International Summer Academy in German language
From the 26-30 August at the International Centre for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust, the first International Summer Academy in German was held. This is a joint venture between the Centre for Education and the Higher School of Pedagogy in Vienna.
Among the participants were teachers and educators from Vienna and research employees from the Centre for Research on Anti-Semitism in Berlin. The Academy devoted much of the time to the understanding of the authentic Memorial Site and the history of the former Nazi German concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz.
“Participants of the Academy also had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the contemporary activities of the Memorial Site: the archives, preservation methods and other functional aspects of the Museum,” said Magdalena Urbaniak, coordinator of the programme for the Centre.
“During a special tour, the participants were also able to visit places that are not usually accessible to visitors and to see locations in the area around the camp associated with the history of Auschwitz. Within the framework of the seminar, there were workshops, lectures, presentations, film screenings and discussions. Among the invited experts were former Auschwitz prisoner prof. Wacław Długoborski and prof. Ryszard Kaczmarek from the Institute of History at the University of Silesia, who spoke on the issue of collaboration in the areas annexed by the German Reich. Also within the programme of the Summer Academy was a visit to the Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot Synagogue in Oświęcim as well as study visit, during which participants were shown the remains of the Auschwitz III-Monowitz camp,” added Urbaniak.
“I previously visited Auschwitz with a guide for 4 hours, but this was not enough to get to know the place and its history. Therefore, I decided to take part in this project,” stated Enrique Luz from the Centre for Research on Anti-Semitism in Berlin. “To learn in the place where it all happened is much more comprehensive,” said Luz.
On the last day of the seminar, the educators spent time in Kraków, where they listened to a lecture by the director of the Judaica Centre for Jewish Culture, Dr Joachim Russek, on the centuries-old history of the Jews of Kraków, and they also visited Kazimierz and other places associated with the pre-war history of the Jewish community.