Virtual Panel: Outside the Gates of Auschwitz: ‘Site-Seeing’, Education and Commemoration

Since it opened in 1947, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum’s mission to educate the public has focused mainly upon site-based learning, encouraging visitors to witness and reflect in the former camp space. Over the last few years, however, efforts have been made to bring the history and memory of the former camp to as wide an audience as possible, particularly in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. What are the benefits and challenges of bringing the history of Auschwitz outside its gates? What impact may this have on education and commemoration? And how might the ever-increasing reliance on digital technologies change visitors’ relationship with the physical site in years to come?

About the Panel

Dr Imogen Dalziel is part-time Programme Co-ordinator for the Holocaust and Genocide Research Partnership, and also works as a freelance Holocaust researcher and educator. Her doctorate, obtained from Royal Holloway, University of London in late 2020, explored the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum’s adaptation to the digital museum. Imogen’s broader research interests include the history of the Auschwitz Museum; Holocaust tourism; and Holocaust memory in the digital age.

Paul Salmons is Director of Paul Salmons Associates, creating museum exhibitions and educational projects that explore difficult, challenging histories. He is consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Chief Curator of Seeing Auschwitz (produced for UNESCO and the United Nations); and Curator of Musealia’s award-winning Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. He is consulting on two major new permanent exhibitions that will open in New York City and St Louis, Missouri. Paul helped create the Holocaust Exhibition at the Imperial War Museum; co-founded the Centre for Holocaust Education at University College London; and played a leading role in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

Paweł Sawicki is Press and PR Officer at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, where he has worked since 2007. He is responsible for the Museum’s social media and his work also encompasses conducting guided tours; English-Polish translation; and photography, the latter most notably featured in the 2012 Museum publication Auschwitz-Birkenau: The Place Where You Are Standing. Before joining the Auschwitz Museum, Paweł worked as a presenter and journalist for Polish Radio 2, often covering events connected with the history of the Holocaust and World War II.

Clementine Smith is Director of Programmes and Deputy Managing Director at the Holocaust Educational Trust, where she has worked for over 10 years. During her time at the Trust, Clementine has led the Trust’s Ambassador Programme (including the launch of the Regional Ambassador Programme in 2013), and now oversees the strategic development and delivery of the Trust’s core programmes. In 2020, Clementine played an integral part in the team’s pivot towards online delivery for the Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz Project; Outreach Programme; Teacher Training offer; and youth engagement work.

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