The New Main Exhibition is being created at the Auschwitz Museum

The New Main Exhibition is being created at the Auschwitz Museum

The Auschwitz Museum has signed a contract with an architectural company for the preparation of design documentation for the reconstruction and conservation work of the first two exhibition blocks, as well as detailed designs for the New Main Exhibition, the facility announced on Monday.

The exhibition will ultimately cover six post-camp blocks. Everything will be completed in the coming years.

The contract was concluded with the company LS Projekt Pracownia ArchitektonicznaThe museum did not provide any deadlines. It indicated, however, that on the ground floors of two former camp blocks in the former German KL Auschwitz I - 8th and 9th, there will be this part of the main exhibition that will introduce the camp experience of prisoners of the German Auschwitz camp. It will show the camp from the perspective of a prisoner, which is subject to a process of total objectification, use as slave labour, exhaustion and the overwhelming majority to death.

“The axis of the narrative will be the dehumanization policy pursued by the SS garrison, who tried to make only a number day after day, trampling on his dignity before physically destroying him. This part of the exhibition will be largely based on the testimonies of the survivors, camp items and photographs of inmates, ”said Ewa Matlak, project manager of the New Main Exhibition.

The new exhibition as a whole aims to tell the history of Auschwitz in a modern, accessible and at the same time balanced way. The authors intend to become a key educational tool in preparing the next generations to properly understand what the camp, the Holocaust, and the victim of Poles imprisoned in this place were.

The new exhibition will be divided into three parts. The first part will present the perpetrators, the camp as an institution, as well as logistics and planning to change the concentration camp into a centre for the extermination of Jews in gas chambers. The second deals with the Holocaust as seen from the victims' perspective. Private items brought to the camp by deported Jews will be on display. The third will focus on the concentration camp prisoners and showing the dehumanization planned by the Germans.

The change in the main exhibition, which with corrections has been in existence since 1955, was primarily forced by the development of research on the history of Auschwitz and a generational replacement among visitors to the former German camp. It is also important that visitors from various geographical and cultural spaces come to the Museum. The present exhibition emphasizes the mass murder of the Germans. The new narrative will be expanded to include the fate of the individual and the individual dimension of the crime.

The first works on the new exhibition started in 2008. It was then that a preliminary concept was created, which is the work of the Museum employees cooperating with experts including from the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Israel.

The Germans established the Auschwitz camp in 1940 to imprison Poles there. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was established two years later. It became the site of the extermination of Jews. There was also a network of sub-camps in the camp complex. In Auschwitz, the Germans killed at least 1.1 million people, mainly Jews, as well as Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and people of other nationalities.

In 1947, a museum was established on the premises of the former Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau camps. In 1979, the former camp was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as the only facility of this type. (PAP)

author: Marek Szafrański