Exhibition - Instytut Pileckiego
The Volunteer. Witold Pilecki and his Mission in Auschwitz
As an officer of the Polish underground state, he volunteered to be arrested in a street raid and then transported to the concentration camp. Once there, he informed the world of the Nazi atrocities. Witold Pilecki also spent two and a half years organizing an armed resistance movement. But the Allies kept silent. Finally he escaped from the concentration camp.
But that was not all: after lobbying the Polish underground state to destroy the camps, he fought in the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. His life came to a tragic end. He was convicted and murdered by the Communist regime in a show trial based on fabricated and falsified evidence.
The story of his struggle against the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century is an occasion to ask universal questions about the nature of evil and man’s ability to resist it, about memory and its erasure. The exhibition was created in cooperation with Prof. Jochen Boehler from the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena and Dr. Piotr Setkiewicz from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. Pilecki’s story is told not only through his reports, but also through unique objects. These include the Enigma machine, fragments of the destroyed “Grand Theater” in Warsaw, previously unknown documents from the Auschwitz trials in Frankfurt, and a number of original exhibits from the museum in Auschwitz.
Curators: Jack Fairweather, Hanna Radziejowska