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Winners of the Memorial Award for Volunteers: "If not for those ten...".


The "If not for those ten..." awards were presented at the international educational conference titled "Tools from the «here and now» in teaching about the «then» - new technologies in education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust". They are presented to volunteers and representatives of institutions that support volunteering at the Memorial.


The award "If not...
The award "If not...
The award "If not...
The award "If not...

'Volunteering is based on the principle of interconnected vessels - they give us a portion of themselves and their time while at the same time acquiring historical knowledge about the camp, people they meet or authentic objects. Volunteering at the Auschwitz Museum is an important challenge. The presence of volunteers at this unique site represents care for the Survivors' legacy. The greater this awareness, the stronger the history of the site is remembered,' said Katarzyna Marcak, head of the Volunteer Office at the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust, during the award ceremony.

Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, director of the Museum, also spoke about the importance of volunteering: 'Volunteering allows one to comprehend better and delve deeper into the history of a place and experience it. It is not just about taking something as one does during a visit but offering something of oneself. What we give of ourselves remains forever, and that is the paradox of giving.'

He also announced that the Museum would be able to accommodate an increased number of volunteers from more remote locations in the future: 'We are currently constructing a hostel adjacent to the new Visitor Services Center, which will be dedicated, among other things, to those who wish to contribute their time and skills to support our mission. The decision was a difficult one to make, as it was made during the global Covid-19 pandemic. However, we anticipated that the situation would eventually change and recognised the importance of providing access to this unique site for those who wish to contribute in some way.'

Each winner received a symbolic memento, a replica of the shoes belonging to Auschwitz survivor Batsheva Dagan. A fellow inmate and friend, wishing to give Batsheva a gift in the inhuman conditions of the camp, obtained fabric and sewed tiny shoes for her measuring less than two centimetres. For 20 months, Batsheva kept the object in the camp, risking her life.

'Your presence and help are akin to the selfless gift Batsheva received from her friend; just like her, you find the willingness, time and opportunity to offer something good and accompany us, the employees of the Memorial. Every year we receive such support from nearly 500 people worldwide, both volunteers and trainees,' emphasised Katarzyna Marcak while addressing the awardees.

Winners of the award "If not for those ten..."

Piotr Cwynar - a teacher at the Forest and Environment School Complex in Brynek. He started as a volunteer group supervisor and is now a project coordinator for the school.

Felix Fürst - volunteer at the Conservation Workshops since September 2022; performs, among other things, the conservation of archaeological objects and assists with the inventory of wall paintings at the Auschwitz I site.

Marko Naranjo - collaborated on a project focused on restoring the identity of KL Auschwitz deportees and prisoners. This was achieved using archival data from the Auschwitz Museum and the Arolsen Archive in Bad Arolsen.

Maja Gunia - student of the British International School of Cracow, responsible for the English translation of the "Books of Remembrance" dedicated to Poles deported to KL Auschwitz from the Cracow district.

Wiktoria Kufel is a volunteer who offers her assistance remotely (performing tasks like transcriptions) and helps out during major events held at the Museum.

Jan Nagi - worked with the BBW on the project "Restoring the identity of KL Auschwitz deportees and prisoners based on archival data from the Auschwitz Museum and the Arolsen Archive in Bad Arolsen". During his internship, he assisted at all events held at the Museum.

Kinga Olszewska - translated documents into English.

Jalyse Ortiz participated in the project "Reconstructing the identity of deportees and prisoners at Auschwitz based on archival data from the Auschwitz Museum and the Arolsen Archives in Bad Arolsen," where she entered transcribed documents obtained from the project into the database.

Sabrina Wallach - Education Projects intern, currently an on-line volunteer. During her internship, she undertook numerous projects, including developing group activities for young people at the Czech national exhibition and implementing multimedia presentations on the history of Auschwitz in English and German on the Prezi platform.

Joanna Wojtynek - Director of the Leon Kruczkowski Secondary School No. 1 in Tychy, whose volunteers have been working for the Museum since 2019, offering support remotely or on-site during conferences and commemorations.