“Polish citizens in KL Auschwitz” – lesson and film about the fate of Polish citizens in the German Nazi Auschwitz camp
“Polish citizens in KL Auschwitz is the title of the educational project the main objective of which is to spread among young Poles reliable knowledge concerning the history and fate of the citizens of the Second Polish Republic incarcerated and murdered in German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz. Official inauguration of the project took place on June 13th in the Janusz Korczak Hall in the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, with Maciej Kopeć, vice-minister of national education, among its participants.
The authors of the project write: “The subject of German Nazi concentration camps and extermination centres remains one of the most important and at the same time toughest challenges to be faced by teachers in Poland – both when it comes to reliable presentation of the subject as well as encouraging the students to go deeper into the topic. We still lack factual materials connected with this field as well as model mechanisms for sharing them within the educational process”.
„Nowadays, when history often becomes the subject of interpretation, there exists a particularly strong need to refer to facts and quote reliable historical sources. Current young generation should be aware of the tragic history connected with extermination centres during the Second World War”, said Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, Director of the Auschwitz Museum. “This history should also be learnt through the fate of individual victims and heroes. This is of particular importance now, when there are less and less eyewitnesses of those dramatic times among us”, he added.
The project consists of three elements: first, the educational documentary “Świadkowie” (Witnesses) directed by Mirosław Krzyszkowski, narrated by Marek Zając. It presents the portraits and fate of Polish citizens deported to the camp and incarcerated there – Poles, Jews and Roma – in the context of the history of Nazi Germany, the establishing and functioning of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp as well as the entire German extermination and terror apparatus. Next elements of the project include an educational package together with lesson scenario as well as workshops for teachers.