Examples of the time witness project

Learning on Trauma of a whole nation in the history of Poland

Traumatic experiences of a human being have a big impact on his/her behaviour and the way of thinking. It is completely the same fo a whole nation.  It’s important that every nation learns from and gains experience through its history. To understand These Connections better, a Group of 28 students  went in June 2018 to Warsaw to visit places connected with the martyrdom of Poland. They wanted to identify those sources of the trauma of our nation. The students visited the Museum of Warsaw Uprising, Katyń Museum, the Museum of Political Prisoners during Communism, Powązki Cemetery and other similar sites. To get a deeper understanding of this part of our history, the students worked in groups to prepare presentations about their impressions. They had tto answer the following questions:

  1. What happened then?
  2. How does it influence our times?
  3. How will it affect our future?

Here are some examples of the presentations.

The Katyn Massacre

The Katyn Massacre (The Katyn Massacre or the Katyn Crime was a series of mass executions of Polish intelligensia carried out by the Soviet Union, specifically the NKVD (the Soviet secret police) in April and May1940. Though the killings took place at several places, the massacre is named after the Katyn Forest, where some of the mass graves were first discovered.)

Zbrodnia katyńska1.ppt
Microsoft Power Point Presentation 4.5 MB

The Warsaw Rising

The Warsaw Rising.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.1 MB
Powstanie warszawskie1.pptx
Microsoft Power Point Presentation 1.4 MB

The Museum of Anti-Communist soldiers

The museum of Anti-Communist soldiers.pd
Adobe Acrobat Document 3.3 MB
Muzeum Żołnierzy Wyklętych1.pptx
Microsoft Power Point Presentation 8.6 MB

The students of our Polish partners school made interviews with different People who suffered of traumatic experiences. They focused on resource oriented questions and got very personal statements and touching in-sight-views. 


Italy: Marzia's uncle, a prisoner of war in a concentration camp in Przemysl


After the armistice of Italy in  September 1943, Italian soldiers were taken as prisoner of war by the Nazi Germans. Lisde Molinari, Marzia's uncle was sent to one concentration camp after the other. He indicated his journey on a little map with red arrows: Montanara, Thorn, Tschenstochau,  Przemysl (the town of our Polish Partners), Hammerstein, Nürnberg...

Interview about Marzia's uncle with Marzia Zabbatino (Rome) and Agnieszka Kotterbicka (Przemysl)
Microsoft Word - Interview with Agnieszk
Adobe Acrobat Document 626.0 KB

What students found out about the STALAG where Marzia's uncle was prisoner of war

Stalag XXA

was a German World War II prisoner of war camp located in Thorn/Toruń, Poland. It was not a single camp and contained as many as 20,000 men at its peak. The main camp was located in a complex of fifteen forts that surrounded the whole of the city. The forts had been built at the end of 19th century to defend the western border of Kingdom of Prussia.

In September 1939 some of the forts were used as POW (Prisoner of war) camps for Polish prisoners, specifically those captured after the surrender of the Polish fort at Westerplatte at the mouth of the river Vistula and on the Hel Peninsula. In June 1940 additional forts were added to the camp to accommodate British soldiers. The first to arrive were 403 men from the Allied campaign in Norway. Later about 4,500 arrived from Dunkirk and subsequently from the British 51st (Highland) Infantry Division captured at Saint-Valery-en-Caux. In 1941 and 1942 Soviet prisoners arrived. At the peak there were about 10,000 prisoners at thecamp. However many of them were located in sub-camps.

The camp was liberated on 1 February 1945 by the Soviet Army.In accordance with the Third Geneva Convention, POWs below the rank of Sergeant were required to work and were attached to Arbeitskommando (labour units). They were hired out to military and civilian contractors. In the case of farm work, this was often carried out on state farms. Sergeants and above could not be forced to work and if they did so were sent to non-working camps. Some of these sub-camps were not the traditional POW camps with barbed wire and guard towers but merely accommodation centres. Some camps were large and created for a particular project.

Source: http://www.allstalags.com/stalag-xxa.html

A British prisoner of war taken as a prisoner for 4.5 years tells about his cruel experiences:


 The Polish Museum in Lamsdorf about STALAG and POW http://www.cmjw.pl/en/wystawy-czasowe/wystawa50/bracelet-from-lamsdorf08/

England: Anna's Grandfather: Lance Corporal Jack Rex Gifford

Presentations of students from Stevenage based on interviews with time witnesses

How was the political situation in Britain after WWII
How was the political situation in Brita
Microsoft Power Point Presentation 102.8 KB
How did people spent their free time after WWII?
How did people spend their free time aft
Microsoft Power Point Presentation 449.5 KB
Calculating Maths in 1950
Calculating Maths in 1950s.pptx
Microsoft Power Point Presentation 57.2 KB
What was the economic situation of families and how did they survive after WWII?
romania project selma ajazi powerpoint.p
Microsoft Power Point Presentation 1.2 MB

In the cellar of the ZSEIO-building in Przemysl

The cellar in the administration building has a very special past.  Due to the special doors and the barred windows it seems obvious that it was used as a prison. Knowing that the building belonged to a rich Jewish Family in Przemysl before the German Nazis envaded Poland in 1939 an extinguished the Polish Jews it could be that the house was used by the Nazis and later on by the Soviets.

A history teacher of ZSEIO is building up a Little Museum in this cellar. One subject is an officer killed in the massacre of Katyn and an other subject is Solidarnosc with a lot of documents Student can touch a have a look at. Buildings, newspapers, photos can be time witnesses also.