Legion of Honour for former director of the Auschwitz Museum
Jerzy Wróblewski, who was for many years the director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, has been awarded the Legion of Honour. In handing him the highest French decoration, , Ambassador of France in Poland, highlighted his contribution to preserving the memory of Auschwitz: “Being a guard of the authenticity in the Museum for many years you have managed to reach an increasing number of visitors from all over the world. For being faithful to the memory in this special place, with respect to which no European or citizen of the world can be neutral, France has awarded you with the order of the Legion of Honour,” the ambassador summed up.
In giving thanks for the decoration, Jerzy Wróblewski pointed out that his being granted the award should take into consideration all those who worked at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in the years when he had the honour and pleasure to lead this team. “I thank everyone for all the time you committed to your work and creativity; you were all wonderful,” said Wróblewski.
Born in 1938, Jerzy Wróblewski’s work at the Museum began in 1987 as director for administrative affairs, and three years later, he became the managing director of the Museum. He held this function until his retirement in September 2006, when he was succeeded by Piotr M.A. Cywiński.
Under the direction of Jerzy Wróblewski, the Museum, which is located on the site of the largest former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz, became a modern institution and was opened to the world.
The most important achievements during the years of Museum director Jerzy Wróblewski include, among others: restoration works associated with the maintenance of the original camp barracks and the ruins of the gas chambers and crematoria, setting up contemporary conservation laboratories as well as the International Centre for Education About Auschwitz and the Holocaust.
The activities of the former director have also been previously appreciated many times by the Republic of Poland, and he has been awarded with such honours as the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.
The Order of the Legion of Honour is the highest French honour, which was established in1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte and is awarded for services rendered in France, including in the field of military, culture and sciences. Jacek Kuroń, Janina Ochojska, Andrzej Wajda, Andrzej Seweryn and Marek Edelman are among the Poles decorated with the Legion of Honour.