Sunday 26 May 2019

Auschwitz Memorial and Museum: preserving history & educating for the future

The day before We Are Museums 2019, we invite you to join a study trip at the Auschwitz Memorial. Along with other museum professionals, you will be able to visit the German Nazi Auschwitz camp with the team from the Memorial, but also access some places which are not available to visitors.

For a full-day, the group will learn, reflect and debate on the work of the Memorial.

Introduction to the Auschwitz Memorial

Auschwitz was the largest concentration camp of the German Third Reich, claimed the most victims, and was the only concentration camp that functioned simultaneously as a centre for systematic extermination in gas chambers. The Memorial was created on the grounds of the former camp in 1947 through the initiative of some of the survivors. Its aim is to preserve the original remains of the camp, commemorate the victims, and carry out research and education. However today for the world Auschwitz is not only a memorial. It is also an essential part of our civilization. The word “Auschwitz” has become an eloquent cultural symbol and a synonym for the nadir of the human value system. With the passing of the last eyewitnesses, the role of the authenticity and integral nature of the Memorial is growing. The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum is, alongside the Yad Vashem in Israel and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the best known and preeminent institution in the world that deals with the subject. Auschwitz Memorial is also the most visited museum in Poland – 2,152,000 people visited it in 2018.

What will you do?

The Auschwitz Memorial will be honoured to guest a group of 20 participants of We Are Museums 2019 conference. This bespoke study tour will give details of the history of the German Nazi Auschwitz camp but also the opportunity to see and discuss the work of the Memorial. The guided tour will include the most important parts of the site and exhibitions as well as some places which are not available to visitors, including some of the preserved historical spaces, a gallery of original artworks created by prisoners in the camp and one of the most modern conservation laboratory in the world. Each participant will be able to connect with the Memorial’s team for the full day, ask all the questions they want and start debating or discussing on inspired topics.

Program

8.30 – departure from Katowice
10.00 – 13.45 – study tour of the Auschwitz I site (including exhibitions, authentic historical spaces in preserved Block 2, gallery of art created by prisoners of the camp, storage areas of authentic objects as well as the conservation laboratory)
14.00-14.45 – lunch
15.00-17.00 – the visit at the Auschwitz II-Birkenau site.
Return to Katowice – ca. 18.00