Piotr Cywiński

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Piotr M.A. Cywiński
Piotr Mateusz Andrzej Cywiński
Piotr M.A. Cywiński
Piotr M.A. Cywiński, PhD
Born (1972-04-16) 16 April 1972 (age 47)
Occupationhistorian, director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, president of Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation
AwardsThe Cross of Merit, Order of Polonia Restituta, "Bene Merito" Honour (Poland), Award for Human Rights' Protection (Poland), Gloria Artis Award, Knight of Order of the Crown (Belgium), Knight of the Order of St. Charles (Monaco), Officer's Cross of the Order of the Phoenix (Greece), Knight medal insignia of French Legion of Honour (France), Knight's Cross Order of Academic Palms (France).
ReligionRoman Catholic

Piotr Mateusz Andrzej Cywiński (born 16 April 1972 in Warsaw) is a professional historian and Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum; an active participant and frequent initiator in the Polish-Jewish and Christian-Jewish dialogue; and an ecumenist devoted to reconciliation of the various denominations among the cultures of the Kresy borderlands.[1]


Cywiński spent his early childhood in Warsaw. Between 1982 and 1993 he lived in Switzerland and France due to his father's, Bohdan Cywiński's, political exile.

Cywiński graduated from the University of Humanities in Strasbourg (1993) as a historian of the Middle Ages, and the Catholic University of Lublin (1995). He obtained his PhD degree at the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) in 2001.[1]

Professional career[edit]

In 1996–2000 Piotr Cywiński served as vice-president, and thereafter the President of Club of Catholic Intelligentsia (KIK) in Warsaw, also for ten years. Since 2010 he has been a Board Member of KIK.

In 2002 he co-founded the multicultural St. Adalbert's Forum, which he chaired for approximately eight years. He co-organized the Congresses of Gniezno in 2003, 2004 and 2005. In 2004 Cywiński was elected vice-president (and regional president for Europe) of the global federation of Catholic intellectuals Pax Romana ICMICA/MIIC for the mandate 2004-2008.[1]

Between 2000 and 2006 Cywiński served as Secretary of International Council of Auschwitz Memorial Site. On 12 June 2006 Cywiński was nominated for director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, a position he assumed on 1 September that year, replacing Jerzy Wróblewski, who was the Museum's director for many years. He was also co-creator of International Centre for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust and vice president of the Center's council. In 2009 co-created the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation and since then serves as president of the foundation.[1]

For the years 2009-2018[2][3] Cywiński has been a member of the Museums' Council to the Minister of Culture (mandate IV and V), and in 2010 was appointed as member of the Council for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom Sites.[4] He also serves as vice-president of the Council of Museum of Poland's Independence Traditions in Łódź (pl), and member of the first mandate of the Council, later - since 2012 - as member of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of World War II in Gdańsk. He is a member of the Council of Museum Gross-Rosen in Rogoźnica.

He is a council member of the Maximilian Kolbe Foundation (de). In 2011 he became a board member of the Association Maison d’Izieu, memorial site in France. In 2015 the board of the Memorial Association accepted him as member of the Moscow's Memorial Association.[5]

In 2000-2002 while working for the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Cywiński co-directed Festival "Europalia 2001 Poland", then created a portal about Jewish culture and history in Poland: "Diapozytyw.pl". 2001-2004 member of Consultative Council of NGOs at Polish Council for European Integration. For the years 2002-2014 served as member of the Polish Episcopate's Group for Dialogue with Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine.[1]

In the 2004 elections, he was a candidate for a Member of the European Parliament on behalf of Freedom Union. Between 2005 and 2007, Piotr Cywiński was vice-president of the association Wikimedia Poland, since May 2007 is a member of the Audit Committee of the association.[1]

In 2008, Cywiński served as ambassador of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.

Honors and awards[edit]

Piotr Cywiński was awarded the Gold Cross of Merit in 2006. On 15 April 2008 Lech Kaczyński, the President of Poland, awarded Cywiński the Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. Also in that year, he was nominated to the TOTUS Award in the category of "achievements in the field of Christian culture”. On 20 January 2010, he received the Officer's Cross of the Polonia Restituta.

In June 2012 he was awarded Belgian Order of the Crown.[6] In November 2012, prince Albert II of Monaco awarded Piotr Cywiński the knight class of the Order of Saint-Charles.[7] 2014 he received Officer's Cross of the Order of the Phoenix (Greece) and in 2015 the Knight's Cross Order of Academic Palms (France).

In 2013 the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs awarded him Bene Merito honorary badge for his activities in strengthening the position of Poland in the international arena. In 2014 he received the Golden Order for Achievements in the Penitentiary Work from the Polish Minister of Justice (and also from the Polish Ombudsman's Award for Human Rights' Protection). In 2015 he received Silver Gloria Artis Award from the Minister of Culture and in 2019 Knight medal insignia of French Legion of Honour.[8]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Kościół wobec integracji europejskiej [co-author], ed. Jan Grosfeld, Warszawa 1997, ISBN 83-85737-27-8.
  • L'Église en Pologne après 1989 face aux nouveaux défis de la démocratie avec Marcin Przeciszewski, Volume 48 de Cahier / le Rayonnement culturel polonais, in Communio : revue catholique internationale, 179, Vol. XXX, 2005
  • Mój Auschwitz [co-author of interview with Władysław Bartoszewski], ZNAK, Kraków 2010, ISBN 978-83-240-1415-6.
  • Guide historique d’Auschwitz [introduction], Jean-Francois Forges, Pierre-Jerome Biscarat, Autrement, Paris 2011, ISBN 978-2-7467-1484-7.
  • Le futur d’Auschwitz. Actes de la journee d’etude du 11 mai 2010 [co-author], IRICE (Sorbone, Paris IV, CNRS et al.), cahier 7: Paris 2011, ISSN 1967-2713.
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Place Where You Are Standing [author of concept and introduction], Państwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau, Oświęcim 2012, ISBN 978-83-7704-038-6.
  • Epitafium... i inne spisane niepokoje, Państwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau, Oświęcim 2012, ISBN 978-83-7704-042-3.
  • Auschwitz from A to Z. An Illustrated History of the Camp [co-author], Państwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau, Oświęcim 2013, ISBN 978-83-7704-069-0.
  • Początki Auschwitz w pamięci pierwszego transportu polskich więźniów politycznych, Państwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau, Oświęcim 2015, ISBN 978-83-7704-091-1.
  • Auschwitz Legacies [co-author], Państwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau, Oświęcim 2015, ISBN 978-83-7704-089-8.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński, Museum Director". Museum administrative structure. Państwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau w Oświęcimiu (Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum). Archived from the original (Internet Archive) on May 22, 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  2. ^ "MKiDN - Rada do Spraw Muzeów". www.mkidn.gov.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  3. ^ "Rada ds. Muzeów i Miejsc Pamięci Narodowej kończy kadencję MKiDN - 2018". www.mkidn.gov.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  4. ^ OPWiM, New Council members (Nowi członkowie Rady). Council for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom Sites (Rady Ochrony Pamięci Walk i Męczeństwa) OPWiM via Internet Archive (March 4, 2016).
  5. ^ Auschwitz-Birkenau Muzeum. "Aktualności (News section)". Auschwitz.org. Retrieved 2015-09-25.
  6. ^ Director of the Auschwitz Museum awarded the Belgian Order of the Crown
  7. ^ Order of Saint Charles to Piotr M.A. Cywiński
  8. ^ "Aktualności / Muzeum / Auschwitz-Birkenau". www.auschwitz.org. Retrieved 2019-01-17.

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