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Adaptation of the Old Theatre

“Adaptation" of the Old Theatre” building to the activities of the International Centre for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim"

The project implemented using funding from the European Regional Development Fund, within the framework of the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment for the years 2014-2020, and with funding from the budget of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Total cost of the project is estimated at 28 696 854,88 PLN, and the value of the funding from the ERDF is estimated at 18 851 443,36 PLN (85% of the funding).

Years of implementation: 2016-2020

Assumed objectives: The general objective of the project is the adaptation of the Old Theatre building for the activities of the International Centre for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim.

Specific objectives of the project include:

  • providing adequate office space for the implementation of educational and Exhibition programs of the ICEAH.
  • continuation and development of educational and exhibition activities of the ICEAH with particular reference to new offers.

Indirect objectives of the project include:

  • fulfilment of the obligation to establish the seat of the ICEAH with respect to the wish of former prisoners.
  • the possibility to provide follow-up meetings of visits to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
  • increase in the number of people benefiting from the educational offers of the ICEAH
  • stopping the progressive degradation of the historic Old Theatre building

Scope of the project: the project consists of the reconstruction of the existing, and unused building so-called the Old Theatre in Oświęcim (inventory no. A-51) in order to adapt the building to the International Centre for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust.

Planned results: Thanks to the implementation of the project, an educational and exposition space shall be created with a multimedia character, along with all the necessary facilities.

The facility will consist of conference rooms, a reading room with library, reading rooms, and office rooms.

The largest auditorium on the ground floor is intended to seat 188 people; the second largest hall will be located in the basement and is designed to seat 93 people, with the ability to split it into two smaller ones. The other rooms are rooms for 40, 36, 10, and 8 persons as well as reading rooms and an exhibition hall.

The basement has been set aside for conference rooms, a library with a reading room, a room with catering facilities, cloakroom, washing facilities and technical rooms. The ground floor will house the lowered entrance hall with reception, the main auditorium, conference rooms, offices and reading rooms, as well as sanitary units.

The implemented investment, will aim to efficiently use the potentials of cultural heritage in the international, national, regional and local levels. The upshot of the project will be an increase in the availability of cultural infrastructure and cultural heritage for society.

The transfer of the ICEAH to the Old Theatre building will allow us to broaden currently implemented activities. All actions in the scope of educational projects, including post-graduate studies, conferences and seminars, carried out so far by the ICEAH, will be developed and enriched with new elements and engaging activities.

The new educational proposal of the ICEAH within the same thematic scope, related to the dissemination of knowledge about Auschwitz and the Holocaust, will be based on:

  • the continuation of the currents forms of education,
  • new forms of activity, which could not be implemented in the current office conditions.

The history of the building:

The building of the so-called the Old Theatre was built before World War II. It was part of the Polish Army barracks, where in the spring of 1940, the German Nazi occupant created the Auschwitz concentration camp. During the war, the building housed among others the camp storehouse. In the years 1984-93, it was the seat of the contemplative order of the Discalced Carmelite Sisters. Afterwards, it was leased to the Association of War Victims. After numerous hearings, the Regional Court in Oświęcim ruled in March 2002 that the Association should turn the building over to the Polish State Treasury. In April 2004, the State Treasury Department transferred the Old Theatre building to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

The summary of the project


Katarzyna Oboza-Ziarko: +48 33 844 80 26

Monika Karpiel: +48 33 844 80 26