Educators from Yad Vashem at the Auschwitz Memorial Site
From July 10th to 21st, 2011, twenty-one educators from Israel participated in a further edition of twelve-day seminar “The Memory of Auschwitz – Its meaning for Jews and Poles. Auschwitz in the Collective Memory of Poland and the World”, that is organized by the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
This year’s edition of the seminar included a large number of individuals employed at the Yad Vashem Institute, including guides who bring young Israelis to Poland as well as the employees of various departments at the Institute.
The diversified program of the seminar included: a comprehensive study tour of the site of the former Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp, visiting the sites of the former Sub-camps Jawischowitz and Monowitz, accompanied by lectures by Auschwitz Museum staff as well as guests specifically invited for the seminar, including Fr. Professor Grzegorz Ignatowski, Professor Marek Kucia, and Dr. Annamaria Orla-Bukowska.
Many of the lectures were devoted to the mutual Polish-Jewish social and political history as well as contemporary Polish-Jewish relations.
During the seminar, participants met with Wilhelm Brasse, a former inmate of Auschwitz, visited the Collections, Preservation, and Archives Departments — this also included an exchange of views and experiences with Auschwitz Museum guides at a joint meeting.
The seminar participants visited the site directly related to the history of the Jewish people and the Holocaust. The educators traveled to: the former Death Camp at Bełzec and Sobibor, visited the synagogue in Łańcut, ohel Tzaddik Elimelech in Leżajsk, Jewish cemeteries, places of worhip in Lublin and areas of the Warsaw Ghetto. The program also included sites connected to Polish history and culture, such as: the Palace in Pszczyna, the Warsaw Rising Museum in Warsaw, and the Wawel Royal Castel.
The Memory of Auschwitz — Its meaning for Jews and Poles. Auschwitz in the Collective Memory of Poland and the World
The seminar for educators from Israel is part of the educator exchange program. The program includes specialized tours of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Site, as well as lectures and workshops on the history of the German occupation of Poland, the history of Auschwitz, as well as the issues of the conflict of memory between Poles and Jews, Polish-Jewish relations, and the history of political and social situation in Poland after 1989. Attendees also visited other memorials in Poland, including sites of the former Majdanek Concentration Camp and Bełżec Death Camp.