MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

1990-1999

1990

  • visit by representatives of the Ronald Lauder Foundation, which leads to the development of a project for maintaining and preserving the Auschwitz buildings. The project is later presented to the governments of the countries from which transports were sent to Auschwitz, and becomes the basis for raising governmental preservation funding outside Poland.
  • first meeting of the International Council of the Museum; Wladyslaw Bartoszewski is unanimously elected as its chairman.
  • establishment of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp Victims Memorial Foundation, which raises funds for the maintenance and preservation of the grounds, buildings, museum collections and archives at the site of the camp, for research, publications, and exhibits, for documenting and promoting knowledge about the crimes against humanity committed there, for promoting knowledge about the Nazi crime of genocide, and for honoring the memory of the victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
  • Third International conference of Martyrdom Museums.

1991

  • recovery from the State Archives in Moscow of four volumes of the Books of the Dead, containing death certificates issued in Auschwitz concentration camp;
  • communiqué from the International council of the museum on the urgent need to draw up documentation about the buffer zone.

1992

  • recovery of 42 more volumes of the Death Books. The Museum has obtained a total of 69,000 death certificates;
  • the railroad spur and unloading platform known as the "Judenrampe," where deportees arrived in Auschwitz and where the SS carried out selections, are added to the register of landmarks in Bielsko province;
  • International Conference on "Teaching after Auschwitz" organized jointly with the Bergen-Belsen Memorial Site.

1993

  • first seminar for Museum staff members and guides at the Yad Vashem Memorial Institute in Jerusalem. Seminars are subsequently held annually and offered to staff members from other memorial museums in Poland, and to teachers;
  • "The Future of Auschwitz," an international conference on the upkeep and preservation of the grounds and buildings of the former camp;
  • preparation by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum of a "program for the integration of the sites of the Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II camps, and new means of presenting history and commemorating the victims."
  • Second international "Teaching after Auschwitz" conference.
  • development of plans for commemorating the so-called "Judenrampe."

1994 - 1995

  • introduction of a new system for explicating and memorializing the most important places on the site of the Birkenau camp.

1995

  • international ceremonies to mark the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by the Red Army.
  • grounds of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum added to the Bielsko province register of landmarks.

1996

  • approval by the Polish government of the Oswiecim Strategic Plan.

1997

  • ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
  • announcement of an invitation-only competition for the adaptation of the so-called "Sauna" building at the Birkenau site.

1998

  • opening at the Auschwitz Museum of year-long postgraduate courses for Polish school teachers on "Totalitarianism, Fascism, and the Holocaust," organized in cooperation with the Higher School of Pedagogy in Cracow.
  • conclusion of the competition for the adaptation of the so-called "Sauna" building at the Birkenau site, and announcement of the verdict of the jurors.

1999

  • international conference on the preservation of the concrete fence posts of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
  • Eleventh March of the Living with almost two thousand participants, including several hundred Poles, the first March with such a large number of non-Jewish youth;
  • law on the protection of memorial sites comes into force. The buffer zone around the Museum is defined;
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial World Wide Web site becomes available to users of the Internet
  • Sociological research on young visitors, the teachers who accompany them, and the guides