As part of the project Was it so? Check!, which started on 9 May 2022, a writing and history contest was held and finalised. The organisers of it were the Museum and the Association of Friends of the Central Museum of Prisoners-of-War, and it was entered by students from primary and high schools in the Opole region.
The participants of the project were over 200 children and teenagers from Primary School No. 31 in Opole, Primary School No. 14 in Opole, Primary School No. 10 in Opole, High School No. I in Opole and High School No. V in Opole. Besides the workshops given by Ilona Lewandowska, a journalist from the 'Kurier Wileński', we organised a number of other venues. First, the students met with the descendants of Polish prisoners-of-war, who are members of the Katyn Family association in Opole and owing to conversations (sometimes several hours long) with Maria Matlachowska, Edwarda Turkiewicz, Urszula Gawor and Bolesław Kicia, they got to know better the protagonist of the upcoming contest’s works.
As to the contest, it consisted in creating a biographical note about one the victims of the Katyn massacre and family memory about him. It was entered by 14 persons (individually or as a team) who submitted eight works. The jury of the contest included: Andrzej Kerner (from ‘Gość Niedzielny’), Irmina Gierczak (philologist, neurologopedist), Maria Katarzyna Kołowrot (Radio DOXA) and Dr. Ewelina Klimczak (CMJW) awarded one main prize and as many as four distinctions. And so:
The first prize was given to Maja Znamirowska from High School No. I in Opole for the work with not title [I have a normal life...]
The distinctions were given to:
The jury emphasised that all the submitted works had an individual character and the time to prepare them involved a considerable engagement on the students’ part. The authors of the best works proved – what is especially pleasing in the case of primary school pupils – their skills at verifying and selection of the collected materials, showed historical knowledge and literacy skills, and above all, maturity in their reflections on the war, suffering, death, but also love and beauty. These short texts also consist a great deal of emotions, and are a testimony both to the sensitivity of their authors and the strength of family memory, which was so convincingly told by the relatives of the victims of the Katyn massacre.
Congratulations to the students and their teachers! We would like to thank the participants of the project, especially the members of the Katyn Family association in Opole. We invite everyone to follow our social media, where you will soon see a report on the award ceremony.