Meeting V: 15-16 April 2002
On 15 and 16 April 2002 the 5th session of the International Auschwitz Council took place in Oswiecim under the chairmanship of Professor Wladyslaw Bartoszewski. Deputy Culture Minister, Aleksandra Jakubowska, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration, Andrzej Barcikowski, and Deputy Voivod (governor) of Malopolska, Andrzej Harezlak, attended.
Mr Andrzej Barcikowski presented matters connected to the surroundings of the state Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and the Government's Strategic Auschwitz Programme. The museum's director, Mr Jan Wroblewski, gave a report on the museum's activities over the past year and presented plans for the near future. The Council was informed among other things of the repair and maintenance carried out at Auschwitz-Birkenau thanks to foreign financial assistance. Important forthcoming projects include the renovation of 3,600 concrete posts.
The Council approved the report of Mr Andrzej Przewoznik, Secretary General of the Council for the Preservation of Monuments to Struggle and Martyrdom, on the new manner of commemoration of the Holocaust site in Belzec. By the end of this year, the first stage in the creation of a monument and later a museum pavilion is due to be completed in this third biggest Holocaust site after Auschwitz-Birkenau and Treblinka.
The Council will support the initiative of Professor Jozef Szajna regarding the creation of a Memorial Mound to the Victims of Genocide and Human Reconciliation in the hope that the Oswiecim local authorities will look favourably upon this undertaking. A site near the railway tracks (the so-called 'Jew ramp'), which is seen as linking Auschwitz and Birkenau, is being considered.
In one of the resolutions it passed, the Council expressed alarm at the situation in the investment area of the Maja company. It is situated in direct proximity to a site of exceptional commemorative importance, the railway ramp to which the first transport of Polish prisoners arrived in June 1940. The Council is suggesting negotiations between the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration and the owners of the above-mentioned area with a view to resolving this potentially conflict-producing problem.