Volunteers of the Memorial honoured with the awards “If Not for Those Ten... ”


At the 72nd anniversary of establishing of the Museum at the site of the former German Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp, volunteers and representatives of institutions supporting voluntary work at the Memorial were honoured with the awards “If Not for Those Ten...”. Among them there were persons from Poland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Russia, the United States and Japan.


Photo: Marek Lach
Photo: Marek Lach
Photo: Marek Lach
Photo: Marek Lach
Photo: Marek Lach
Photo: Marek Lach
Photo: Marek Lach
Photo: Marek Lach
Photo: Marek Lach
Photo: Marek Lach

Each award ceremony marks a very special day both for the volunteers themselves as well as for coordinators of volunteering activities that we cooperate with. It is a possibility to say thank you to the volunteers for their great involvement in the work for the Museum.  

“The award is the expression of our appreciation and gratitude to those who with their work, involvement and activity contribute to maintaining and promoting the memory of Auschwitz and the Shoah. It concerns those active in different departments of the Museum: Conservation, Education, Collections, Library, Administration and other as well as those working outside the Museum for its benefit, e.g. translations, proofreading, e-learning”, said Andrzej Kacorzyk, Director of the International Centrer for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust.

“Together with them we are able to pass on the heritage of Auschwitz. We conduct fuller and broader educational activity, preserve the originality of the area and the objects, secure with conservation means priceless material traces of the victims”, Kacorzyk added.

Last year, over 450 volunteers, interns and trainees worked for the benefit of the Museum. “Some of them are continuing the programs which already last for many years, such as for example the students of schools from the Volkswagen company or schools in the Hanover area taking part in the “Oświęcim encounters” program, as well as the students of secondary schools from Oświęcim. But some of them are individuals who decide to devote part of their time to the work at the Memorial Site”, said Monika Pastuszka-Nędza, the head of Volunteers Bureau at the Memorial.

Last year, volunteers from the following countries got involved in their work for the Museum: Poland, Germany, United States, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Norway, Israel, Japan, United Kingdom, Brazil, Russia.

The award of the Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum “If Not For Those Ten..." is presented once every year to celebrate the anniversary of the Museum on 2 July 1947. The award is given to outstanding volunteers and coordinators of the voluntary service. The award is in the shape of a glass statue, to which an official letter is attached. The obverse side of the statue has the inscription in Polish and English “Gdyby zabrakło dziesięciu…” ("If Not for Those Ten...”).

Awards 2019:

Nura Abdelmohsen – intern at the Archives and volunteer at the Conservation Laboratories;

Gabriel Dittrich – member of Für die Zukunft lernen and employee of Campus Christophorus Jugendwerk in Breisach. He has been coordinating the visits of young people at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum for years;

Piotr Kondratowicz – tutor of a group of deaf apprentices from the Lower Silesian Special School and Educational Centre No. 12 for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired in Wrocław. Students from the school come to the Museum for internships every year and take part in the commemoration of June 14th anniversary as volunteers. In addition, Piotr Kondratowicz organizes trainings for Museum staff and guides on working with deaf people.

Olga Kulinchenko – coordinator of volunteering activity from Russia, from the Oral History Center in Voronezh;

Mateusz Mateja – intern from the Volkswagen internship program;

Kelsey Morgan – intern in the Archives where she made transcripts of interviews with Auschwitz survivors. A volunteer during commemoration events and anniversaries;

Peter Rössl – vounteer at the Conservation Laboratories as well as during conferences, commemoration events and anniversaries, i.e. 74th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz;

Hannah Skrzypczak – intern and volunteer at the Archives and Educational Projects;

Sakura Tohma – trainee and volunteer at the Conservation Laboratories;

Kinga Żelazko – intern at the Research Center as wlel as volunteer at the Volunteers Buerau, Archives and Library;