Training for Museum educators with the representatives of Amud Aish Memorial Centre
Nearly 70 Auschwitz Museum educators-guides took part in lectures conducted by the employees and cooperators of Amud Aish Memorial Centre from New York. They constituted part of specialist training program prepared by the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust, in which Auschwitz Memorial guides participate each year.
The training was devoted to the experience of Orthodox Jews in German Nazi camps, with particular attention paid to KL Auschwitz-Birkenau. During the lectures, the guides had the occasion to get to know about the problem of rabbinic responsa in camp reality, learn more about the central role of rabbis in Jewish communities as well as about the way in which orthodox Jews understand the Shoah and why its religious understanding differs from the point of view of secular Jews.
“For the very first time, the complex topic of dealing with camp reality by orthodox Jews was analyzed in such an exhaustive manner and presented to Museum educators. They were provided with an important tool which will enable them to present this question both to visitors who are not involved in Jewish orthodoxy as well as to orthodox groups, as their presence in the Museum is constantly increasing”, said Andrzej Kacorzyk, ICEAH Director.
Lectures were conducted by Dr. Henri Lustiger-Thaler and Rabbi Sholom Friedman from New York as well as Rabbi Aubrey Hersch from London. The three-day training constituted the first part of the project, which is also going to be realized in the years 2017 and 2018. It was possible thanks to the support of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Victims Memorial Foundation.
Lectures were organized within the framework of a series of specialist trainings for educators-guides, each of them lasting several weeks. Their purpose is to develop subject-related and methodical qualifications of nearly 300 certified Museum guides, providing services in nearly 20 languages.
“Extensive knowledge that our guides possess is crucial for us. Their work and involvement make it possible for visitors from all around the world to understand the reality of the concentration and extermination camp as well as to preserve the memory of the victims and enable current reflection on the history of this place. For this reason each year, our guides participate in lectures and study visits”, said Tomasz Michaldo, Head of the Methodology of Guiding at ICEAH.
The program of the training held in December 2016 and January 2017 includes among others lectures devoted to Polish prisoners of war and Warsaw insurgents in Lamsdorf POW camp, as well as post-war history of the premises of this camp, lectures on camp trauma and its echoes in the accounts and memoirs of former prisoners, presentation of the results of research by historians from the Museum Research Center on the early history of the Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp or the lecture concerning the subject of shaping the memory about Auschwitz and the Holocaust in Israel, USA and Poland. Another important element of the training was a study visit to the Upper Silesian Jews House of Remembrance in Gliwice as well as Cukerman Gate in Będzin.