Poland in the Face of Totalitarianism. A Hub for Exploring History


Over one million: the number of documents so far included in our digital archives, ready to be launched with an international online conference on 12-13 January 2021.
The digital Pilecki Institute Archives gather and share documents devoted to the fate of Polish citizens who experienced the 20th-century German and Soviet totalitarian regimes. This material has been acquired from domestic and foreign institutions, such as the Bundesarchiv, the United Nations Archives, the British National Archives, the Institute of National Remembrance, Polish State Archives, and many others, in order to create a hub of knowledge and a center for comprehensive research enabling scholars, journalists, culture researchers and all interested parties to examine the history of World War II and the double occupation of Poland.
During the "Pilecki Institute Archives: Activation" conference, we will present our digital archives and discuss our collections and the role that archives play in the modern world, all in an international environment.
The conference will be held on the zoom platform and live on FB.
Simultaneous interpretation in Polish, English and German will be provided
Registration links:
9.00–10.15 - Opening - Wojciech Kozłowski, Director of the Pilecki Institute
- Presentation of the Pilecki Institute Archives and their holdings
- Pilecki Institute Archives – Krzysztof Wiśniewski, Pilecki Institute
- Bundesarchiv – Hanna Radziejowska, Pilecki-Institut Berlin
- UNWCC and the National Archives – John Cornell, Pilecki Institute
- Witnesses to the Age – Wojciech Saramonowicz, Pilecki Institute
- Chronicles of Terror – Karol Kalinowski, Pilecki Institute
10.30–12.00 - Panel I. Modern archives. How do contemporary archives reach their audiences?
Moderator: Tomasz Stefanek, Pilecki Institute
Tobias Herrmann, Bundesarchiv
Tamas Kiss, Centre for Digital Humanities at ELTE / Qulto International
Monika Maniewska, Pilecki Institute
Hanna Węgrzynek, Warsaw Ghetto Museum
14.00–15.30 - Panel II. Truth and narrative. The role of archives in modern debates on history
Moderator: Mateusz Werner, Pilecki Institute
Jochen Böhler, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Danuta Drywa, Stutthof Museum
Roger Moorhouse, historian, author of among others Poland 1939
Andrzej Zawistowski, Pilecki Institute
15.45–17.15 - Panel III. Archives in culture. How do documents give rise to stories?
Moderator: Barbara Schabowska, Adam Mickiewicz Institute
Grzegorz Czerniak, Pilecki Institute
Filip Gańczak, Institute of National Remembrance
Krzysztof Noworyta, culture animator
Kai Pfeiffer, visual artist
Hanna Radziejowska, Pilecki-Institut Berlin
18.00–19.15 - Panel IV. Postwar criminal investigations and trials. The historical value of postwar trial documentation in the context of research on World War II and postwar reckoning in modern democracies
During the debate we will talk about the historical value of trial documentation in the context of research on World War II. To what extent did the archival sources, interviews, and trial documentation that was produced in the period from the Nuremberg trials to the 1960s and 1970s open up new research perspectives on examining and describing crimes committed by the functionaries of the Third Reich? The fact that numerous postwar criminal investigations and trials were discontinued and resulted in the acquittal of many Austrian and German criminals also leads to important questions about the postwar reckoning in modern democracies.
Moderator: Hanna Radziejowska, Pilecki-Institut Berlin
Andrej Angrick, Hamburger Stiftung zur Förderung von Wissenschaft und Kultur
Christian Frosch, film director, screenwriter of among others Murer: Anatomy of a Trial
Joanna Nikel, Pilecki Institute
Read the full conference program and learn more about our speakers here:

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Contact details

The library of the Pilecki Institute


ul. Stawki 2, 00-193 Warszawa

Opening hours

Monday to Friday, 9:00 - 15:00


(+48) 22 182 24 75

The library of the Berlin branch of the Pilecki Institute


Pariser Platz 4a, 00-123 Berlin

Opening hours

Pon. - Pt. 10:30 - 17:30


(+49) 30 275 78 955


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