In recent days, over 150 thousand participants of the World Youth Day visited the premises of the former German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp Auschwitz. The most important event of the WYD at the Memorial Site was the visit of Pope Francis, observed by people all over the world. For all pilgrims the encounter with the authenticity of the former camp space was an extraordinary experience and a history lesson, while for the Museum, it was the biggest organizational and logistical challenge in nearly 70 years of its history.
72 years ago, on the night of 2 to 3 August 1944, the Germans liquidated the so-called Gypsy family camp (Zigeunerfamilienlager) of Auschwitz II-Birkenau. Nearly 3000 children, women and men of the last Roma prisoners were murdered in the gas chambers. In Poland, August 2nd is the Roma and Sinti Genocide Remembrance Day. On this occasion, the International Centre for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust prepared a special exhibition in the Google Cultural Institute entitled “Roma in Auschwitz”
On July 29th Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, visited the former German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. As desired by the Holy Father, the visit took place in an atmosphere of prayerful silence and focus. The Pope met among others former prisoners of the camp as well as Poles recognized as Righteous Among the Nations who during the war provided the Jews with selfless help, saving them from extermination.
'Christian Clergy and Religious Life at Auschwitz' is a new online lesson prepared by the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust in view of the World Youth Day and the visit of Pope Francis to the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp. The author of the lesson is Teresa Wontor-Cichy, a historian at the Auschwitz Museum Research Center.