Volunteers of the Memorial honoured with the awards “If Not for Those Ten... ”
Volunteers and representatives of institutions supporting voluntary work at the Memorial were honoured with the awards “If Not for Those Ten...” The awards were presented at the 71st anniversary of the creation of the Museum at the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The director of the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust, Andrzej Kacorzyk expressed his sincere thanks to the volunteers. 'We have specially adopted the anniversary of the Museum as the day to honour our volunteers and coordinators of volunteer service. We want to make it clear that you are part of us, part of our team. I thank you very much for that,' he said.
For the first time this year winners of the award “If Not for Those Ten...” also received special pins with the inscription “Zrób coś. Do something", which alludes to the figure of Kazimierz Piechowski, a prisoner of the camp who escaped from Auschwitz with other prisoners in an SS-car in June 1942. Andrzej Kacorzyk, while recalling the story of one of the most daring escapes from Auschwitz, said: 'The history of this escape showed how much we can do; that we can always try; that we should always see what else we can do. This story shows how vital people on the side can be, who may sometimes push you to act, to do something. We have adopted the watchword - do something - because we want something good to happen all across the world.'
'With the passing of time, each new generation is increasingly less aware of what happened here 70 years ago. Therefore, the Museum must intensively conduct projects both at the Memorial and beyond it to awaken conscience. As a French woman, as a European, I am proud to be part of this team, helping to develop new projects. I look forward to working with my home country. I feel that I am in the right place when passing on the experiences of our ancestors, history. It is the foundation for building a better future based on diversity, freedom and tolerance,' said Marine Vannier while receiving the award.
Director Kacorzyk also expressed special thanks to Batsheva Dagan, an Auschwitz survivor for her trip and presence at the award ceremony of the volunteers.
'Everyone has their Auschwitz. Was my Auschwitz better? It was frightening as for everyone, but I was looking for a way to live in such a hell. I survived because I had hope for a better tomorrow and the obligation to tell the world. Therefore, I was able to suffer. That is why I am here, not for the first time. I understand that it is not easy but I appreciate your goodwill to help because this place needs plenty of help. If you can help with work, then it is something significant,' said Batsheva Dagan.
In 2017, about 300 volunteers and interns from Poland, Germany, France, Israel, among others, assisted at the Museum.
The award of the Director of the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau “Suppose no ten have been found..." is presented once every year to celebrate the anniversary of the Museum on 2 July 1947. The award is given to outstanding volunteers and coordinators of the voluntary service. The award is in the shape of a glass statue, to which an official letter is attached. The obverse side of the statue has the inscription in Polish and English „Gdyby zabrakło dziesięciu…” ("If Not for Those Ten...”).
Estera Borycz – intern at the Visitor Service Centre and volunteer during the World Youth Day.
Aleksandra Dziurda - volunteer at the Collections, Visitor Service Centre, Voluntary Service Office and during the 70th Anniversary of the liberation
Alexander Ellnain - tutor and translator for students from Bielsko, working as a part of stays with the VW group.
Rev. Zenon Latawiec - director of the Salesians in Oświęcim, who for many years has been encouraging volunteer service in his school.
Manish Laungani - conservation intern in 2016, also worked during the World Youth Day.
Urszula Modrzejewska - intern at the Visitor Service Centre, performed translation before the 73rd Anniversary of the liberation.
Alexandra Piekarz - volunteer in Educational Projects. She assisted during the 70th Anniversary of the Museum and the sessions of the International Auschwitz Council (IAC)
Agata Stępnik - intern, performed transcriptions of former prisoners account for the Archive.
Marine Vannier - intern at the Conservation Workshop and in Exhibition department, translated the exhibition “Nazi Germany death camp” into French.
Rachel Azatchi Zohar - intern at the Conservation Workshop in 2017.