what we think:
Jerzy Wójcik:“To understand today’s threats to the democratic system it is essential to analyze the social and political changes of the Weimar Republic from the interwar period. The German population gave legitimacy to the Nazi Party to the creation of the legal system, which has produced, among others, Auschwitz ... “
Wojciech Smoleń: “Auschwitz remains today axis of deliberations on authoritarianism and totalitarianism. But it would be wrong to assume that we have these problems behind us. In the face of growing trends, the revival of the authoritarian system in Europe is very possible ... “
Agnieszka Smoleń-Kocur:“Working with young people is the key to the future of our generations. How we will form today the young minds, this will have an impact on the shape of the reality in which we will be living in 30, 40 or 50 years ...”
We also provide lectures in English on World War II and Auschwitz. Lectures can be a very good way to prepare for a visit to the Auschwitz- Birkenau Memorial. They may complement the curriculum at secondary school and higher education levels. Our offer covers a wide range of subjects—from a purely historical topics such as the history of the rise of Nazism in Germany to in-depth issues related to the philosophy of Nazism as a political doctrine. We put a considerable emphasis on issues regarding Polish-Jewish relations, both in the context of the interwar period, the period of the Second World War II, and in post-war history. This also includes this issue of Polish-Israeli relations, which have their own dynamics and specifics. Duration of the lecture: 60 minutes + 30‒40 minutes for discussion and questions.
Over the years we have participated in numerous international seminars, which inspired us to create a comprehensive offer in terms of seminars for educators involved in education about the Holocaust. Thematic seminars lasting 1‒2 weeks should not be based on a series of lectures only, but also include workshops with educators and specialists in the field. Also a very important element of the seminars are visits to memorial sites, such as Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Majdanek, the former death camps at Treblinka, Sobibór, and Bełżec. Apart from the memorial sites, there are other museums which can provide a significant insight into aspects related to the Holocaust, and thus make a valuable addition to the program, i.e. Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, the Warsaw Uprising Museum in Warsaw, Schindler's factory in Krakow, Memorial Radegast in Łódź, etc. Of great importance are also visits to various institutions and meetings with the representatives of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, Jewish Culture Center in Krakow, Dialogue Forum in Warsaw, Galicia Jewish Museum and the International Youth Meeting Center in Oświecim and Auschwitz Jewish Center, Brama Grodzka in Lublin, and many others. A crucial element of the seminar is the right choice of the person handling the entire program. Program Manager will be responsible for not only the logistical aspects of the seminar, but also for the meetings summarizing the different stages of the program, for inspiring and moderating discussions that will take place during that seminar.
Workshops are an essential part of the educational process. Our team repeatedly ran educational workshops for students, Israeli soldiers, Polish and foreign groups interested in the history. We moderated meetings of Polish and Israeli groups of different ages. We are experienced in the substantive, methodological, and organizational contexts of conducting educational workshops for both: small groups and large assemblies of over 200 people. Workshops often take form of a meeting with a witness, survivor, person having personal memories of World War II. Our role is then consecutive (or simultaneous) translation of meetings for foreign groups.
Lectures & workshops:
- Auschwitz-Birkenau - introduction.
- The system of concentration camps in Nazi Germany.
- The interwar period and the rise of Nazi Germany.
- General Plan East - German policy towards Central Europe.
- "Final solution to the Jewish question" - the German plan to exterminate Jews.
- Operation Reinhard - the extermination of Polish Jews.
- Polish - Jewish relations during the interwar period.
- Polish - Jewish and Polish - Israeli relations today.
- Righteous Among the Nations - introduction to the analysis.