Guardian of National Memory Sites medals for employees of the Auschwitz Museum
Guardian of National Memory Sites gold and silver medals were presented to employees of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. The solemn ceremony was presided over by Professor Andrzej Kunert, secretary of the Council for the Protection of Memory of Combat and Martyrdom (ROPWiM)
Those mainly awarded were the conservators who are long associated with the Memorial Site, people dealing with the condition of the buildings and the area, including, for example, the fire prevention and reform of the storage collections system.
When presenting the awards, Andrzej Kunert said: “These medals are the symbolic appreciation that rise a genuine admiration for your efforts and concerns, so that such concepts as memory and other similar types, at times somewhat grandiloquently and pathetic sounding words, had a truly deep and internal sense of experience.”
Originating from Germany, Margrit Bormann the opportunity to work at the Auschwitz Memorial Site means a great deal and is something she is proud of. “Receiving the medal is a great honour for me: I love Poland, and I'm ashamed of what the Germans did here during World War II. Care for the Memorial Site means to me that, along with my Polish colleagues, I can participate in a work on the preserving the memory, specifically doing something rather than just saying that you should remember and help preserve Auschwitz. Thanks to this, I know that the objects that are an expression of this place will last. The longer the better, as they directly and physically tell the story in a manner that would be impossible to convey through any similar printed word or image,” underlined Bormann.
Mirosław Maciaszczyk stressed that although as a conservator one tries to keep a professional approach to the object you are working, it is not always easy. “It happens that we think of an object not as an object of conservation, but as a proof of the crime and a witness to history. For example, when we are preserving documentation that contains data about specific individuals. These same shoes belonged to people who were murdered here, including children. This contact produces profound and powerful emotions. It is difficult to keep a professional distance here.”
“We are aware of where we work. We feel that what we do is important, because we know what we are doing. We do it for the people who will come here in the future and will want to visit this place and get to know its history. We try so that there is something for people to return to,” noted Maciaszczyk.
Gold Guardian Medal of National Memory Sites received:
1. Magdalena Emilewicz-Pióro
2. Nel Jastrzębiowska
3. Andrzej Kacorzyk
4. Maria Koczur
5. Mirosław Maciaszczyk
Silver Guardian Medal of National Memory Sites received:
1. Ewelina Bisaga
2. Margrit Bormann
3. Józef Góra
4. Marta Kościelniak
5. Wojciech Pióro
6. Agnieszka Żydzik-Białek
7. Danuta Mańka
8. Magdalena Tabak