Projects financed from designated subsidies
of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
Increasing Access to Cultural Resources Through the Expansion of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Tour Route with the Post-Camp Area of the Schlachtaus and Molkerei Buildings and the Renovation of the Cinema Hall
Type of budget subsidy or name of the program or fund:
• Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment 2014-2020, European Regional Development Fund. Activity 8.1 priority axis VIII Protection of cultural heritage and development of cultural resources, amount of funding or subsidy: PLN 4.913.339,98
• Designated subsidy for investment expenses within the framework of non-qualified expenses from the funds of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage coming from state budget. It refers to the year 2020, amount of funding or subsidy: PLN 5 464 386,90
Total task value: PLN 61 607 028,77
The project includes:
• sub-project located within the UNESCO buffer zone: deconstruction works, utilities, construction works within Schlachthaus and Molkerei buildings as well as the Dispatcher’s Office, two underground passages together with their accompanying infrastructure, development of the area, installation works, purchase of the equipment.
• subproject located within the zone inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List: construction and installation works (development of the area, traffic routes, two underground passages (accompanying infrastructure), landing strip, reconstruction and renovation of the cinema hall in the A-50 building together with technical background (including the equipment).
Niepodległa (Independent Poland)
Project: Long-term Project NIEPODLEGŁA for the years 2017-2022
Task name: Łączyła ich Niepodległa. Obywatele II Rzeczpospolitej w KL Auschwitz (Connected by the Independent Republic. Citizens of the Second Polish Republic at KL Auschwitz)
Amount of funding: PLN 85 000
Task value: PLN 85 000
Task description: Łączyła ich Niepodległa. Obywatele II Rzeczpospolitej w KL Auschwitz is the educational project addressed to the students of the 8th grade of primary schools and of secondary schools as well as to teachers and educators.
Main aim of the project is to bring the significance of the process of regaining the independence and restoring Polish national spirit, tragically disrupted by the outbreak of WW2, closer to young people. An important role is played here by the memory of individual fate of the Poles incarcerated in KL Auschwitz that motivates the reflection on such notions as freedom, solidarity, respect for human rights and dignity in the face of occupation and captivity.
The project assumes the organization of one-day study visits online and on site for school groups including:
• introductory classes – presentation devoted to the struggle for independence, restoration of the Polish state as well as to the interwar period with particular attention paid to heroic individuals taking an active part in the fights who were then incarcerated behind the wires of KL Auschwitz: soldiers of the Polish Army, members of parliament and senators of the Second Polish Republic, teachers, lawyers;
• visit of the Memorial Site with educator during which the specific character of the occupation of Poland will be emphasized together with the fate of Poles in KL Auschwitz (in the online mode it is replaced by the presentation “Memorial Sites in panoramas”);
• subject-related workshops based on personalized stories of individuals born in independent Poland and during occupation incarcerated and murdered in concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz; evaluation of the visit with the use of a questionnaire.
The project will be summarized during the conference for teachers and educators when the outcomes of classes carried out within the project will be discussed. This event will also constitute the occasion to share experiences, conclusions and remarks referring to the organization of visits at memorial sites complementing the existing curricula.
Kultura inspirująca (Inspiring Culture)
Project: Kultura inspirująca
Task name: Kształtowanie przyszłości poprzez lekcje płynące z przeszłości – polsko-izraelski projekt edukacyjny (Shaping the future through the lessons from the past – a Polish-Israeli educational project)
Amount of funding: in the years 2021-2022 – PLN 178 000, task value PLN 320 000
Task description: The aim of the project is to spread the knowledge on the history of pre-war Poland, the Second World War and Holocaust in Israel by drawing the attention to the multi-cultural character of Polish society before WW2 and the consequences resulting from this fact, presenting key facts referring to German occupation of Poland during WW2 as well as highlighting the fate of various groups of victims at the Auschwitz camp, in particular citizens of the Second Polish Republic – Poles and Jews. Through the scheduled tasks and methods of their implementation the project is addressed to different groups of both secondary school students as well as adults. The project is intended to be carried out within two levels:
ONLINE EDUCATION IN 2021 AND STUDY VISITS IN 2022:
• Study visits online for Israeli students in Hebrew and in English conducted by educators of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. The agenda of a study day will include the presentation introducing into the topic of the twenty years between the two World Wars taking into consideration two historical events crucial for this period, presentation of the Auschwitz Memorial through panoramic photos as well as short videos and the educational workshop entitled “Citizens of the Second Polish Republic at KL Auschwitz” presenting the fate of selected individuals. All classes are going to be enriched with interactive elements that will make it possible to get the participants even more engaged in the classes.
• Online study days for Polish high school students in Polish and English, conducted by educators from Yad Vashem that will include the presentation of the exhibition as well as educational workshops devoted to Jewish community in Poland before WW2.
• Virtual tours of the Auschwitz Memorial for adults in Hebrew, English and Polish organized by the Auschwitz Memorial, Yad Vashem as well as the Ghetto Fighters’ House.
Education on site in 2022
• 10-day seminar in English for Israeli educators from Yad Vashem and the Ghetto Fighters’ House. The agenda includes sites important for the history of Poland as well as those connected with Polish and Jewish history. The first part of the program is going to be devoted to the Auschwitz Memorial, while the second will include the visit of several sites during which the meetings with experts involved in the subject of Polish and Jewish relationships in the past and nowadays will take place.
• Study trip for the staff of the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust to partner institutions in Israel within the framework of which ICEAH employees will have the opportunity to learn about the philosophy of teaching about the Shoah in these institutions as well as to present their activity to
Reconstructing and changing the intended use of the existing spaces within one section of the building with inventory number A-50 for the purposes of a research laboratory
Designated subsidy for investment expenses from the funds of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage originating from state budget in 2021.
