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    Monument Dedicated to Polish Children – Victims of German Crimes to be Erected in St. Wojciech Cemetery in Łódź

    A monument honoring Polish children who were victims of German crimes will be erected at the St. Wojciech Cemetery in Łódź.

    “With the intention of commemorating the youngest victims of World War II, today we present a unique monument project that will soon be erected at St. Wojciech Cemetery in Łódź, restoring each child’s name and creating a much-needed place of remembrance for their loved ones and all of us,”

    wrote Professor Piotr Gliński, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, in a letter read during a conference at the Museum of Polish Children – Victims of Totalitarianism in Łódź, where the monument project dedicated to Polish children – victims of German crimes was unveiled. The construction of the monument, designed by Maciej Jagodziński-Jagenmeer, will be financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

    During the event, the launch of an online database of prisoners from the German camp in Łódź was also announced in response to appeals from the relatives of survivors and victims of the camp’s children.

    The Minister of Culture and National Heritage pointed out in his letter that over the past eight years, thanks to the work and commitment of the Ministry of Culture and numerous institutions in Poland and around the world, particularly memory institutions and museums, the gaps in commemorating the youngest victims of World War II have been increasingly filled.

    One of those gaps has been the unmarked resting places of children murdered by the German occupiers in the execution sites established in Łódź, behind barbed wire gates, in cold barracks, in hunger and isolation, noted Professor Piotr Gliński.

    The Minister of Culture emphasized that the construction of the monument is a tribute to the small prisoners of German camps in occupied Łódź, deprived of their childhood by a brutal machine of terror.

    This mission has a social and identity dimension connected with the restoration and preservation of collective memory about Polish war children, whose tragic experiences should forever serve as a warning and testimony. This aspect seems particularly significant today, in the face of a war raging so close to us, which once again victimizes the weakest,” the Minister of Culture wrote.

    Professor Piotr Gliński observed that the monument, which represents the dramatic experiences of the youngest, will become a visible sign of the past, a place for reflection, emotion, and silent prayer.

    Reparation is primarily a measure of our humanity, consistently defined by our relationship to the deceased, who can no longer stand among us and testify to their pain and fear. I believe that soon we will be able to lay flowers before the Monument to Polish Children – Victims of German Crimes in Łódź, paying tribute to the victims of the camp on Przemysłowa Street and all Polish children murdered during World War II,” concluded the Minister of Culture.

    About the Competition The jury selected the top three projects. Based on the recommendation of the survivors and the chairman of the competition jury, it was decided that Maciej Jagodziński-Jagenmeer’s project from Toruń would be implemented at St. Wojciech Cemetery in Łódź. The author draws on the traditional form of a grave, which evokes emotion and encourages reflection while also incorporating a childlike element of hope and warmth.

    The other two award-winning projects, by sculptors Magdalena Walczak from Łódź and Marcin Smosny from Kraków, will be incorporated into the modern architectural form of the future permanent headquarters of the Museum in Łódź and its branch in Dzierżązna.

    The initiative to build the monument is the result of extensive research conducted last year by the Museum of Polish Children – Victims of Totalitarianism, aiming to determine the total number of child victims of German camps in Łódź and Konstantynów Łódzki. As a result of this research, a list was created containing over 600 names of victims. At St. Wojciech Cemetery in Łódź, the museum’s historians discovered the burial places of children and one of the two preserved graves. Therefore, the monument will serve as a symbolic grave with specific names of children inscribed.

    Database of Prisoners from the German Camp in Łódź The online database of prisoners from the German camp in Łódź was created in response to appeals from the relatives of survivors or victims of the camp’s children. It includes the names of 1,670 prisoners, their dates and places of birth, as well as basic information about their camp ordeal, such as the date and reason for arrest, the date of internment, and release.

    A unique feature of the database is a special section containing information about specific camp prisoners gathered from documents examined by historians. It is possible to search for a specific prisoner by their name, date of birth, or place of birth.

    To the extent possible, the database will be supplemented with visual materials, including personal photographs of children imprisoned in the camp, scanned photographs, and documents. According to the creators, the database is also intended to serve as a virtual platform for family members and other interested individuals to connect with the Museum of Polish Children – Victims of Totalitarianism.

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