Memoria [EN] No. 5 / February 2018 - Page 24

In January 2018, the Research Centre for Economics of Memorial Sites was established at the SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw, the task of which is to conduct academic research in the area of economics, finance and management of the proper establishment, functioning and preservation of memorial sites around the world. The Head of the Centre is Adam Szpaderski, Associate Professor of Management at SWPS University.

Due to the innovative nature of the research conducted, and the socio-economic importance of problems addressed, the Centre has the unique opportunity of becoming a leading research centre on a national and ultimately international scale, as well as provide conditions for the creation of a platform for co-operation and exchange of experience between representatives of academic communities, states, businesses and non-governmental organisations working for the preservation of Memorial Sites.

The comprehensive and multifaceted international research centre will primarily include memorial sites of former Nazi Germany concentration camps, extermination centres and the largest places of mass execution in such countries as Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Germany, Norway, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Hungary and Italy. In further stages, the research will be extended to include other memorial sites around the world.

Paweł Sawicki spoke to the head of the Centre, Professor Adam Szpaderski, about the idea and challenges of the Research Centre for Economics of Memorial Sites.

I would like to begin with a question about the idea. Why was it created and why do we need a new research centre related to the economic and organisational analysis of the functioning of memorial sites?

Until now, this has been an unexplored topic. I conducted a preliminary library survey of Anglo-Saxon academic literature on economy and finance from the last 40 years, and this issue was practically nowhere to be found. When we talk about memorial sites, it is usually about research in cultural, historical and partly political studies. The sphere of economic sciences is untouched. Practice, however, shows that this “branch” is functioning; it has a high turnover, and there is a social need for the revenue of these places, and the accomplishment of a social mission regarding the preservation of cultural heritage requires considerable outlays. Long-term conservation on the premises of the Auschwitz II-Birkenau


Paweł Sawicki