The Center for Reflection
How did human beings become mass murderers during WWII and the Holocaust? Why did the Allies not bomb Auschwitz? Could a victim also be a perpetrator or bystander? Where was God during the Holocaust? What happened to the concepts of good and evil after the Shoah? These and other ethical, philosophical and theological questions regarding the Holocaust, inevitably raised in the minds and hearts of visitors to Auschwitz-Birkenau, are presented in the Center for Reflection attached to the new permanent exhibition in Block 27.
The Center for Reflection is based on the same successful model as the innovative Learning Center that opened at Yad Vashem in 2005. Some of the 13 major questions raised in the new center are taken from those featured at Yad Vashem, and others were devised especially in connection to a visit to the infamous death camp by European-Polish teachers, who form the greatest proportion of educators at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
In the Center, audio-visual presentations (in Polish, English and Hebrew) by renowned Holocaust survivors, religious leaders, authors, artists, researchers, historians and educators impart a variety of opinions and approaches designed to illustrate the broad range of responses to the basic issues arising from Holocaust-related study. The new Center is thus designed to encourage fruitful deliberations and discussions among educational groups, and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum has decided that all teachers undergoing in-house training at the Museum will also participate in a training session at the Center.