Survivor of Auschwitz talking about this website
Dr. Niedzwiecki: I’d like you to speak a couple of words to young people: what do you think about the new information; what is in your opinion important for the young generation – should they review, study it, should they try to build up the future on the base of that knowledge?
August Kowalczyk: Today I had the possibility to talk about a long learning process which took place over 60 years. We, victims of Nazis, victims of the Second World War, we intensified our knowledge over those years. Knowledge that at the beginning, seemed to be only a life experience of simple people.
While the time was passing by, we tried to educate ourselves. We were also searching for some documents. By doing that, our knowledge grew and we were thinking about how to connect our knowledge and experiences and how to pass it on to other generations in the best way.
What is the best way to transfer it to different people? I had faith in the high educational worth of our experiences, but it was too little for a global scale.
As the Internet came into our lives, it was sure for me that something changed. Our whole life changed on the side of education. Today you just need to push a button and you have access to information, sometimes to too much information.
There is one thing, which connects Dr. Rath and me. It is our “relationship” to IG Farben.
Dr. Rath intensifies his knowledge about IG Farben every day and not only of my associations and my observations from the past. He uses the possibility to access the very rarely visited archives, where all those files are available. There are existing files which prove the main role of IG Farben and those people who were standing behind it and who are identified on different websites for that what they did.
If we want to get know the whole history and to try to live the history, we shouldn’t do it only by watching films like “Stawka wieksza niz zycie.” We must also use the information on websites, which is very interesting, surprising and tense, like crime novels, or which highlight sadness and bitterness and connect all that with the same faces behind the curtain of the new Europe .
Dr. Niedzwiecki: How do you judge the fact that all those important files were hidden for over 60 years and that nobody was interested in IG Farben?
August Kowalczyk: We have so many important files which are very interesting, especially for us Polish people. For example Sikorski – that’s one big secret until today - and all those truths about “enemies from the east”. Those are things which are not known.
It is not saying too much if I tell you that somebody did it specifically; that somebody hid it in the deepest drawer.
It took a smart man who was trying to explore the truth and all those important facts from the past to unlock and publish those files. Now every human in the world can create his own view about it.
August Kowalczyk is a survivor of Auschwitz and the founder of the Auschwitz Memorial Hospice.