Auschwitz Museum head receives Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice decoration

Piotr Cywiński, the head of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, has been awarded the Holy See’s Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice decoration for his “numerous achievements”.

On Tuesday, the head of the museum, Piotr Cywiński, was awarded the decoration by Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, the Archbishop of Warsaw. The ceremony was attended by the Apostolic Nuncio to Poland, Salvatore Pennacchio, and Poland’s Chief Rabbi, Michael Schudrich.

Also present at the event was Archbishop Grzegorz Ryś, who said that it is “thanks to Piotr Cywiński that the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial is today a sphere for building unity among mankind, and not a sphere petrifying old divisions.”

Piotr Cywiński is a historian and Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, an active figure in Polish-Jewish dialogue. He is an ecumenical Catholic.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum was established in 1947 at the site of the Nazi-German concentration camp. Polish authorities have preserved the site in memory of the 1.1 million people who died at Auschwitz.