Centre for Dialogue and Prayer in Oświęcim

My home town: Oświęcim. Miejsce zamieszkania: Oświęcim. Wohnort: Oświęcim.

The aim of this publication is to express thoughts, feelings, ideas of people who were born and live in the place which for others has a symbolic meaning, is a place of extermination. The voice of people from Oświęcim is the voice of those who spent their childhood, youth in here, have happy and sad memories with this place. They want to share their experience with others who cannot understand how it is possible to live here.
  
 

All texts in German, Polish and English. Editor Elżbieta Głowacka.
Biblioteka Centrum Dialogu i Modlitwy 3
Centrum Dialogu i Modlitwy w Oświęcimiu, 2005
Contact: edukacja@cdim.pl

 

Introduction

The aim of this publication is to express thoughts, feelings, ideas of people who were born and live in the place which for others has a symbolic meaning, is a place of extermination. The voice of people from Oświęcim is the voice of those who spent their childhood, youth in here, have happy and sad memories with this place. They want to share their experience with others who cannot understand how it is possible to live here.

The publication has been written by students of Oświęcim high schools: Aneta Brombosz, Paula Borkowska, Małgorzata Smętek, Urszula Bieniek, Barbara Wawro, together with Anna Ślęczka, Silesian University graduate and Elżbieta Głowacka, coordinator of the whole project. All of them met at the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer in autumn, 2002. All of them took part in the project titled My home town :Oświęcim. The first edition of the project, organised for the Oświęcim young people by the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer ended in June, 2003. Lots of shared experiences, especially those connected with the dialogue with the Others left us with memories, impulses, led to a deeper analysis of ourselves and the place we live, finally the role of Oświęcim in its citizens lives. Among reasons to make this publishing in Polish, German and English there were meetings with Guests to Oświęcim as well as the journey of Young Ambassadors from Oświęcim to Germany.

Writing about the Guests to Oświęcim I mean all those who come to KL Auschwitz to visit the site of extermination of over one million souls.  Many of them sometimes cover long distances to confront with the tragic history known to the whole world.  Not many realize that not far from the place where the concentration camp was, there is a town of Oświęcim.

Be my guest, I`ll show you Oświęcim

But there are also those who want  to move back in time, learn about the history of Oświęcim before 1939 and compare it with how the town looks now. Quite a lot of them, especially young people want to combine a trip to the place of memory, as Germans call it, with meeting Polish young people, people from Oświęcim. Meetings in Oświęcim have a special character. They are usually accompanied by strong emotions, questions difficult to be answered. Because how can you answer the question: How come it is so green in here?

Who are those Young Ambassadors from Oświęcim? – They are inhabitants of Oświęcim exploring the history of their hometown and at the same time living their lives. They laugh, have fun, dreams, make plans for future. Their world is similar to worlds of any others who live in a Polish, German, French, English ... town of similar size. The Ambassadors though have a special mission. They can or even should become Ambassadors of Peace. Thanks to them the tragic events of 1940-1945 should remain in memory and conscience of the whole world, building bridges among people at the same time. The authors used a variety of forms (articles, reflections, accounts, poems, questions and attempts to answer them, interviews, pictures of people and places) to express everything what is important to them, everything they want to share with You, Dear Reader.

Elżbieta Głowacka
 

Contents

Introduction – Elżbieta Głowacka

Oświęcim - what does this word mean? – Elżbieta Głowacka

Historical explanation of the names “Oświęcim” and “Auschwitz” – Elżbieta Skalińska-Dindorf

A brief history of the town – Elżbieta Skalińska-Dindorf

On the Jewish trail in Oświęcim – Artur Szyndler

My Oświęcim – Małgorzata Smętek

Autumn reflections – Elżbieta Głowacka

Project Home town Oświęcim – Elżbieta Głowacka

Here I was born, that's where I live ... and that's where I write about what I feel – Urszula Bieniek

What am I thinking anyway? – Paula Borkowska

Portrait – Anna Ślęczka

What do people in Oświęcim think and feel who were born here or who have come here and spent the greater part of their lives here? Statements from our relatives and friends – Aneta Brombosz and Barbara Wawro

Vigil for Peace – Paula Borkowska

Building bridges – Manfred Deselaers
 

Contact


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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