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People who lived near KL Auschwitz suffered a lot. From among 28 thousands of the citizens of Oświęcim region about 17 thousands were deprived of their property and brutally expulsed from their houses. In Brzezinka only 9 from 500 houses weren't destroyed. In Pławy and Harmęże 90 percent of the buildings were torn down. From almost 3000 houses 2200 were destroyed. The materials from the torn down houses were used by Germans for the enlargement of the camp.

Only few from eight thousands Oświęcim Jews survived the war. Polish citizens were abducted to provide a forced labour, sent to concentration camps and to exile. Those who stayed in the town were terrorized. However, they weren't only passive witnesses of the tragedy. They gratuitously helped the KL Auschwitz prisoners risking their own life. Almost 180 people got arrested, more than 60 of them died in Auschwitz or other concentration camps.

Among those who helped was Kazimiera Krzak from Oświęcim, among those who were helped – Lusia Kałuszyner, the prisoner of KL Auschwitz. Their reunion is the main thread of this movie. The camera records "live" emotions of these events. It shows the people who once more, after many years, want to see the places of nazi terror in the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and the places in the town of Oświęcim, especially important for those people – Gabriela Mruszczak, scriptwriter and producer of the film says. The destinies of those people crossed many years ago but the ties that have been established in the past are still very vivid.

Kazimiera is bed-ridden. She lives in the Seraphic Sisters rest-home in Oświęcim, the very same place where during the German occupation the help for the camp prisoners was organized. One day a young nun sits by her bedside and ask her to tell about her life.

Kazimiera who lived in Oświęcim, was sent to Auschwitz when she was 15. She was accused of a sabotage, because she lost her german permit. Toward the end of the war, she was quarantinned and because of that she escaped the Death March. When the Russians came, she could go back to her home. But all the time before her eyes she had those poor, helpless children. On January 28th 1945 she came to the camp with her neighbour and her son. In the Gypsy Family Camp they found children together with terrified blockmistress. She saw a six-year-old girl who spoke Polish – it was Lusia Kałuszner who was Jewish. They took her home with them. After few months the girl was found by her mother, who miraculously survived the war. She took Lusia to Łódź and then to Israel. Many years later Lusia came to Oświęcim with the youth group and found her carer.

In this picture there's a lot of emotions and symbols – says Bogdan Wasztyl, coauthor of the film "Little Sister" – Kazimiera Krzak, the girl who once helped the prisoners, today she is bed-ridden and helped by Seraphic Sisters, who during the occupation always helped the camp prisoners. When we were recording her story, Lusia called from Israel and said she was going to come to Poland. Few weeks later we could record this extraordinary reunion.

The thirty minutes long documentary was made by the The Auschwitz Memento Association thanks to the support of the Polish History Museum (The "Patriotism of Tomorrow" Program) and Lesser Poland Voivodeship (The "Lesser Poland Patronage" Program). Preview of the film took place on November the 15th 2010 in The State School of Higher Education in Oświęcim. Over 300 people took part in it – scholars, teachers, students, authorities of the district and the voivodship. The participants had a rare occasion to meet and talk to the witnesses of history. In December 2010 "The Reunions" is going to be broadcast on TVP Kraków. In 2011 the film will be broadcast on successive channels: TVP Kraków, TVP Kultura and TVP Historia. Along with the preview of the film The Auschwitz Memento Association and The State School of Higher Education in Oświęcim have organized the conference "Oral History in School" under the patronage of Mr Józef Kała, the prefect of a district and Mr Aleksander Palczewski, the Lesser Poland's Education Superintendent. Zbigniew Klima, the member of The Auschwitz Memento Association and ther research workef of The State School of Higher Education in Oświęcim presented educational portals: www.auschwitzmemento.pl and www.bliskodomu.auschwitzmemento.pl. In our archives there are over 200 relations of the witnesses of history. We want to work them up and to popularise them gradually. We are convinced that the stories of the ordinary people, not only those reach and famous are historically important. I have tried to convince young people that the stories of their relatives and neighbours are unique, priceless treasure. It's good to stop sometimes and listen to them.

Jarosław Szarek PhD from the Institute of National Remembrance in Kraków delivered a lecture about the importance of the oral history and using it in teaching. The workers of the Centre for Teacher's Professional Development in Oświęcim presented the scripts of the lessons on the basis of the film "Little Sister" and the relations of the witnesses of history published on The Auschwitz Memento Association websites.

TITLE: Siostrzyczka
Runtime: 30 minut
Production: Stowarzyszenie Auschwitz Memento
Screenplay: Gabriela Mruszczak, Bogdan Wasztyl
Realisation: Gabriela Mruszczak, Bogdan Wasztyl
Cameramen: Mirosław Krzyszkowski, Gabriela Mruszczak
Sound: Sławomir Biela
Editing: Łukasz Szymański
Direction: Cezary Nowicki
Translation: Ewa Dąbrowska
Historical consultation: Helena Kubica

Financial support: Polish History Museum (The "Patriotism of Tomorrow" Program) and Lesser Poland Voivodeship (The "Lesser Poland Patronage" Program)

Special thanks to The State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oświęcim and the Seraphic Sisters Convent in Oświęcim
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