“…The magnitude of the Holocaust, planned and carried out by the Nazis, must be forever seared in our collective memory (…).
The depths of that horror, and the heights of their heroism, can be touchstones in our understanding of the human capacity for evil and for good …”
(from Stockholm Declaration signed in January 2000 by representatives of 45 states)
Prisoners of the main camp in Rogoźnica were evacuated in February 1945. The last transport left on 13th of February and abandoned camp was taken by the Russian Army. In March 1947 it was officially handed to polish authorities, which got down setting the post- camp grounds in order and guarding the camp remains. On 11.09.1947 arose Gross- Rosen Protection Committee. There was announced a competition for a mausoleum project to commemorate the victims of Gross-Rosen and gathering of funds for it started. On 2.11.1947 there was a ceremony of building a foundation stone into mausoleum by Adam Procki’s project. Its unveiling was in Autumn 1953. Ashes of prisoners were put in it. In 1963 the bronze statue was removed from the stone pedestal. In 1985 there were built two additional wings, which keep ground from former subcamps of Gross-Rosen.
Local authorities, to whom in 1947 was given the area of the former camp, guaranteed its protection employing watchmen, while when the direct caretaker of the camp was a town unit of Association of Former Political Prisoners in Świdnica, and then local unit of Freedom and Democracy Fighters Association (ZBoWid). Subject-related care over the territory of former camp Gross-Rosen was handed in ’50 of XXth century to State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau.
In the left wing of camp gate in 1958 appeared first Museum’s exposition.
In 1963 area of the former camp was inscribed to State Register of Historic Monuments, what caused granting funds to make necessary repair- securing works. Repaired were: barracks by the opening gate, foundations of other blocks, trees and bushes along the camp fence were grubbed up. For the watchman were adapted offices of the former SS casino and the rest of this building was pulled down.
At the beginning of ’70 subject-related care over the former camp Gross-Rosen was taken by the Historical Museum in Wrocław, focusing mostly on further securing camp remains, but at the same time begun works to reconstruct the SS casino. Thinking about the future exhibition, were gathered documents and showpieces connected with activity of KL Gross-Rosen.
In connection with administrative changes and creation the Wałbrzych Province care over the grounds took the District Museum in Wałbrzych.
In years 1978-1982 former SS casino was rebuilt, and now there are exhibition- and screening rooms of Museum.
The State Museum Gross- Rosen was founded on 21st of April 1983 by the power of the Decree of Art. and Culture Minister. This formation was wanted by prisoners societies and the then local authorities. They were aware that with the time it will be only less, if not totally impossible to collect and preserve memories and accounts of witnesses of those times, but also some salvage documents for future generations. So 38 years after the World War II, State Museum Gross- Rosen started a work, which aim was to preserve material remains after the former concentration camp, document the martyr and death of thousands of people on this particular piece of ground and give this knowledge to the present generation.
Goal of the Museum is to accumulate source materials to the history of Gross- Rosen complex, conduct research works and disseminating historical knowledge, protect post- camp remains and make them available for visitors. Works are conducted in three basic departments: Accumulation of Files, Scientific- Research-, and Educational.
In September 2005 after many years of efforts, thanks to Gross-Rosen Quarries Foundation supported by Polish-American Enterprise Fund, Museum’s territory was extended with the historical excavation. A place where worked and died prisoners of KL Gross-Rosen. Terrain was set in order, fenced and lightened.
In the Museum in Rogoźnica visitors may see the post-camp territory, the granite quarry- a place of prisoners’ work and following exhibitions:
- „KL Gross-Rosen 1941 – 1945”
- “AL Riese – satellite camps of the former concentration camp Gross- Rosen”
- “Lost Humanity”
- „French Barrack”
- “The Things, The Remembrances, The Sorrow That Remains…”
On the post- camp grounds preserved:
- Camp gate with two guardhouses;
- foundations of barracks and crematorium;
- camp bell;
- basement parts of baths, prisoners’ kitchen, loom and barrack 9/10;
- field crematorium;
- death wall-place of mass executions (today in this place are memorial plaques dedicated to victims of the camp);
- pieces of camp fence.
- Also preserved the old quarry, one of two main working places in the camp, inscribed in 1992 to the State Register of Historic Monuments.
Very important for Museum’s activity is popularization of issues connected with camp’s history among youth. There is also close cooperation with associations of former prisoners, a. o. t. from Wałbrzych, Wrocław, Poznań, Warszawa. Every year on first Sunday of September on the former camp grounds are organized anniversary ceremonies with formal field mass in intention of murdered ones.
In 1999 Museum lost the status of State Museum and at present its activity is financed by Local Government of Lower Silesia Province. These are limited funds, which do not allow for development complete scientific-, archive- and educational activity and also for assurance systematic conservation of the post-camp objects. Because of character of this place (terrain of former concentration camp, which is a „cementary” of thousands of victims) there is no admission charge.
So we would like to make an appeal for help and support of Museum’s activity. Donations can be contributed on Museum Gross-Rosen’s account:
BZ WBK SA 1 O/Wałbrzych
Nr PL 62 1090 2271 0000 0001 0201 9397
KOD SWIFT: WBKPPLPP
We will be very grateful and with satisfaction will rate you among batch of our sponsors.
We would like to thank Zeit Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius foundation from Hamburg , which supported Musum financially, transferring 1500 euros. It allowed us to finance partly xeroxes of documents from trial files of concentration camp Gross-Rosen staff, coming from archives in Ludwigsburg. This precious collection of examination protocols and former prisoners accounts enriched the Archive of Gross-Rosen Museum.
We would like to express our gratitude towards Mr. Karol Dziki and Marek Dziki for the financial support for the Museum. The amount they donated will be- as they wished- granted for the goal chosen by the director of Gross- Rosen Museum. We are glad to recognize both gentlemen as our sponsors.
We would like to thank Mr. Paul Fischer for the financial support of our Museum. The amount Mr. Fischer donated will- according to his will- cover the print of the book „AL Friedland – filia KL Gross-Rosen w Mieroszowie” (AL Firedland- a subcamp of KL Gross-Rosen in Mieroszów).