The Centre for Dialogue and Prayer in Oświęcim

Education Department – Programme offer

tel. +48 33 843 1000

Beata Sereś – Coordinator of the Education Department
Fr. dr Manfred Deselaers – Pastor abroad of the German Episcopate

The Education Department implements the goals of the Krakow Foundation for the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer in Oświęcim, related to educational and religious activities, regarding the extermination of nations for racial reasons during World War II, and in particular at Auschwitz-Birkenau – a German Nazi concentration and extermination camp.

The tasks of the Education Department include preparing programmes, organizing stays for study groups, youth meetings, international conferences and seminars as well as retreats and retreat days. Educational activities include lectures, conversations, prayers, reflections summarizing the visit to the Memorial.

The Education Department is responsible for the functioning of the library and film library, organization and dissemination of permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as volunteering in Oświęcim and Germany.

Projects and programmes are implemented based on cooperation with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow and other educational institutions in Poland and abroad.

On request we enable:

a) At the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum:

  • visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum with a guide
  • the possibility of research in the archive of the Museum
  • lectures, workshops and multimedia presentations on the history of the former Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp
  • a visit to the Collections Department combined with a presentation of works made by prisoners
  • cleaning work at the Memorial site
  • meditation of the Way of the Cross or other prayers (organized by the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer)

b) In the city of Oświęcim:

  • visiting the city of Oświęcim
  • visiting the Jewish Museum and the Synagogue in Oświęcim
  • visiting the exhibition “Roma history and culture” and participation in the workshop “Roma in KL Auschwitz-Birkenau” at the Association of the Roma in Oświęcim
  • visiting the Castle Museum in Oświęcim
  • visiting the exhibition “Cliches of memory. Labyrinths” by former Auschwitz prisoner Marian Kołodziej in Harmęże
  • visiting the site of sub-camps of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • meeting with young people from Oświęcim schools

c) In our Centre for Dialogue and Prayer:

  • meetings with witnesses of history (if possible)
  • use of library and film library resources
  • contact with scientists and specialists
  • ethical and religious reflections
  • study days, seminars
  • worship
  • retreat

Lectures – Fr. Dr Manfred Deselaers:

  • Experiences of dialogue at the threshold of Auschwitz. The importance of Jewish, Polish, German and other perspectives
  • “Where was God in Auschwitz?” – Review of different answers
  • Maximilian Kolbe, Edith Stein and other witnesses of faith
  • Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis at Auschwitz
  • The worldview and conscience of Rudolf Höss, commandant of the Auschwitz camp

We are happy to help you create

  • a one or several days programme
  • study or retreat stay suitable for the group.

Ways to Support Our Foundation

One of the sources of financing the Foundation's activities are the donations received, which allow us to educate the public on topics related to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp.