Location | Oswiecim, Poland (Auschwitz)
Photos | Found here
Blog | Read more about Amizade in Poland
Service Opportunities | Maintaining and upgrading the grounds at Auschwitz and at the Jewish cemetery in Oswiecim, preserving artifacts
Cultural and Recreational Highlights | Guided tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Berlin Holocaust Memorial Site and Museum, Tour of Krakow and Berlin, Wieliczka salt mine
Former concentration camps in Germany and Poland have been turned into centers of historical learning, mourning, and remembrance. Because the last generation of Holocaust survivors will pass away within the next two decades, future generations will have no opportunity to learn directly from a Holocaust survivor. Therefore, the importance of historical representation in memorial sites like concentration camps and Holocaust museums is more important now than ever. Honoring the last remaining Holocaust survivors and working to ensure the events of the Holocaust are never forgotten is an important and rare opportunity.
Through visits to historic sites in Germany and Poland, Amizade participants learn about the Holocaust and become a stronger part of the community committed to remembrance and bearing witness. Volunteers have the unique opportunity to engage in direct service work at the Auschwitz Museum. Yet the program focuses on the broader, community-driven moral and ethical question of how to continue daily work to ensure Holocaust victims’ lives are honored and that such an historic atrocity never occurs again.
Lodging | Comfortable hotels and hostels, similar to those in U.S.
Food | Polish and German cuisine
Flights | Easily accessible from the US
Visa | No
Communication | Cell networks; wifi
Closest Airport | Krakow and Berlin
Learn, Serve, Become Part of a Broader Moral Commitment
Participants learn about and more deeply understand the events leading up to and defining the Holocaust. They begin to comprehend the extent of lives lost. Through learning from historians and citizens who have worked with Holocaust survivors and their families, program participants become part of the community dedicated to honoring Holocaust victims and ensuring similar events never occur again. Volunteers work on the grounds of the Auschwitz Museum, participate in historical preservation activities and provide hands-on service to support existing efforts to maintain the camp. Participants will:
- Learn from historians and citizens with internationally unique understanding relating to the historic events of the Holocaust
- Work on projects that focus on historic preservation
- Tour the museums of Auschwitz, Birkenau and Stamleger
- View Holocaust memorials and other historic sites in Krakow
In addition to learning and serving at Auschwitz, participants visit the local towns of Krakow and Oswiecim. Oswiecim includes a Jewish Center, a Jewish Cemetery, and a traditional market square, while Krakow includes important evidence of its pre-War Jewish Community and the events of the Holocaust.
Current Focus: Remembrance
Survivors, their descendents, and many residents of surrounding communities support the preservation of the concentration camps and ongoing efforts to increase global awareness of the atrocities. All these voices emphasize the importance of the post-World War II mantra, “Never Again.”