ON THE HISTORY OF POST-CAMP PLACES AND THE FUTURE OF MUSEUMS
Places with a difficult history and museums arising in post-camp places – their role, problems, forms of action and perspectives. These issues were the main topics of the nationwide scientific conference 'Histora w przestrzeniach pamięci. Obóz – miejsce – muzeum' (History in spaces of remembrance. Camp – place – museum) which was held in Lublin on October 7–9, 2019.
A wide range of topics was raised during the event. On the first day, the speakers focused on outlining the history of places that were once concentration and death camps, including their intended purpose. They discussed the fate of individual groups of prisoners, presented the legacy of files and looked at the writings.
On the next day issues related primarily to the establishment and functioning of museums in authentic memorial sites, and their current and future role were raised. An important point of the day, being at the same time a summary of everything that had been said, was the first conference debate organized at the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University. The participants discussed the meanings, functions and contexts of the post-camp places.
On the third day, the conference was moved to the Lublin Conference Center. The last day of the meeting was dominated by the issues of researching various areas in the activities of museums. The results of audience research carried out at the State Museum at Majdanek and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum were presented with particular emphasis on acquired historical knowledge and the feelings of the recipients after visiting these places. The role of research in the development of education at memorial sites, as well as the psychological aspects of the post-camp trauma were discussed. On this day, a second conference debate took place, during which the potential, opportunities and threats of martyrdom museums in Poland were discussed.
The jubilee conference was accompanied by many important behind-the-scenes talks. We would like to thank the speakers and discussors for their participation.