of the Documentation Centre “Witnesses“
On the 29th of May the Documentation Centre “Witnesses” was inaugurated at the International Youth Meeting Centre in Oświęcim/Auschwitz.
Leszek Szuster, Richard Pyritz, Bernd Neubüser (RI Disrtict 1940) and Alicja Białecka (President of RC Oświęcim) welcomed the guests in their welcoming speeches and Director Szuster gave an insight into the process of its creation and an outlook on its future role in the pedagogical work of the IYMC. He thanked all parties involved in this project, but especially Richard Pyritz, initiator of the project. Then 3 workshops, which are based on the biographies of surviors of KL Auschwitz closely connected to our house, were presented by Judith Hoehne-Krawczyk, Elżbieta Pasternak and Jérôme Déodat. Our guest of honour Zofia Posmysz summed up the event in a touching speech thanking the IYMC for this initiative and stressed the opportunities this Centre offers when it comes to realizing the pedagogical concept of the IYMC: “Oświęcim as a place of education”. The musical accompaniment was provided by Katarzyna Wasiak on the piano, who played works by Władysław Szpilman and Joseph Elgiser.
Na zakończenie goście uroczystości: m.in. uczestnicy Bayerisches Seminar für Politik e. V., uczniowie z Gemeinschaftshauptschule Lüdingshausen oraz mieszkańcy Oświęcimia zwiedzili pomieszczenia Centrum zwracając uwagę na znakomite wyposażenie techniczne pomieszczeń, które wzbogaci możliwości realizacji programów edukacyjnych w MDSM.
The Documentation Centre was equipped and financed by Rotary Clubs: Chicago (Rotary One), Cloppenburg-Quakenbrück, Hamburg-Steintor, Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mölln, Oświęcim, Ratzeburg-Alte Salzstrasse, Warszawa City and especially the Rotary Club Hanover, Rotary International Districts 6450, 1850, 1940, 2230 and The Rotary Foundation (TRF).
The Documentation Centre will not only shed a light on the complex fates and biographies of the survivors of KL Auschwitz, who worked with the IYMC and were involved in the process of its creation, but also cover our 30 yearlong work in the areas of education, civic education and culture. It will be an important addition to the library of the IYMC and also an important tool when dealing with the history of KL Auschwitz, on the basis of authentic and irreplaceable testimonies of the contemporary witnesses and records of the Youth Meeting Centre connected to culture of remembrance.