Before the Holocaust, most of the residents of Auschwitz were Jews.
For generations, Jewish residents founded here their families and created an extremely rich and varied culture. The tragedy of the Holocaust put an end suddenly vibrant with Jewish life.
In 1995. In New York, he established the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation, whose aim was to create a center of Jewish culture and education in Auschwitz. For this task was set up a year later in Poland Foundation, a sister organization of the Jewish Educational Center in Auschwitz.
In September 2000, the Auschwitz Jewish Center was officially opened. The center is a non-governmental institution whose aim is to cultivate the memory of Jews – residents of the city, as well as educate future generations about the world, which disappeared forever during the Holocaust and teaching about the dangers of prejudice and intolerance.
Since September 2006, the Centre is affiliated with the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. (Taken from “Mission and History” of the Auschwitz Jewish Center website)
The foundation for the International Youth Meeting Centre in Oświęcim was established on the 14th of June 1994
The founders are:
Action Reconciliation Service for Peace based in Berlin, Germany
The foundation is active in Poland and beyond its borders. The foundation is based in Oświęcim. The foundation has a legal personality and was brought into being for an indefinite period. The foundation is supervised by the polish Ministry of Education.
Aim of the foundation:
Taking over a role in the education of adolescents and adults from all over the world – especially for Polish and German adolescents – within the work of the IYMC in Oświęcim and on the basis of the history of the KL Auschwitz. (Taken from “About the Foundation” of MDSM website)
For over 50 years ARSP has been committed to working toward reconciliation and peace, as well as fighting racism, discrimination and social exclusion.
Today, these aims are continued and realised through the long-term international peace service programme. This is known as peace service because, in co-operation with our partners, volunteers develop their understanding of history and other cultures and societies, whilst experiencing and accepting different patterns of thought and behaviour. Nowadays, due to generational change, ARSP volunteers do not act from a feeling of personal guilt, but rather from the conviction that they want to make a positive contribution toward a more peaceful, just and tolerant world. Every year around 180 volunteers, mostly aged between nineteen and twenty five are active for ARSP in thirteen different countries on a variety of educational, historical, political and social projects. (Taken from “About” of ARSP website)
On January 27, 2011, the Topf & Söhne – Die Ofenbauer site of Auschwitz was opened on the former company premises. In this way, the state capital of Erfurt is committed to its responsibility against history and secures a historical place of learning and its irreplaceable potential to reflect ethical questions of working and economizing for the future. (Taken from “start page” of Erinnerungsort Topf and Söhne – Die Ofenbauer von Auschwitz website)
The Jewish Community of Bielsko-Biala was officially established in 1995. Previously, it was a subdivision of the Katowice Jewish community. The community has 50 members. It has a prayer house, where Shabbat and other festive celebrations take place, but there is no rabbi present and without the minyan prayers are held irregularly. The Community also maintains a kosher kitchen, a library and an archive.
The Bielsko-Biala Jewish Community Manages the Jewish cemetery in Bielsko and is also in charge of inactive cemeteries in Andrychowo, Cieszyn, Kety, Milowka, Auschwitz, Skoczów, Ustroń, Wadowice, Zator, Żywiec. (Taken from “Jewish religious organisations” of Virtual Shtetl website)
Rohatyn Jewish Heritage is a volunteer-led program of heritage preservation and education, working to re-connect the history of Rohatyn’s now-lost Jewish community with the people and places of the modern town. With the cooperation of current Rohatyn residents and volunteers from around the world, today the program focuses primarily on recovery of Jewish headstone fragments discovered in town and their return to the old Jewish cemetery. Future plans include a cleanup and rehabilitation of the old cemetery, a modest memorial space for recovered headstone fragments, and the development of educational materials to support a renewed appreciation of the intertwined communities which once lived in Rohatyn. (Taken from “About the Rohatyn Jewish Heritage Program” of Rohatyn Jewish Heritage website)
Stowarzyszenie “Studnia Pamieci” (The Well of Memory Association) is an NGO from Lublin, Poland that deals with Holocaust education memory and Jewish heritage in the Lublin region. We organize educational trips to memorial sites in Poland, Germany and Ukraine; conferences, seminars, lectures, exhibitions, meetings, and educational tours around Lublin, its monuments and places connected with the Jewish history and heritage. We also work to preserve the memory and historical places, to commemorate anniversaries and events connected to the Holocaust.
To find out more about Studnia Pamięci, visit their Facebook page.