Apart from material cultural property (so-called material heritage) there also exists non-material martyrological heritage, formed mainly by the context of places often present in the accounts by former prisoners referred to by historians (crematoria, roll calls, punishments), where in some cases the reference in today’s spatial arrangement of the area is absent or only partially clear.
The notion of martyrological heritage emerged in the second part of the conference dedicated to legal aspects of conducting archaeological works within memorial sites. The following experts presented their position in this field: the Monument Conservator for the Pomerania Region, acting on behalf of Monument Conservator’s Office in Gdańsk; an expert involved in legal aspects of archaeology representing the University of Wrocław; a representative of the General Police Headquarters; a representative of the National Heritage Institute; and a representative of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. During their presentations, they discussed the topic of protection of the area of former camps and memorial sites, enumerated the threats that facilities of this kind have to face nowadays, and presented how to minimalize the risk of loss or illegal activities of third parties. Most importantly, however, the need for the amendment of law directly relating to former concentration camps in Poland emerged during the summary discussion. Unfortunately, the legislator has at different levels failed to take into consideration the specific character of such places, objects and activities necessary to preserve the site and context as well as, most importantly, the memory. In those fields where the essence of the activity is to preserve the authenticity, any interference in the area becomes problematic. Dialogue seems a crucial element here and the space for it was ensured within the conference programme, i.e. in the third panel relating to the ethics of conducting the works within memorial sites. The notion of ethics in connection with martyrology is very broad and has been discussed many times.