Centre for Dialogue and Prayer in Oświęcim

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About us

The Centre for Information, Meetings, Dialogue, Education and Prayer is a Catholic institution which began in 1992. It was founded by Archbishop Franciszek Cardinal Macharski in co-operation with the bishops of Europe as well as with representatives of Jewish organisations.

The aim of the Centre which in 1998 took the name of the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer and is built in the neighbourhood of the Auschwitz concentration camp, is to create a place for reflection, education, sharing and prayer for all those who are moved by what happened here. The Centre commemorates the victims and contributes to creating mutual respect, reconciliation, and peace in the world.

Although our house is called the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer, it often seems that we should not start with either prayer or dialogue. One should start with silence and listening, listening mainly to the voice of the earth of Oświęcim. This concrete encounter with the history of the place and visiting the memorial museum is deeply moving to almost everyone. We wish to help our guests by creating in the Centre an atmosphere of openness, friendship and peace. On request we help with the planning of programmes, we enable guests to get in touch with the memorial place, we are available for meetings, conversation and reflection.


“Among numerous initiatives that are being under- taken in the spirit of the Council for the Jewish-Christian dialogue, I would like to mention a centre for information, education, meeting and prayer that is being prepared in Poland.

It is to facilitate the research on the Shoah and on the martyrdom of the Polish people and of other European peoples at the time of national socialism, as well as to help with the spiritual confrontation with these problems. One can hope that it would bear abundant fruit and could also serve as an example for other nations.”

John Paul II, 24.06.1988.

Meetings with former prisoners are very important. They show not only the human face of suffering but also how to take responsibility for the future. As far as possible we help our guests to establish these contacts.

Auschwitz was a place where interpersonal relations were destroyed. This is the biggest wound and is bleeding until now. Healing can come only by meeting. Building trust "after Auschwitz" is an important task even if it is a difficult one. Trust is needed in order to encounter one another openly without fear and be able to listen and give testimony. To create such an atmosphere is our main task.

Dialogue and identity belong to each other. We invite you to participate in our religious retreats. Interfaith prayer in the context of Auschwitz fills us with hope. Auschwitz raises questions about God, evil, vocation, responsibility, guilt and forgiveness, Christian-Jewish relations. We encounter here great testimonies of faith and the victory of human dignity. In recent years the figure of Edith Stein and the example of John Paul II have become especially important.

Encounters between young people are both serious and joyful and make us aware of the living dimension of our “responsibility after Auschwitz.”

It is our dream that people who visit Auschwitz and are confronted by these terrible memories may also experience a positive message coming out of this place, one that is filled with mutual respect and new hope.

We warmly invite you to come to Auschwitz for reflection, encounter, prayer and cooperation.

Rev. Jan Nowak                              Rev. Manfred Deselaers


benedict„By God’s grace, together with the purification of memory demanded by this place of horror, a number of initiatives have sprung up with the aim of imposing a limit upon evil and confirming goodness. Just now I was able to bless the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer. […] So there is hope that this place of horror will gradually become a place for constructive thinking, and that remembrance will foster resistance to evil and the triumph of love.”

Benedict XVI, 28.05.2006



"Civilisation of Love" - Film by Christoph Wolf about the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer in Oświęcim, 2009, 20 min.


Krakowska Fundacja
Centrum Dialogu i Modlitwy
w Oświęcimiu
ul. M. Kolbego 1, 32-602 Oświęcim

tel.: +48 (33) 843 10 00
tel.: +48 (33) 843 08 88
fax: +48 (33) 843 10 01

Education Department: education@cdim.pl
Reception: reception@cdim.pl

GPS: 50.022956°N, 19.19906°E


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