MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

2010-2016

2010

  • The original sign ''Arbeit macht frei'' stolen in September 2009 from the former Auschwitz I camp, returned to the Museum.
  • 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The ceremony was attended by former prisoners, the president and prime minister of Poland, the prime minister of Israel, government delegations from more than 40 countries, the president and members of the European Parliament and participants of a conference of ministers of education from over 30 countries.
  • Cooperation agreement between the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the Mauthausen Memorial. It covers the sharing of more than 300 thousand digital records related to documents held by the archives in the two memorial sites.
  • The agreement concerning works on the total amendment of exhibition about the Holocaust in Block 27 at the Auschwitz I site.
  • As the result of heavy rainfalls the areas of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum were in danger of flooding. After the flood alarm was announced the Museum was closed for visitors and protecting of collections and archives began, as well as protecting/preserving collections and archives was made.
  • Works on the script of a new exhibition dedicated to the fate of Polish victims of the camp began. It will replace the exhibition opened 25 years before ''Struggle and Martyrdom of the Polish Nation, 1939-1945".
  • The competition for the architectonic and urban design of the new visitor center of the Auschwitz Memorial.
  • The director of the Museum, Dr Piotr M.A. Cywiński co-edited and signed a petition against using the term ''Polish concentration camps'' in the U.S. media. The Document of Kosciuszko Foundation was signed by 164 thousand people, including many well-known figures from the world of politics, religion, culture and media.
  • A richly illustrated folder ''Auschwitz-Birkenau. The History and the Present'' was made available at the Museum website free of charge in 18 languages, including Hebrew, Korean, Japanese and Arabic.
  • The International Center For Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust began a trial of the e-learning platform.
  • A three-year preservation project for conservation of archives from the SS-Hygiene Institute collection ended. About 40 thousands of documents were secured.

2011

  • 66th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The ceremony was attended by former prisoners, as well as presidents of Poland and Germany.
  • A new plan for the security of the Memorial was prepared.
  • Delegation of almost 200 personalities and government officials from 40 countries visited the Auschwitz Memorial. They came mostly from Arab and Muslim countries. The visit was part of the Aladdin Project.
  • The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum published ‘The Auschwitz Poems: An Anthology in English’. This is a large volume of 400 poems by 250 poets from around the world.
  • Preservation of the original inscription ''Arbeit mach frei'' ended after the theft in December 2009.
  • Support for the Perpetual Capital of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation announced by Poland (10 million euro), France (5 million euro) United Kingdom (£ 2,15 million) and Israel (3.6 million shekels).
  • The first International Summer Academy – a seminar for English-speaking participants.
  • Members of the International Council of Christians and Jews visited the Auschwitz Memorial for the first time in the history of the organization.
  • Over 2 thousand of people took part in the 70th anniversary of  death of Maximilian Kolbe.
  • Specialists from museums in Israel, Germany, Poland and the USA discussed about the art created in ghettos and camps. The conference was accompanied by an exhibition titled ''Forbidden Art''.
  • The Museum website has changed the address to: www.auschwitz.org
  • The European Commission has assigned €4 million to support the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.  

 2012

  • 67th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The only preserved door to a gas chamber from one of the crematoriums was presented. A tribute was paid to Kazimierz Smoleń, an Auschwitz survivor and the director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum between 1955-1990 who passed away on that day.
  • Books “The Sketchbook from Auschwitz” and “Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Place Where You Are Standing...” were published.
  • Prof. Władysław Bartoszewski received the Light of Remembrance for outstanding contribution to education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust.
  • Museum historians completed research started in the mid-60s twentieth century devoted to the Auschwitz sub-camps.
  • The Memorial Site was visited by Slovak Prime Minister, Iveta Radičová, Belgian Prime Minister, Elio Di Rupo, the Prince of Monaco Albert II and President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili.
  • The Archive acquired 53 original camp secret messages. Nine of them are materials previously unknown to historians of the Museum.
  • The Global Preservation Plan was officially launched. It is the long-term programme of preservation work funded by the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation’s Perpetual Capital.
  • 70th anniversary of the penal company revolt. The ceremony was attended by the only surviving participant of those events August Kowalczyk.
  • Football players from national teams of: England, Holland, Germany and Italy visited the Memorial.
  • The "Auschwitz — Concentration and Extermination Camp" online lesson was published on the website of the Museum.
  • 65th anniversary of the creation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
  • Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk presented the nominations to the members of the International Auschwitz Council.
  • Three-year project of conserving five wooden barracks in Auschwitz II-Birkenau ended.

 2013

  • 68th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. New Russian exhibition “Tragedy. Valour. Liberation” was officially opened.
  • New publications: "Private Life of the SS in Auschwitz," the first edition of the English language ''Auschwitz Studies'' and ''Auschwitz from A to Z. An illustrated History''.
  • The Memorial was visited by the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, the President of Poland Bronisław Komorowski, the President of Greece Karolos Papoulias, the President of Finland Sauli Niinisto, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of Nauru Baron Waqa.
  • Nearly 300 participants took part in the literary contest organised by the Museum and Human Rights Defender.
  • New national exhibition entitled “Shoah” was opened. The ceremony was attended by, among others, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Bogdan Zdrojewski.
  • The director of the Yad Vashem Institute was honoured with the 'Light of  Remembrance', the Museum award granted for outstanding contribution to education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust.
  • Thee-year precervation project of historic blocks 2 and 3 of the former Auschwitz I camp was completed.
  • A comprehensive modernization of store rooms for suitcases from transport to Auschwitz was completed.
  • After more than two decades of being loaned to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington the fragment of historical barracks from Birkenau returned to the Auschwitz Memorial.

2014

  • 69th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz with a large delegation from the Israeli Knesset
  • Auschwitz Memorial was visited by: President of the Swiss Conferedation Didier Burkhalter, Vicepresident of the RSA Kgalema Motlanthe, Governor General of Canada David Lloyd Johnston and UK Prime Minister David Cameron
  • the page facebook.com/auschwitzmemorial, as the first page of its kind in the world, went over 1000,000 users. The page was used to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the deportations of Jews from Hungary.
  • findings based on the analysis of scores of archival documents on preparations for the mass murder of Jews in Auschwitz were published in a book: "The Beginnings of the Extermination of Jews in KL Auschwit in the Light of Source Materials". 
  • Volkswagen, in cooperation with the International AUschwitz Committee, donated a bus to the Museum 
  • special events commemorated the 70th anniversaries: deportations of Jews from Hungary, liquidation of so-called Zigeunerfamilienlager, transport from liquidated Litzmanstadt ghetto, deportation of civilian population from the Warsaw during the 1944 Uprising as well as the Sonderkommando revolt.
  • blocks 2 and 3 of the former Auschwitz I camp were made accessible for visitors after conservation 
  • the President of the Constitutional Tribunal, Vice President of the Supreme Administrative Court, Procurator General and Ombudsman took pat in a debate on "The ROle of the Judiciary in Counteracting Hate and Discrimination
  • Virtual Tour of the Memorial was published on panorama.auschwitz.org  
  • Serge Klarsfeld donated a self-portrait by David Olère, former Auschwitz prisoner and Sonderkommando member

2015

  • 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz with participation of ca. 300 Survivors and over 50 leaders of states and international organizations
  • new version of the website of the Memorial and Museum www.auschwitz.org was published
  • for the first time a catalog of the Memorial Collections Auschwitz Legacies was published
  • The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland signed the relevant letter of intent regarding the financing of the new main exhibition at the Auschwitz Memorial
  • ombudsman of more than 30 European countries and regions visited the Auschwitz Memorial
  • in the historic setting of the former camp thanks to QR codes accounts by former Auschwitz prisoners were made accessible
  • events were held in Tarnów and Oświęcim to mark the 75th anniversary of the first transport of Polish political prisoners to German Auschwitz camp 
  • the main stage of a project for the comprehensive conservation of two brick prisoner barracks began on the grounds of the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp. The work is financed by the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation.
  • former Auschwitz prisoner Walter Spitzer donated five of his postwar drawings to the Collections of the Memorial
  • an international conference titled "The Memory has not yet ripened in us..." was held
  • a comprehensive, two-year-long renovation of the historic building which holds original archival holdings came to an end
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2016

  • more than 80 Auschwitz survivors met at the site of the former Birkenau camp to commemorate the 71nd anniversary of the liberation of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenaunew version of the website of the Memorial and Museum www.auschwitz.org was published
  • former Auschwitz prisoner Batsheva Dagan donated to the Auschwitz Museum Collections a unique personal item – a pair of tiny shoes made in the camp by her fellow inmate
  • special application “Remember” was developed to help avoid the use of the term “Polish concentration camps” or “Polish death camps” in 16 languages
  • the new Council of the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust was appointed
  • after more than 70 years gold ring found under a double bottom in the mug from the Collections of the Museum more than 16 thousand personal items belonging to the victims of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, originating from archaeological works carried out in the area of gas chamber and crematorium III in 1967, returned to the Memorial after many months of searching
  • events were held in Tarnów and Oświęcim to mark the 76th anniversary of the first transport of Polish political prisoners to German Auschwitz camp
  • over 155 thousand participants of the World Youth Day visited the premises of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz
  • Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Prof. Piotr Gliński has signed an agreement to finance the headquarter of the ICEAH
  • The Council of Religious Community Leaders in Israel visited the Auschwitz Memorial