The idea of the creation of the association appeared in the autumn of 2005 after a successful trip to Smolensk and Katyn youth of two Poznań schools: V High School Klaudyna Potocka and Dębinka Junior High School. The first of the schools has already had extensive contacts with schools in the East (e.g. in Moscow, Minsk, Vilnius and St. Petersburg).
However, the cooperation of the high school with the Katyn Family and – tireless in seeking agreement and cooperation with the Russian side – Wincenty Dowojna turned out to be particularly important. V LO undertook the implementation of the project “Memory of the past as an opportunity for the future” and proposed participation in General School No. 8 in Smolensk. The activities concerned the history of both nations and countries – such arrangements were adopted and implemented during the Polish youth trip to Smolensk and Katyn in 2005. This project was patronized by the Vice President of Poznań Maciej Frankiewicz and Deputy Mayor Smoleńska Paweł Szwed. No previous cooperation had such a solemn inauguration and none of them was of such great importance, because the students of two Poznań schools were invited not only by the youth of the Smolensk school, but also took part in the celebrations of the Smolensk Days and the Meeting of Youth Partner Schools from Europe. However, the most important event and experience for the youth was the arrival at the Polish War Cemetery in Katyn. Participation in the mass specially celebrated for our group by Father Ptolemy, a Polish Franciscan from Smolensk, lighting candles under the tablets of murdered Wielkopolans, laying flowers and ringing the bell from the underground – all this made the experience extremely deep for young people. The more valuable that the murdered officers are also remembered by students of the Smolensk school who come there with their teachers to light candles.
The trip of the Poznań youth to Katyn showed how important it is to consolidate the memory of the national past, but also how it is possible to permanently build normal contacts between young people who, while respecting the past, want to build the future.
Soon, it turned out that there were more schools that established contacts with towns nearby other places of martyrdom of Poles in the East, so we decided that we should associate and coordinate our activities. And so in the spring of 2006, the founding group registered the MEMORAMUS Association for Cooperation with the East in court. The idea of our activity is to save the memory of the fate of Poles in the East during World War II, as well as mutual contacts of young people from Poland and the countries of the former Soviet Union. The association was created by members of the Poznań Katyn Family, Siberians, as well as principals, teachers and students of seven Poznań schools. Wincenty Dowojna, son of a Polish Army officer murdered in Katyn, is the president of MEMORAMUS and, above all, the inspirer of our activity. Our intention then was the annual trip of a group of Greater Poland youth to Katyn as a symbol of the greatest victim of the Polish nation in the East. We manage to achieve this intention successfully, because this year the fourth March of Remembrance took place in Katyn. The second area of activity are permanent contacts of young people with members of the Katyn Family and the Union of Siberians; in this way, bond and respect for the generation of people most cruelly experienced by Soviet totalitarianism are formed.
- Wincenty Dowojna – President,
- Karol Seifert – Vice President,
- Barbara Płotkowiak – member,
- Jadwiga Jeleniewicz – member,
- Karol Lehmann – member,
- Henryk Czajczyński – member,
- Barbara Zatorska – secretary
- Zbigniew Hardy – treasurer (until December 31, 2007), after him Alina Siudzińska took over the duties.
- appointed a team of teachers-coordinators responsible for the education project Persistent memory of generations, implemented annually in all associated schools,
- planned a training for project coordinators and directors at PISOP (Association Center for the Promotion and Development of Civic Initiatives) – conducted in 2008,
- established the Youth Section of the Association,prepares (including raising funds) for the youth trip to Bialystok in September for the International Remembrance Marches of Polish Siberia,
- prepares the preparation and printing of publications from subsequent trips of young people to Katyn,
- acquires funds from the Polish Community in Warsaw for co-financing fixed assets of the Polish House in Smolensk, including computer, sound system and satellite dish with program recording set,
- established cooperation with the Polish Community, branch in Poznań,
- took part in the ceremony of handing over the Katyn Land (collected during the 2nd Remembrance March for Teofil Rubasiński) to the School Complex in Targowa Górka,
- prepared the arrival of a group of 5 Poles from Smolensk (including Ms Rościsława Tymań – President of the Polish House in Smolensk), whose goal was to obtain a certificate confirming the knowledge of Polish as a foreign language; he also obtained from the Institute of Polish Philology UAM textbooks for learning Polish as a foreign language and gave them to the Polish House in Smolensk.
- I High School in Poznań
- II High School in Poznań
- IV High School in Poznań
- V High School in Poznań
- VI High School in Poznań
- VII High School in Poznań
- VIII High School in Poznań
- XI High School in Poznań
- XIV High School in Poznań
- XV High School in Poznań
- XX High School in Poznań
- XXV High School in Poznań
- XXXVII High School in Poznań
- XXXVIII High School in Poznań
- High School no. Mary Magdalene
- High School in Oborniki Wielkopolskie
- I High School in Kościan
- Technical Secondary School of Energy in Poznań
- Complex of Schools of Construction No. 1 in Pozna
- Complex of Communication Schools in Poznań
- Complex of Wood and Construction Schools in Poznań
- Social Primary School “Dębinka” Poznań
- Primary School No. 10 in Poznań
- Primary School No. 1 in Murowana Goślina
- Complex of General and Post-secondary Schools in Nowy Tomyśl
The most significant, spectacular event in the work of the Association are Remembrance Marches, in which Polish and Russian students go together from Gniezdowo station to the Katyn Forest every year in April. A group of 150 Polish students together with teachers and about 150 group of Russian youth take part in the March. The organizer of the march in Russia is the Polish House in Smolensk and two Smolensk schools cooperating with us: General School No. 8 and Smolensk Corps of Cadets. From the beginning, the project was patronized by: from the Polish side: Krzysztof Dudek – director of the National Center for Culture in Warsaw, Marek Woźniak – Marshal of the Greater Poland Voivodeship, Ryszard Grobelny – Mayor of the City of Poznań. During each Remembrance March and our entire stay in Smolensk, we were surrounded by the protection of the federal authorities of the Smolensk District, including Governor Sergey Antufev, Sergei Kudriaviewev, head of the International Cooperation Department in the Smolensk Oblast, and Igor Grigoriev (formerly Anatoly Voloshenko) – Director of the State Compound Memorial . Lilia Turczenkowa – president of the Smolensk branch of the Russian Association of Victims of Unlawful Political Repression, Rościsław Tymań (formerly Stanisław Afanasjew) – president of the Polish House were also with us during these solemn events. Every year, our meetings are attended by teachers of befriended Russian schools and Liliana Kulikow – the headmaster of the Secondary School No. 8 in Smolensk and Igor Gagarin – the headmaster of the Smolensk Cadet Corps. Our knowledge and cooperation of several years certifies that contemporary Polish-Russian relations can be built on mutual understanding, respect and sympathy.
In order to prepare for the trip, students of Polish schools implement the educational project Persistent Memory of Generations, which was developed by a team of teachers-coordinators based on proposals of didactic and educational activities in individual schools, becoming a general outline of the content implemented in this undertaking. Each of the associated schools develops and enriches the Association’s project with individual tasks, detailed interests and predispositions of both students and teachers participating in the project.