A European Workshop on Dealing with the Past of Auschwitz Burdened by Violence, was organized by Maximilian Kolbe Foundation and was held at the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer in Oświęcim from 10 – 15 August.

Participants in the workshops were people who represented Catholic and state organizations from European countries. There were representatives from: Germany, Ukraine, Slovenia, Ireland, Czech Republic, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Poland.

Bishop Ludwig Schick and Bishop Wiktor Skworc were the honourable guests at this workshop. They were the representatives of the Polish and German Churches and are members of the council of the Maximilian Kolbe Foundation.

During the sixday workshop the group visited Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau and they met witnesses of the Holocaust – Wilhelm Brasse, Kazimierz Smoleń, and Ignacy Krasnokucki.

Dr. Piotr Cywiński, Director of the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau gave a lecture entitled: The Role of Remembrance in Auschwitz and the Difficulties after Auschwitz. Another lecture was given by Prof. Jacek Bomba, Director of the Cathedra of Psychiatry, Jagiellonian University, Krakow entitled KZ Syndrome and the Syndrome of Posttraumatic Stress.

During the workshop participants discussed the problems which arose after WWII in their countries and about the processes of reconciliation now in progress. Representatives spoke from German, Bosnian, Ukrainian and Polish perspectives.

The aims of this workshop were to activate the process of joint recognition of each other; to acknowledge the suffering of the victims; to support the structures and processes of reconciliation.