A discussion on the concept for a total makeover of the Jewish exhibition in block 27 at the Auschwitz Memorial was held at the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem on August 31, 2010. Participants included former prisoners, Holocaust survivors, historians, and experts from many countries, including Professor Israel Gutman, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Ruth Bondi, Moshe Safdie, Shulamit Imber, Natan Sharanski, Michael Berenbaum, Marian Turski, Henryk Noah Flug, and the director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński. Avner Shalev, the director of Yad Vashem, hosted the experts, and Elie Wiesel oversaw the work of the whole group.
The current exhibition in block 27 dates from 1967 and is overdue for fundamental changes. In consultation with the Polish side, and with the approval of the Museum and the International Auschwitz Council
, the Israeli government requested Yad Vashem to start work on ideas for a new exhibition. The Museum and Yad Vashem signed an agreement
regulating the work on changes to the exhibition, making it possible to start preparations for conservation,
construction, and exhibition design work. The current exhibition will be open to visitors only through November of this year. The opening of the new exhibition is planned for late 2012.
During the deliberations, Director Cywiński described the present state of affairs and shared a vision of the development of the exhibition narrative at the Memorial, discussing perspectives for changing the main exhibition and the auxiliary exhibitions in such a way as to integrate the exhibition in block 27 as fully as possible into the planned system for explicating the history of Auschwitz. Issues included the way in which an exhibition covering the tragedy of the European Jews will resonate with the main exhibition and other so-called national exhibitions
The findings approved by the expert panel will now be put into final form and discussed by the International Auschwitz Council and Museum experts.