Words have power. And it is so destructive. Auschwitz Memorial Report 2019
Polish-English report summarizing the year 2019 at the Auschwitz Museum and Memorial was published. In his introduction, Director Piotr M. A. Cywiński emphasized that human hatred can lead to horrible crimes, but everything starts with words.
"Ramp does not equal platform. Number does not equal name. Segregation or selection does not equal choice. Barracks does not equal building. And today, words have power. And it is so destructive," the director wrote in his introduction.
"On the Internet, in discussions, on forum, in comments. In the media, titles, captions. In the groups of notions, where the people who are poor, cringing, running away… are presented as people with germs and diseases. In the language of political debate, in demagogy, in populism," emphasized Piotr Cywiński.
92 pages of this Polish-English publication include the information on the most important events which took place last year at the Museum, the analysis of attendance of the Memorial, which was last year visited by over 2 million 320 thousand visitors. We can read that “The significant majority of visitors, about 81 percent, learned about the history of Auschwitz with one of the 344 Museum educators, who give tours in 21 languages. Six-percent increase was noted among individual visitors to the Museum opting for tours with a guide. Tours were conducted for 386,662 people in specially organized groups, in nine available languages. Approximately 17 thousand people opted for the extended study tour.”
A lot of attention was devoted to educational programs as well as to the activity of the International Center of Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust. For the future of education at the Memorial it is incredibly important that the adaptation of the so-called Old Theatre building for ICEAH has been completed. „The facility will house, among others, a modern auditorium for nearly 200 people, seven multimedia lecture halls, an exhibition space, a library with a reading room and rooms for independent research work.
Other subjects treated in the publication are conservation works conducted at the Memorial Site as well as activities of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, collecting funds for the financing of these works, new publications – including Polish-English online magazine “Memoria”, directions of scientific works, new exhibitions and exhibitions which are being developed as well as new items in Museum Archives and Collections.
Financial statement and the list of donors who supported the Museum constitute another crucial element. The texts are accompanied by photographs presenting the most important events at the Memorial Site together with the reproductions of artefacts and archival documents.
The report is published two days before the 75th anniversary of the liberation of German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz.