In this unique place, man must meet a fellow man. A documentary about the guides of the Memorial.
A documentary entitled "Why we work at Auschwitz" is available on YouTube. It is dedicated to the educators and guides who spend every day at the Memorial narrating the history of Auschwitz to visitors from all over the world. The film is directed by Aaron Compton.
In the film, the following guides talk about their work: Michele Andreola, Marta Kadłuczka, Łukasz Lipiński, Tomasz Michaldo, Takeshi Nakatani and Maja Šrajerová-Bocheńska.
‘Thanks to the hard work and dedication of those who work at the memorial today, we are able to learn more and more about the atrocities carried out. We concluded it would be an interesting angle to approach and learn more about those who carry out this important duty of ensuring that the history of Auschwitz lives on’ said Aaron Compton.
According to the Museum Director, Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, the work of the guides is one of the key aspects of the educational mission of the Memorial: ‘A few years ago, several companies suggested that we introduce an audio-guide system, claiming it was a modern solution that would give us greater control over the content and bring in more revenue. However, I will never agree to the use of automated guides at the Memorial. Our educators are not only extremely knowledgeable on the history of Auschwitz; they are also familiar with the specific context of symbolism and remembrance in countries from which many of the visitors come.’
‘Thus, half of the success is the sheer communication of this difficult story. The other half lies in listening to questions, empathetic insight, and interpersonal dialogue. These things that are so important in everyday life become even more important when one is confronted with a reality beyond imagination at the Memorial. In this unique place, man must meet a fellow man,’ he stressed.
The vast majority of visitors, over 80%, learn about the history of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz through the guides and educators who conduct tours of the Museum exhibition. There are currently 340 guides working with the Museum, giving tours in 21 languages.
‘They spend on average a minimum of 30 to 40 hours per week at Auschwitz. In our view, it takes a certain person to be able to endure being in those surroundings, and we were keen to learn more about them and their reasons for doing so.’ emphasized the film's director.
"Why we work at Auschwitz"
Director: Aaron Compton
Production: Sarah Gharib
Camera: Davy Pinnuck