Museums "in situ" as Places of Reconciliation

Youth Meetings and Educational Activities at Former Concentration and Death Camps


  • Katarzyna Suszkiewicz Uniwersytet Jagielloński



Holocaust, philosophy of dialogue, education, reconciliation, youth international encounters


Museums at former concentration and death camps pose great challenges for their curators. The Holocaust – as a symbol of the collapse of European values – is interpreted differently by certain nations and states. These approaches are connected both with the past and with current historical policy, as well as with collective memory. This article focuses on the moment of the physical encounter between different national groups during educational activities at museums in situ such as the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, the State Museum at Majdanek, and the Museum of Struggle and Martyrdom in Treblinka. Such meetings may (or should) be an opportunity to learn about and understand (sometimes very) different national perspectives. Participation in educational projects may also become a catalyst to understand and promote reconciliation with the Other. The analysis is based on the philosophy of dialogue of Martin Buber, Emmanuel Levinas and Józef Tischner.


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Author Biography

Katarzyna Suszkiewicz, Uniwersytet Jagielloński

obtained an MA in European Studies (2009) and a PhD in social science, with a specialization in: political science at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków (2017). Her thesis deals with Holocaust perception in the political history of Israel. Her research interests revolve around the Holocaust, Israel, Polish-Israeli relations and issues of heritage and memory. She gained most of her academic experience collaborating with the Centre for the Holocaust Studies, where she was coordinator of the international seminar “Antisemitism and Racism in Europe – Fascist Ideology and Practice” (2008) and the project “Polish Prisoners in Norway during Second World War” realized under the supervision of the Falstad Memorial and Human Rights Centre in Norway (2010-2011). She has also been a recruiter for the International Teachers’ Summer Institute “Teaching about the Holocaust” (2008-2012). She also worked at the Galicia Jewish Museum in the exhibition department. She is co-author of the lesson plan for teachers “Hostility. Indifference. Rescue” for the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (2011) and author of the plans in “Identity-Heritage-Memory” for the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland (2009).




How to Cite

Suszkiewicz, Katarzyna. 2018. “Museums ‘in Situ’ As Places of Reconciliation: Youth Meetings and Educational Activities at Former Concentration and Death Camps”. Politeja 15 (1(52):145-66.