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The participants of the academic expedition from Kraków honoured the memory of Poles imprisoned in Sachsenhausen.

Dr Mateusz Szpytma, the Deputy President of the Institute of National Remembrance, joined the "Following in the Footsteps of Sonderaktion Krakau trail - in memoriam of Prof. Andrzej Małecki ".

The participants of the academic expedition arrived at the former German Sachsenhausen concentration camp on 16 November 2019. They walked from the Sachsenhausen Nord Banhoff railway station - the place where Germans brought the previously arrested Kraków professors in 1939 - to the former concentration camp. The participants further  visited the museum, including the place where the Commander of the Home Army, General Stefan Rowecki "Grot" was imprisoned.

In the former camp laundry facility, Archbishop of Szczecin-Kamieniec Andrzej Dziega celebrated a mass. After the service, the participants had the opportunity to see the place where the execution of prisoners was carried out and where barracks No. 45 and 46, in which the Kraków professors were imprisoned, stood. After the Roll Call of the Fallen, the soil brought from under the Memorial Oak in front of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków was scattered there. Dr Szpytma laid a wreath. Flowers were also laid under a plaque commemorating the professors and Poles imprisoned in Sachsenhausen. Later that day a meeting was held at the Polish Embassy in Berlin.

 

 

On 17 November the participants visited Nuremberg and the place where the trial of German war criminals took place before the International Military Tribunal. They laid flowers and lit candles in the former German concentration camp in Dachau (near Munich), on the site of barracks No. 23 and No.28 where the Polish professors were imprisoned. A Holy mass for professors, Jesuits and other prisoners was celebrated near the camp. At the Polish Consulate in Munich, the head of the IPN’s National Education Office in Kraków, Michał Masłowski handed out educational materials to the Polish community (books, guides, albums and CDs with patriotic songs).

 

 

 

The educational trip to Germany, organized by the Ne Cedat Academia Association and the Institute of National Remembrance in Kraków, began on 14 November 2019 with a Holy Mass in the collegiate church of St. Anna, after which a special blessing was given to the participants of the expedition by the Metropolitan of Krakow Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski. In the Collegium Novum of the Jagiellonian University, in the legendary lecture hall No. 56 they met with the former Vice Chancellor of AGH University of Science and Technology Prof. Bronisław Barchański.

 

 

On the next day, in Wrocław at Świebodzka str. ,a ceremony took place near the walls of the prison, in which one hundred Sonderaktion Krakau prisoners were held. The representatives of Wrocław and Kraków universities, city authorities, employees of the Institute of National Remembrance from branches in Wrocław and Kraków, representatives of 22 AWŚSK and Ne Cedat Academia took part in the event. After laying flowers under the plaque commemorating prisoners, the participants of the expedition visited the prison building.

 

 

The next point of the program was laying wreaths under a commemorative plaque on the wall of the prison at Kleczkowska str, where another 70 prisoners were detained. The IPN branch in Kraków was represented by Michał Masłowski, Dariusz Gorajczyk, Katarzyna Łysak, Marcin Chorązki and Ryszard Kotarba. The undertaking was held under the patronage of the Vice Chancellor of the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków, prof. Tadeusz Słomka.

 

 

The purpose of the trip was to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the insidious imprisonment of professors from Krakow universities and their deportation by the Germans to Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps. Similarly to previous expeditions initiated by the late Prof. Małecki, the founder of the Association, also the current trip was combined with a historical description of the various stages of martyrdom of the Kraków scholars, lectures, film screenings and bringing back memories. Scholars from Krakow universities, students, family members of the arrested professors, high school students, IPN employees and journalists were all involved in the project. The route led from Kraków via Wrocław to Sachsenhausen and Dachau.

Academic expeditions to the places of execution of Polish scholars, which the Ne Cedat Academia Association has been organizing for 20 years, are of outstanding educational value. In recognition of this fact, they received the Pro Publico Bono Foundation Award in 2005. The commemorative plaque by the Oak of Freedom in front of the Jagiellonian University Collegium Novum is a visible trace of these expeditions, as the soil brought by the participants from the places of martyrdom of Polish scientists is placed there.

 

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