The Institute - Instytut Pileckiego
The Center for Totalitarian Studies of the Institute gathers researchers who specialize in political science, sociology, history and Jewish studies. This unique milieu of scholars both initiates and participates in interdisciplinary research projects devoted to totalitarianism and the history of Poland in the 20th century. Their studies are concerned primarily with the Second World War, its consequences, and the cultivation of memory by the second and third postwar generations.
We are working on a scholarship program which will allow researchers from Poland and abroad to use the material collected in the archive of the Institute. We are hoping that the unique experience of East Central Europe will be a starting point for new research on the 20th century which will demonstrate the complexity of this period, as well as the events, ideas, and mechanisms which determined the course of history.
THE MODEL OF COMMEMORATION
The Pilecki Institute has developed a cohesive and clear way of commemorating Poles who were murdered for providing aid and assistance to Jews during the Second World War. A straightforward symbol – a stone with a brief inscription in Polish and English – and an application informing about the events which unfolded at a given location remind us of people who overcame the paralyzing terror and, although in fear for their own lives and those of their loved ones, gave succor to Jews.
Workshops, lectures, location-based games – our educational projects are aimed at the youth and adults alike. We show our complicated history on the basis of archival and source materials, presenting the fate of the witnesses of the 20th century against the background of historical processes. Their experiences, dilemmas, and choices allow us to demonstrate the realities of the previous century from the perspective of individuals.
The 20th-century history is made up of thousands of stories waiting to be discovered. Accounts and testimonies stored in archives are ready-made plotlines. The Institute aims to build bridges between academia and culture by inspiring and initiating cultural projects which present the 20th century by means of various forms of expression – music, visual arts, theater, painting, and others.
A well-written story captures the attention of the reader and remains etched in memory. The Institute publishes collections of depositions made by victims of Nazism and Communism, as well as academic works penned by authors representing various disciplines, who explore issues that so far have been neglected or barely touched upon in research on the 20th-century history of Poland. We also translate into Polish the most important works on totalitarianisms.