"Oś" — Monthly Magazine of the Auschwitz Memorial
September 2011 12/01/2011
The last five years at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum have been a period of considerable changes: attendance has constantly grown to new record highs, a new main exhibition is under construction, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation has been created for funding maintenance of the authentic Memorial Site, and a new visitors center is being created. In this edition of Oś we publish an extensive interview with Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, who has directed the Museum for the last five years.In the September edition, we also report on two round anniversaries, that took place in August and in September: the murder of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, as well as the first experiment in mass killing through the use of Zyclone B. Both of these events had their place in the cellar of Block number 11 (pictured on the cover), the building that prisoners named the “Death Block.”
We also recommend reading an article by the volunteers from abroad, who worked in the past year at the International Youth Meeting Center. It recounts how they view the history of Auschwitz, as well as life in modern day Oświęcim.
On the pages of the Center for Dialogue and Prayer, you can read about the commemoration of the death of Edith Stein, known today as Saint Teresia Benedicta of the Cross. We also invite you to take a walk down the path of the Jewish History of Oświęcim.
September 2010 11/03/2010
When one looks at the table full of medical instruments (shown on cover), which were most likely used at Auschwitz, it is hard to control one’s emotions and imagination. Many questions arise immediately. How easy it is to change manmade implements to save lives into tools that inflict pain and dehumanize. That happens when a person is treated as an object to which everything can be done. That is how doctors performed experiments in Auschwitz. On the following pages, you will read about this extraordinary find.For already twenty years, students from the Volkswagen vocational schools have come as volunteers to the Auschwitz Memorial Site. They learn about history while working at the Museum. You will read about this in an interview with Christoph Heubner, Vice President of the Foundation for the International Youth Meeting Center in Oświęcim. In addition, this month, Daria Varyvod writes about her experience of volunteering at the IYMC for a year.
We also draw your attention to an article summarizing the halfway point of the “Why Do We Need Tolerance?” project, conducted at the Jewish Center, and a text about the European Workshops held at the Center for Dialogue and Prayer by the Maximilian Kolbe Foundation from Germany.
On the second to last page, you will learn the history of the legendary “Ganobis’ cabinet.” Finally, on the last page you can view the photo report from this year’s anniversary commemoration of St. Maximilian Kolbe’s death, which was attended by almost two thousand faithful this year.
September 2009 11/19/2009
The love story of two Auschwitz prisoners, Mala Zimetbaum, a Jew, and Edward Galiński, a Pole, along with their bold escape, makes up one of the most moving chapters in the history of the camp—and also one of the most tragic. They were caught and forced to return to the camp. They were executed on August 22, 1944. Oś is publishing accounts by former prisoners who remember Mala and Edek, as well as their escape attempt. Additionally, our September issue features the full text of the homily preached by Stanisław Cardinal Dziwisz outside block 11 at the Auschwitz site on the anniversary of the death of St. Maximilian Kolbe. There is also an account of a session at the International Youth Meeting House dedicated to the memory of two former Auschwitz prisoners who died last year, Henryk Mandelbaum and Stanisław Hantz, along with a refl ection on the retreat organized at the Center for Dialogue and Prayer on the anniversary of the death of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, or Edith Stein. On the Jewish Center pages we publish an article by Artur Szyndler describing a unique walk around Oświęcim with Jerzy Feiner, a native son of the city who now lives in Israel. It turns out that, after all these years, he still remembers every lane and byway, and every inhabitant of his hometown.
October 2011 12/06/2011
The October edition of Oś devotes quite a large amount of space to educational projects offered to unique audience—inmates, who are incarcerated in the correctional institutions of Małopolska region. Currently, the third edition of the project Auschwitz—History—Civic Education is underway. The topic being presented is profiles of the Righteous Among the Nations.On the pages of the Museum, we also report about the Polish and Israeli support for the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, and about the French edition of the five-volume study about Auschwitz as well as this year’s laureate of the Irena Sendler prize For Saving the World, Grażyna Frenc, a guide at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim as well as a secondary school history teacher in Kęty. We also invite you to the exhibit of Forbidden Art.
We recommend a report about the joyous celebration to mark the ninetieth birthday of August Kowalczyk, that took place at the International Youth Meeting Center. The pages of the Meeting Center also include an article about the visit by the famous Israeli artist, Yehuda Bacon.
On the Path of Memory and Reconciliation: from Wadowice and Muenster to Auschwitz—is the title of the workshops, which took place at the end of August and beginning of September at the Center for Dialogue and Prayer in Oświęcim, about which we write in this edition of the monthly. We also invite you to take a look at the next part of the guide around the Jewish Oświęcim
October 2010 12/14/2010
“Confrontation and Reflection” is the title of the winning poster in the Third Biennial of Socio-Political Poster in Oświęcim, which adorns the cover. Its author Bangqian Zheng is from China. The 74 best posters of the contest can be viewed at the International Youth Meeting Center until the end of the year. In this month’s Oś you will find a review of the exhibit and a report about the awards ceremony.In this month’s issue you will find two interviews. For four years Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński has led the work of the Auschwitz Memorial Site. He talks about, among other things, why he agreed to accept a job offer at that point and if he regrets that decision, the most important challenges currently facing the Museum, as well as the contemporary European meaning of the history of the camp. Our second interviewee was Tomasz Kuncewicz, director of the Jewish Center in Oświęcim. The reason for the meeting was the tenth anniversary of this institution. The last page includes a series of photos from the anniversary celebrations.
We also invite you to read the text of an extraordinary collection of decorated greeting cards made by Auschwitz prisoners. Helena Datoń-Szpak has made a precious donation to the Museum. During the war, while working as a young girl in the canteen she assisted prisoners—this included the smuggling of illegal correspondence.
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