Testimonies of Auschwitz survivors available in the authentic space of the Memorial
The testimonies of former prisoners of Auschwitz have been made available in the historic space of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp. Visitors can, at designated locations listen to stories of direct witnesses to the events.
‘In an era in which we are gradually beginning to lack the last of witnesses to the tragedy of Auschwitz, we have made an attempt to incorporate their recordings into the experience of the authenticity of the Memorial site,’ said the Museum Director Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński.
‘It is the interplay of their accounts and the post-camp ruins that may fully allow subsequent generations to visualize the reality of what the German Nazis did to such great numbers of innocent people: the European Jews, Poles, the Roma people, Soviet prisoners of war and many others,’ added Cywiński.
Access to the accounts is possible via mobile phones and tablets with the ability to scan the so-called QR codes, which have been placed on several information boards located on the site of the Memorial.
‘For a start, we have decided to place the accounts of eyewitnesses at some of the most symbolic places on the site of the former camp. It includes, among others, the "Arbeit macht frei" gate and the roll-call square in Auschwitz I as well as the unloading ramp, ruins of one of the gas chambers and crematoria and the male and female camps in Birkenau,’ said Andrzej Kacorzyk, Director of the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust.
Selected accounts are available in Polish, English and French. You can watch them on any mobile device with Internet access. A special free WiFi (QR_MEMORIAL) has been launched on the site, which gives access to sites with the testimonies.
The project is the outcome of debate and work initiated on the initiative of the French Union of Auschwitz Deportees, and was created in cooperation with the Museum and various institutions that have accounts of former prisoners of Auschwitz in their archives: the Union of Auschwitz Deportees, Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem and the Museum of Holocaust in Washington. In the future - upon analysis of functioning of the QR codes system - it will be possible to further broaden the thematic choice of the testimonies.