Romano Prodi, head of the new European Commission, began his international travels with a symbolic visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Chairman wished to signal his interest in human rights and the protection of human rights at the outset of his term. According to Prodi, there is no more "clear and eloquent symbol than a visit to Auschwitz." He wrote in the guest book: "I am here today, at the beginning of my mandate as Chairman of the European Commission, to listen, to ask questions, and to remember.
Dr. Marek Kucia of the Jagiellonian university concluded sociological research for the "AUSCHWITZ 1999 PROJECT," which studied the young people who visit the Museum, their teachers, and Museum guides. Kucia submitted a report on the details of the research, which included surveys, in-depth interviews and group discussions with the guides, and surveys and group interviews with pupils and their teachers before and after visits using the "old" and "new" tour routes.
The newly opened Lasry House will contain "The Center for Holocaust Studies" at Clark University. Academics from Israel, Europe, and the United States attended the accompanying conference and workshops, as did Teresa Swiebocka, Senior custodian and Director of the Museum's Department of Publishing and Information. She delivered a lecture titled, "The Many-Layered Symbolism of Auschwitz and its Effect on the Work of the Museum and Its Plans for the Future."