Cooperation with the Inspectorate of the Prison Service in Rzeszów


The next region has joined the project “Auschwitz — History —  Civic Education”, realized jointly by the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust and the Prison Service. Agreement in this matter was signed by Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński, Director of the Museum and Lt. Col. Marek Grabek, Regional Director of the Prison Service in Rzeszów.  

“Auschwitz — History —  Civic Education” is a multidimensional educational project developed for 6 years, addressed to correction officers and other employees of the Prison Service as well as to the prison inmates. In the educational process carried out in penitentiaries teaching about what happened in Auschwitz serves in particular the history of Auschwitz and the memory of those who suffered or died there, but it also shows what contempt and hatred can lead to.

“Our everyday educational work in penitentiary units needs examples – both negative as well as positive ones”, said Lt. Col. Marek Grabek, Regional Director of the Prison Service in Rzeszów. “Testimony of the tragedy which became reality in Auschwitz makes it possible to perceive the element of good, human reflexes in those who were supposed to be deprived of all the hope. It is difficult to find another place in the world which so strongly reminds us how important the memory of those days is for our humanity as well emphasizes the timeless truth that  “people brought this fate upon people”, emphasized Lt. Col. Marek Grabek.

“Auschwitz constitutes a cry for the modern world, and therefore for each of us”, stressed Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński, Director of the Auschwitz Museum. “As far as this cry urges us to perceive ourselves and the world in axiological, moral or even ethical terms, it also has to resound in those places where the people whose perception in this context has been impaired in some moment of their lives are detained. In particular the understanding where the contempt and hatred lead to, or treating oneself as “superior” to the other, may lead to finding the way back to the straightened paths after being released from prison”, said Piotr Cywiński.

“Cooperation with the Museum is a unique chance for us”, said Lt. Col. Marek Grabek. “In my view, it is the place which each officer should visit at least once. In cooperation with the Auschwitz Museum, we will try to provide such opportunity to everybody who will intend to use it”, he added.

“For six years, nearly 20 thousand prison inmates and nearly 300 officers of the prison service have taken part in different forms of the project. I am deeply convinced that it is one of the most important educational projects so frequently carried out by the Museum”, emphasized Piotr Cywiński.

Cooperation agreement was signed during the two-day seminar at the Memorial Site for the officers of the Prison Service from the Podkarpacie region. It constituted part of the preparations for educational activities carried out in penitentiaries. Apart from a study visit of the former Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz premises, the program included among others lectures, film presentations as well as a discussion about educational activities of the Museum and their realization in penitentiaries.