Instytut Pileckiego


The result of the project, but also of the independent activities of the Pilecki Institute, are various publications and initiatives. Some of them are listed below.

The Lemkin Collection – the first-ever collection of books relating to Rafał Lemkin and genocide studies. It was donated to the Warsaw University Library by the Pilecki Institute (at the time the Witold Pilecki Center for Totalitarian Studies). The set – unique in Poland and including both classic and the most recent publications on the subject – comprises more than 160 titles from all over the world, carefully selected in consultation with numerous acclaimed specialists and experts.

Nieoficjalny. Autobiografia Rafała Lemkina (Totally Unofficial. The Autobiography of Raphael Lemkin), edited by Donna-Lee Frieze – in 2018, the Pilecki Institute brought about the publication of the first Polish edition of Rafał Lemkin’s autobiography. Initially due to be printed in 1959, the nearly complete English manuscript was shelved following its author’s sudden death: on the day of his scheduled meeting with a publisher from the Curtis Brown Agency, with whom he was to discuss certain details, Lemkin collapsed at a bus stop in New York City and passed away shortly afterwards. Years later, Donna-Lee Frieze from Deakin University in Australia decided to see the publication through. She described Lemkin’s typescript as “part autobiography, part biography, part memoire, and part report”. This remarkable book is not only a journey through the life of one of the most important lawyers of the 20th century, but also a significant contribution to the process of discovering the origins and history of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Focus on Rafał Lemkin – an educational publication of the Pilecki Institute. The authors have treated Lemkin and his life as a point of entry into the intricate history of Poland and Europe in the 20th century. The text pivots around the accessible biography, which smoothly transitions in the history of the genesis of Rafał Lemkin’s greatest work: the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide from 1948. The text is further accompanied by maps and unique photographs, many of which have never been made accessible to the broader public, and is an ideal teaching resource. The publication also includes suggested questions the teacher can ask their students in order to make full didactic use of the material. At the end of the publication, there is a script for a workshop dedicated to Lemkin and his Convention that helps us to understand that the problems faced by that esteemed lawyer over half a century ago are still relevant today.

  • Totally Unofficial. The Autobiography of Raphael Lemkin | editor: Donna-Lee Frieze

    Totally Unofficial. The Autobiography of Raphael Lemkin | editor: Donna-Lee Frieze

    Totally Unofficial is not only an autobiography, but also a fascinating account of the birth of the Genocide Convention, which Lemkin considered as his life’s work. The book was published in Polish (originally published by Yale University Press in 2013).

  • The Opening of the Lemkin Collection

    The Opening of the Lemkin Collection

    More than 160 books concerning the life and work of Rafał Lemkin were handed over to the Warsaw University Library. Compiled by the Center/Institute, the Lemkin Collection was today officially bequeathed and opened.