Italian-language edition of a book by Bogdan Bartnikowski "Returns to Auschwitz" at the Book Fair in Turin
At the Turin International Book Fair, the Museum Publishing House presented the Italian edition of the latest publication by Auschwitz survivor Bogdan Bartnikowski titled "Ritorni ad Auschwitz" (Returns to Auschwitz).
The meeting with the author took place just after the inauguration of the 35th edition of the Fair, considered the most important cultural event in Italy. Every year, it attracts over a thousand publishers and representatives of the book market worldwide.
The opportunity to listen to the live storytelling of a witness to history, such as Bogdan Bartnikowski, attracted a vast audience. Among them were primarily students and teachers, but there were also many readers interested in World War II and concentration camps.
"Returns to Auschwitz" is a special publication in Bogdan Bartnikowski's body of work, said Jadwiga Pinderska-Lech from the Auschwitz Museum Publishing House. In it, the writer reflects on the nature of human memory. In his contemplations, he naturally refers to his time in concentration camps and the wartime wanderings that he and his mother, as well as thousands of other people of different nationalities, experienced. He was only 12 years old when he was deported to Auschwitz. He decided to return to the former camp for the first time, more than twenty years after the war ended. It was a symbolic return for him, she added.
Reading the book makes the reader aware that Auschwitz remains forever in the people who were prisoners of the camp. It reflects life with a trauma that cannot be shaken off.
The event was organized in partnership with the Memory Train Association (Associazione Treno della Memoria).
Another important event at the Turin Fair was a discussion with the Museum's director, Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, Francesco Cataluccio, Włodek Goldkorn, and Gabriele Nissim.
The conversation focused on reflecting on the formation of historical consciousness and how understanding the past becomes an important element of contemporary responsibility.
"During the discussion, a very important question reappeared for many: how to ensure that school visits to Auschwitz, in particular, are not just a 'history lesson,' but become a source of moral reflection on our present engagement or indifference. After all, the concept of 'memory' is not synonymous with 'historical knowledge,'" said director Piotr Cywiński.
The meeting was organized at the initiative of the Milan-based Gariwo Foundation.