Memoria [EN] Nr 35 (08/2020) - Page 16

Tourism with values

Paweł Sawicki

When reading about the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer, one can see two interpenetrating spheres - the sphere of tourism and the sphere of reflection. I will talk about tourism in a while, but first I would like to ask, for which reflection was the Centre created?

The Centre for Dialogue and Prayer in Oswiecim was established for all those who were moved by a visit to the former German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, and who find it difficult to leave in a car, train or coach right away and drive off without putting their thoughts in order or calming their emotions. A visit to such a place is profoundly memorable and raises many questions. We all experience emotions in different ways; however, the most important thing is to allow personal time and space, and at the same time, be ready to listen and talk. Our mission is to create a place for dialogue between people of different cultures, beliefs and religions.

Indeed, the proximity of the Memorial itself, as well as the constant cooperation with the Museum, encourages reflection.

Yes, we can look at the “proximity” of the Centre for Dialogue to the Auschwitz Memorial in two perspectives. Geographical, since the distance between us, is merely 750 m, which is a “walking distance”. On the other hand, the “closeness” of our institutions necessitates long-term cooperation based on mutual trust, focused on education about genocide and the Holocaust, resulting in numerous international projects or conferences. Seizing the opportunity, I would like to thank the management of the Museum for their sympathy for our Institution and empathy in various situations.

In the immediate vicinity of the Auschwitz Memorial operates the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer. Below we publish an interview with the Director of the Centre, Rev. Jan Nowak.