Volunteers from Brynek Forestry Technical College at the Memorial
A group of students from the Stanisław Morawski Forestry Technical College in Brynek carried out voluntary work at the Auschwitz Memorial between 14 and 19 November 2021. The visit was part of the renewed cooperation between the Museum and the school regarding care for the green areas of the former camp.
The volunteer program included work on the premises of the Museum and educational activities, such as visiting both sections of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp, workshops and lectures. The volunteers carried out, among other things, cleaning work in the forested areas located on the grounds of the Memorial.
Students from the Brynek Forestry Technical College have been undertaking their work placements at the Museum for over 30 years. The collaboration ended in 2012. Thanks to the goodwill of the school principal, Agnieszka Ohsmann, the students were able to complete a week of voluntary work at the Museum this year.
'The renewal of cooperation with the Brynek Forest Technical College is of great importance to us. Thanks to the professionalism and work of the students and teachers of this school, we were able to take such visible action in a short time. Equally, the volunteers' keen interest in the history of the camp is very touching,' said Andrzej Kacorzyk, director of the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust.
'We are delighted that after a nine-year break in voluntary work, the opportunity has arisen to work with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum again. The work of the students of our school in caring for the green areas at the former camp continued uninterrupted between 1980 and 2012. We are grateful to the management and staff of the Museum for their care, hospitality and valuable history lessons, which our students will undoubtedly remember for a long time,' said Agnieszka Ohsmann.
'Volunteering at the Memorial can be a challenging experience for young people, as they are confronted with the difficult history of the camp as well as their feelings, emotions and thoughts. Particularly when they work - as is the case here - in areas of the former camp that seem to be the most difficult. For this reason, we were very keen to support the programme with educational activities that helped comprehend the tragedy of this place. I trust that this is the first step towards good cooperation,' said Katarzyna Marcak, head of the Memorial Volunteer Office.
The cooperation between the Museum and the Brynek Forestry Technical College envisages further voluntary visits by students to the Memorial Site and educational activities implemented as part of these visits.
A stand of historic trees and a fragment of forest are located on the nearly 200 hectares of the Memorial, primarily on the site of the Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp. One of the most important aspects of the conservation work being carried out by the Museum is the preservation of the specific arrangement of trees that were used, among other things, to conceal extermination infrastructure during the camp's existence.