MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

The discussions in the press

It is worth mentioning that the office of the director of the Museum initiated a press discussion in mid-1947 by inviting journalists, former prisoners, and visitors to present their opinions about the institution. The Historical Commission was supposed to use these opinions in its work.

The participants in this discussion brought up the idea of moving the center of gravity of the Museum from the main camp to the Birkenau site, and also the question of whether the original camp buildings should be conserved or reconstructed. However, the functions of the new Museum and the message it should convey dominated the discussion. There were suggestions that it should be both a Museum and a place for the commemoration of the victims simultaneously.

In their opinion, the task of the museum part should be to convey knowledge about the camp against the background of Polish-German relations, with particular emphasis on the German policy of expansion and the Polish resistance to it. They therefore felt that the Museum should stress the resistance movement in the camp as a part of the overall struggle against the Germans, while placing less emphasis on the sufferings of the victim.