Past nightmares continually resurface from oblivion. Auschwitz Memorial Report 2017
Polish-English report summarizing the year 2017 in the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum has been published. In his introduction, director Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński emphasized how important is memory about Auschwitz in building the future free from ideologies of hatred.
„The face of the times we live in does not arouse particular enthusiasm or optimism. Transformations are heading towards unpredictable directions. Many reiterate that we currently lack true statesmen and authority figures. In several places, we are witnessing the revival of anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia. Ideologies of hatred are evident and nationalistic slogans are increasingly present in the public space,” wrote director Cywiński.
76 pages of this Polish-English publication contain the information about the most important events held last year in the Museum. „We present the report of activities carried out at the Memorial in 2017, the primary objective of which is to ensure the values that stand in counterpoint to the tragic experience of the Auschwitz victims—that is, peace, freedom, fundamental human rights, democracy, reciprocity and respect—remain legible and recognized as development signposts for our societies,” we read in the introduction.
The report presents also among others the analysis of attendance at the Memorial. In 2017 2 million 100 thousand people visited the historical site and over 80 percent of them were guided by nearly 300 educators in almost 20 languages. A lot of attention has also been paid to educational programs and to the activity of the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust.
Other subjects mentioned in the report include: preservation works carried out at the Memorial Site as well as the actions of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, whose task is to ensure co-financing for such work, new publications, directions of research work, new exhibitions and exhibitions in the course of preparation as well as new items in the Museum Archives and Collections. An important element of the report is also the financial statement and the list of donors who supported the Museum. The texts are accompanied by photographs presenting the most important events in the Memorial, as well as reproductions of artefacts and archival documents.
„Just as wisdom is born from memory, so do past nightmares continually resurface from oblivion,” emphasized director Cywiński.
The report is published two days before the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz.