On the 4th of September the exhibition prepared by the Arolsen Archives - International Center on Nazi Persecution in Bad Arolsen/Germany entitled #StolenMemory was officially open in the IYMC. The Arolsen Archives – an institution belonging to the UNESCO’s Memory of the World has the world’s largest archive on the victims and survivors of the Nazi regime.
The opening of the exhibition was in the same time the Oświęcim’s inauguration of the campaign, led by the Arolsen Archives since 2016, aimed on searching for the relatives of victims of National Socialist persecution in purpose to give them back the personal belongings of the prisoners of concentration camps. The campaign, led simultaneously in many Polish towns, is based on the support of volunteers – their task is to search for the families of the victims. The accompanying exhibition consists of a historical part concerning the most important information about the Nazi occupation in Poland, as well as plates dedicated to the persons already found and those, who are looked for.
The opening of the exhibition and campaign in the IYMC had two parts – in the morning we invited students and teachers from secondary schools from Oświęcim and region, in the afternoon the inhabitants of our town participated. The meeting started with the presentation of the project made by Anna Meier-Osiński, who – together with Kamila Kołakowski represented the Arolsen Archives. After the common visiting of the outdoor exhibition on the fence of IYMC, the guest listened to the testimony of the contemporary witness, Mrs. Wanda Różycka-Bilnik, the daughter of Czesław Bilnik, prisoner of the concentration camps Groß-Rosen and Neuengamme. This talk, moderated by IYMC educator Elżbieta Pasternak, brought the audience a lot of emotions. The last accent of the meeting was the display of the movie “The secret web of good around Auschwitz”, made by Barbara Daczyńska (IYMC), Magdalena Plewa-Ould and Jarosław Wilczak. The movie tells the story of the inhabitants of Oświęcim, who – risking their freedom and lives – were helping the prisoners of KL Auschwitz.
More about #StolenMemory exhibition and campaign on the Arolsen Archives website https://arolsen-archives.org/en/learn-participate/exhibitions-campaigns/stolenmemory/