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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.

Eugeniusz Daczyński was one of the people who helped the prisoners of the concentration camp. Many years after the war he finds out that the documentary about those who lived in the shadow of KL Auschwitz is going to be made. As a retired postman he once more puts his old uniform on and carries the letters informing about the upcoming premiere of the film. As he himself has survived the war, he wants the memory of the "quiet heroes" not to be forgotten. On his way he's visiting the old citizens of Oświęcim, who, like himself, helped the victims of the totalitarian system.

Daczyński comes also to the former concentration camp Auschwitz, where together with former Auschwitz prisoner no 23053 Tadeusz Sobolewicz he visits block 10, where after the war the Polish Red Cross hospital was located. He recalls the eight emaciated prisoners who died in his presence. "I have never been boasting, that I helped. I am only a small man" – he tells the former prisoner. "Oh, no, this help was very important for us, the prisoners. Thanks to people like you, some of us could survive" – says the former camp prisoner. Then Daczyński goes to visit the Jewish Cementery. On one of the gravestones he leaves a letter – he wants symbolically to invite to the premiere his old friends, who died many years ago.

We didn't want to make an ordinary documentary – says Gabriela Mruszczak, author of the film. – We have resigned from archival materials and historical narration. We show our protagonists as they are today, as ordinary people, unknown to anyone for years, who have never expected the orders for helping others and risking their own life. We show emotions, because that's the way to arouse interest of the younger generation – Bogdan Wasztyl co-author of the film says – Some of our protagonists were scared of the consequences for helping the prisoners, the others felt no fear, but they all respected other human beings. We want to point out that those people are still our neighbours. It's worth to stop for a moment and listen to their stories.

The thirty minutes long documentary was made by the Auschwitz Memento Association and was financed from Civic Initiatives Fund. Preview of the film took place on November the 5th 2010 in Oświęcim Culture Centrum. In December 2010 "The Postman" 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, a conference for the high school teachers of the humanities from Oświęcim and Wadowice Counties was organized by Auschwitz Memento Association and the Centre for Teacher's Professional Development in Oświęcim under the patronage of Mr Józef Kała, the prefect of a district and Mr Aleksander Palczewski, the Lesser Poland's Education Superintendent.

In the materials for the teachers elaborated by the workers of the Centre for Teacher's Professional Development in Oświęcim are, among the others, scripts of lessons on the basis of the film "The Postman" and the relations of the witnesses of history that can be find on the Association website:

History doesn't have to be boring – says Paulina Wądrzyk president of Auschwitz Memento Association – History can be fascinating, and listening to the witnesses relations can be great adventure. I am happy, that in the Centre for Teacher's Professional Development in Oświęcim we could find such excellent partners. We appreciate also the kindness of the Education Office of Lesser Poland We have received also great help from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and Poczta Polska S.A.


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

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