the lack of such visible commemoration in his home city would constitute inexplicable negligence.  

RESOLUTION NUMBER TWO
The International Auschwitz Council appeals to the central authorities of the Republic of Poland and at the regional level to express their strong opposition towards any acts of hatred based on racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Roma grounds. Recent shameful events – such as the burning of the puppet representing a Jewish man in Wrocław or devastation of the Monument commemorating the Extermination of the Roma in Borzęcin – require not only unequivocal public condemnation and apt action undertaken by the police and judicial authorities, but also educational campaigns and projects, addressed in particular to the young. Appropriate reaction in connection with such incidents constitutes the measure of decency and the answer to the question to which extent we have learnt a lesson from the tragic history of the Second World War and the Holocaust.

RESOLUTION NUMBER THREE
The International Auschwitz Council expresses their hope that the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk is going to continue its activity and its exhibition is going to be inaugurated in the form which has been prepared by renowned historians and museologists during the numerous years of their work. The Main Exhibition of the Museum of the Second World War presents both the martyrdom and fight of the Polish nation as well as the extermination of Jews and other national groups by the Third Reich. It probably constitutes the first attempt undertaken on such a big scale to coherently match numerous plots forming the entire picture of the Second World War.

The Council appreciates the achievements of the team of historians led by Prof. Paweł Machcewicz preparing the permanent exhibition of the Museum. It also appeals to the authorities of the Republic of Poland to proceed with its prompt inauguration scheduled for the beginning of the year 2017. The Museum in its designed shape has the chance to become an important part of Polish and world cultural heritage – an institution of great importance to the memory of the biggest tragedy in the history of mankind.