Andrzej Białek

Interlocutor name:
Andrzej
Interlocutor surname:
Białek
Researcher:
Józef Markiewicz
Operator:
Przemysław Jaczewski
Catalogue number:
MPOLIN-HM618
Recording date:
27th August 2019
Recording location:
Kielce
Recording duration:
01:22:13
Format:
Video
Recording language:
Polish
Recording copyright:
POLIN Museum of the History of the Polish Jews
Project:
Poles Active in the Protection of Jewish Heritage

Related places

Interlocutor biogram

Andrew Białek was born in Bialystok. He studied sociology in Krakow. Through his older brother, Bogdan, who in 2005 founded the Jan Karski Society, Andrew got involved in the activities aimed at keeping the memory of the Kielce pogrom and of Jews from Kielce. When in 2015 the society got its office at 7 Planty Street, new possibilities of activity opened up and the Culture of Meeting and Dialogue Institute was established. Andrzej Białek manages the newly created place. He prepared an exhibition devoted to the Kielce pogrom; he works as an educator. The Society conducts commemorative, educational and anti-discrimination activities. 

Recording circumstances description

The interview was recorded at the Culture of Meeting and Dialogue Institute at 7 Planty Street.

Recording summary

  1. Preliminary information about the interviewee: came from Bialystok, sociological studies in Krakow, moving to Kielce to work in his brother's publishing house; a new phase in life in Kielce; 00:00:30
  2. Earlier contact with Jewish subject matter - a flat in Bialystok next to the Jewish cemetery; cemetery condition; lack of awareness of the place; 00:02:45
  3. Liquidation of a large part of the cemetery; 00:06:00
  4. Taking up studies thanks to brother's encouragement; 00:08:30
  5. Gradual involvement in social activities in Kielce; 00:10:15
  6. Development of the Culture of Meeting and Dialogue Institute – acquisition of the office, further initiatives, exhibitions; 00:12:50
  7. Organization of Shabbaton in the building of the former Kielce synagogue – course of the event, atmosphere, guests; 00:15:00
  8. Preparing an exhibition about the victims of the Kielce pogrom; 00:20:30
  9. Erasing the Kielce pogrom from public memory and awareness; the need to think about the whole history; 00:24:50
  10. Commitment to remember the victims of the Kielce pogrom; 00:27:05
  11. Changes in human rights after World War II; realization that the sentence ‘Everyone has the right to live’ is not all that obvious; 00:28:10
  12. Work on the exhibition - concept, technical dilemmas, preparation of the content; 00:33:15
  13. The state of repair of the Jewish cemetery in Kielce; putting up a new monument; 00:37:30
  14. Use of the space of the Institute; 00:39:06
  15. Commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Kielce pogrom; politicians’ interest in previous anniversaries, participation of Andrzej Duda in the commemoration and in the official opening of the exhibition prepared by the Culture of Meeting and Dialogue Institute; 00:40:45
  16. Educational activities of the organization; 00:42:15
  17. Preparation of the building and space for the activities of the Culture of Meeting and Dialogue Institute, 00:44:45
  18. A sense of community with the former and current residents of the townhouse at 7 Planty Street; changing a bad place into a good one; 00:47:15
  19. Way of conducting educational classes; showing individual perspective; 00:49:55
  20. Anti-discrimination education - showing the mechanism of exclusion, its causes and effects; 00:52:10
  21. Counter-manifestation of nationalists on one of the anniversaries of the Kielce pogrom; various circumstances of denying people’s dignity; 00:55:15
  22. Reception of the Society activities by Kielce inhabitants; 00:56:35
  23. The authorities becoming accustomed to the fact that the Society will be involved in keeping memory about the Kielce pogrom and the Jews of Kielce; 00:58:32
  24. Pursuing educational purpose and building memory; the conviction that whoever has power shapes historical memory; 01:02:15
  25. Creation of subsequent commemorative plaques and other forms of commemoration over the years; 01:04:45
  26. Relations with Kielce Jews; 01:15:40
  27. Contacts with workshop participants and passersby; 01:19:50

 

 

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