Teresa Wontor-Cichy

Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, Poland

Teresa Wontor-Cichy is a historian at the Research Centre of the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oświęcim. She started working at Auschwitz-Birkenau after receiving a Master’s degree in history from the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland, in 1993. Her MA thesis dealt with social welfare in 16th-century Poland.

Her professional research focuses on the Holocaust. She is an author of several historical books exploring the experiences of different prisoner groups, such as Imprisoned for Their Faith. Jehovah’s Witnesses in KL Auschwitz and Duchowieństwo i życie religijne w Auschwitz (Clergy and religious practices in Auschwitz, published in Polish), Saint Maximillian Maria Kolbe. She is also an author of and historical consultant on numerous biographies published in German and Polish, including: Wilhelm Brasse’s Fotograf 3444: Auschwitz 1940–1945; Maria Anna Potocka’s Zofia Posmysz szrajberka 7566: Auschwitz 1942–1945; Henri Kichka’s Byłem więźniem dziesięciu obozów 1940–1945; and Natali Budzyńska’s Dzieci nie płakały. Historia mojego wuja Alfreda Trzebinskiego, lekarza SS. Her various works have also been published in English and German.

She has been invited to participate in lectures and to present her research at various international professional workshops and programs in Israel, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and the United States. She has attended lectures at Israel’s Yad Vashem Center (2005, 2008) and Lithuania’s Secretariat of the International Commission for the evaluation of the crimes of the Nazi and the Soviet occupation regimes (2012). She has also presented her work at conferences and universities, including Holocaust Remembrance (2006, 2009 Pennsylvania, USA) the Second European Meeting on Nazi Medicine “Transgressing Borders” in Prague (2016) and at the Galilee International Conference on Medicine in the Holocaust and Beyond in Israel (2017).

Wontor-Cichy further engages with the public in various ways. She is a lecturer on several aspects of Auschwitz camp history and developed online lectures on the Roma in Auschwitz and the clergy and religious life in Auschwitz. She also presented the “ABCs of Christian-Polish-Jewish relations” at the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Kraków (2014). In addition, she was a guest lecturer accompanying an international traveling art exhibition called Forbidden art, which displays artifacts made by Auschwitz prisoners (Kansas 2014, Michigan 2016). Furthermore, she frequently guides visitors in regular tours and study programs as well as serves as a historical consultant for many documentary films about Auschwitz history.

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