New Agreement with Yad Vashem
Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński, director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, and Avner Shalev, director of the Yad Vashem Institute, signed a letter of intention in Jerusalem on January 24 covering work on a complete overhaul of the exhibition titled "The Martyrdom and Struggle of the Jews in Europe from 1933 to 1945", located in block 27 at the Auschwitz I site.
“Yad Vashem has the longest and richest history of completely documenting the destruction of the European Jews and presenting its significance to the world. This makes it the ideal partner for this part of the exhibition. At the same time, we are working in Poland on a new main exhibition, and this chronological order is a good thing, because the two exhibitions must complement each other in a harmonious way, said Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński.
The current exhibition in block 27 was opened on the 35th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1978. In 2006, the International Auschwitz Council agreed that Yad Vashem should be in charge of updating this exhibition. The Israeli parliament also passed a special motion on the issue. Both sides plan for the opening of the new exhibition as early as 2012.
Polish-Israeli cooperation between Auschwitz Memorial and Yad Vashem
Seminars for guides, teachers, and educators are the main areas of cooperation between the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the Yad Vashem Institute. They cover not only the history of the Holocaust and the concentration camps, but also the contemporary cultures of the two countries and their mutual relations. The first seminar for Museum staff in Jerusalem was held in 1993. The seminars have been held on an annual basis since then, and have been opened up to employees of other martyrdom museums in Poland and, recently, to Catholic priests. Seminars for participants from Israel are held, in turn, in Poland. So far, about 500 people from both countries have taken part. The cooperation between the two institutions also includes research and archival exchanges.