Faces of the Roundup. The Pilecki Institute opens its doors in Augustów - Instytut Pileckiego
Faces of the Roundup. The Pilecki Institute opens its doors in Augustów
We began our work in Augustów with a series of cultural events entitled “Faces of the Roundup”.
“Dom Turka” was opened up to visitors for the first time in many years, presenting an exhibition of digitally reconstructed and colored photographs of the victims of the Augustów Roundup. Jacek Bończyk and his band performed a specially-prepared concert featuring the songs of Jacek Kaczmarski. Experts discussed the documentary film “The Day After”, which illustrates the Polish experience of the end of the Second World War. Workshops for younger people were organized in schools to describe the period of Stalinist repression. A collection of memorabilia and testimonies recording the fate of the residents of Augustów and Suwałki in the 20th Century was also launched.
“Dom Turka” was the former headquarters and prison of the NKVD during the initial Soviet occupation (1940–1941) and at the turn of 1944 and 1945. Enemies of the people were detained and brutally interrogated there, and it was the starting point for mass deportations to the East. Between 1945 and 1956, it housed the District Office of the Security Department. The local security officers were known for their brutality and murdered several dozen people, at least several of whom died in the building itself. Dom Turka was also used to detain soldiers of the anti-Communist underground movement who were arrested during the Augustów Roundup in July 1945. The building is a material witness to and symbol of the Polish experience of confrontation with Soviet totalitarianism, a place of great historical value, which nevertheless has almost fallen into ruin following years of neglect.
The Pilecki Institute purchased Dom Turka in July 2021, with plans to carry out an inventory and archaeological research in search of any traces of prisoners and victims, followed by a thorough renovation. A permanent exhibition of the Augustów Roundup will be opened in the future to present the events of July 1945 and, more broadly, the history of Augustów and the Suwałki region in the 20th Century in the context of the history of Poland and Europe.
Union for the Memory of Victims of the Augustów Roundup
The Home Army Historical Club in Augustów
Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
Starost of the Augustów district
Municipal Office in Augustów
Institute of National Remembrance in Białystok
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