Amount of funding or subsidy: PLN 1 078 000.00
Total task value: PLN 2 845 694.00
Task description: Performing research laboratory spaces together with installations necessary for their functioning in the A-50 building
New Main Exhibition
Amount of funding: Letter of intent regarding the creation and financing of new main exhibition at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim was signed on March 6th 2015. Project value was estimated at ca. PLN 100 million;
* As the Minister makes the decision on the amount of subsidy in a given year basing on the application submitted by the Museum resulting from the mode for planning the budget of cultural institutions, we are not able to determine the exact amount of subsidy, apart from providing the information on the estimated costs of the entire project included in the letter;
Project description: it is necessary for the exposition to be changed for several reasons, connected in particular with the development of the research on the history of Auschwitz as well as generational change among the visitors of the Memorial Site. It is also important that the visitors coming to discover the history of Auschwitz arrive from new geographical and cultural regions. What is more, current exhibition usually presents mass scale of the crime committed by the Germans, while the new narration will be among others complemented with the fate of individuals and personalized dimension of the genocide. Nowadays we are also in possession of a much broader collection of the accounts of former prisoners, witnesses and perpetrators. Today it is also possible to include more authentic objects within the exhibition.
The exposition will be constructed on the ground floors of six historical blocks of the former Auschwitz I camp marked with the numbers 4-9. It will increase its accessibility for the elderly and persons with disabilities as well as will make it available for many groups of visitors at the same time.
New Main Exhibition will replace the current one, inaugurated in 1955. It will be divided into three parts. The first one is going to present the perpetrators, the camp as an institution as well as its logistics and planning of the transformation of the concentration camp into the center of instant extermination of the Jews in gas chambers. The second section is going to cover the subject of the Shoah perceived from the point of view of its victims, innocent individuals in vast majority sent to death in the gas chambers. It is also the place where private belongings brought to the camp by the Jews deported for extermination will be presented. The third part will be devoted to concentration camp inmates.
New Polish Exhibition
Amount of funding: for the year 2021 within the framework of the agreement number 25/DF-V/JK/2021 – PLN 922 000. The value of the entire task co-financed from the funds of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage – PLN 22 707 900.
Project description: New Polish Exhibition entitled Poles in KL Auschwitz. Inhabitants of the Land of Oświęcim during World War II in block 15 of the former Auschwitz I camp will constitute an important extension of the New Main Exhibition currently under preparation.
Current permanent exhibition entitled “The Struggle and Martyrdom of the Polish Nation in the years 1939-1945”, currently constituting one of the oldest exhibitions presented within the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, was inaugurated in 1985. The Polish exposition in block 15 was developed according to the scheme for the creation of so called national exhibitions, followed in Poland in the past decades. The organizers’ intention was for the exhibition to be visited not only by groups from subsequent countries (French exhibition – by the French, Czech exhibition – by the Czechs), but also by other groups coming from various locations, which in practice used to take place on a very limited scale. Due to the passage of time, the content of the exhibition and the message shared are not fully understandable for a modern visitor. The legibility of current exhibition is limited due to small dimensions of the presented objects and the applied typography.
Introducing new subjects into the new exhibition will enrich guides’ narration and as a result increase its educational value. Photographs, boards and descriptions will be much larger in order not only for individual visitors but also groups to gain unrestricted access to the presented content. What is more, thanks to this investment project, it will be possible to raise visit standards and ensure increased level of security for the constantly growing number of Museum visitors.
Block 15 is situated within practically all visit routes, from under the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate to the entrance to main exhibition. The new permanent exhibition presenting the fate of Poles in the Auschwitz-Birkenau German Nazi concentration and extermination camp will thus somehow serve the function of the introduction to guides’ narration on the origins of KL Auschwitz, presenting the early days of the war and German occupation in Poland. It will also depict the level of persecution, planned character of arrests by German police officers and the accompanying chaotic cruelty. It will also show the history of first camp inmates – the Poles – including Polish Jews, thus constituting the prologue to the story about the Shoah.
It has been assumed that the exhibition will be adjusted to the expectations of very diversified visitor groups, manifesting different levels of knowledge and interest in the topic as well as having different, often limited, amount of time to spend at the Museum. Basic route is supposed to encourage to visit in particular the ground floor, and thus it should be short and synthetic, including maximum a dozen topics attracting the attention of (mainly foreign) visitors that they will remember as the most important ones. In this way, main objective of the exhibition will be met: rapid growth of attendance and encouraging visitors from abroad to discover the history of Poland and the martyrdom of the Poles in Auschwitz.
Visitors expressing greater interest in the subject will find more information in developed captions accompanying the photographs and objects, selected in order not only to share historical facts, but also promote in-depth reflection. In one of the exhibition sections, on the first floor of the block, study groups or those having more time will be able to find the answers to questions frequently asked in the current world and concerning the objectives that Nazi Germany had followed – total ethnic reorganization of Central Europe (the example of the town of Oświęcim represents particular significance here) together with real opportunities for opposing the occupant by local inhabitants.
Construction of the Visitor Service Centre at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim - stages III and IV
Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage from the state budget
Grant amount: In March 2021, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage granted a promise of PLN 21,495,000 for the project.
The earmarked grant from the financial resources of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage for 2022 will amount to - PLN 5,484,000.
The total value of the project is estimated at around PLN 49 million.
The project involves the construction of a hostel and the necessary infrastructure near the new Visitors' Service Centre at the Memorial Site of the former German concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz, currently under construction. The resulting facility will accommodate people participating in extended study stays, seminar attendees, postgraduate students and conference participants. The hostel will also provide accommodation for several hundred Memorial volunteers and trainees.