On 30 August 2016 the President of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), Mr. Jarosław Szarek, Ph.D., visited the Piaśnica Museum in Wejherowo. During his visit Mr. Szarek paid tribute to those murdered in the forests near Piaśnica Wielka. He laid wreaths at the monument devoted to the victims of the crime and at one of the mass graves. The President of IPN made the Museum present also on the Internet, as he launched the museum’s website. It has been available since yesterday at www.muzeumpiasnickie.pl.
The visit to the place of executions was started at the Piaśnica monument, from where the President of IPN together with the Director of Piaśnica Museum, Ms. Teresa Patsidis, and the Head of IPN Branch Office in Gdańsk, Professor Mirosław Golon, Ph.D., went to a chapel-mausoleum and to a symbolic grave of blessed sister Alicja Kotowska. The next part of the visit took place in the Piaśnica Museum office in Wejherowo, where the President of IPN was the first visitor to hit the www.muzeumpiasnickie.pl website.
The Piaśnica Museum website has been created in a way enabling each visitor to quickly find the desired content. This if facilitated by a clear layout of contents and state-of-the-art navigation technology. The website can be conveniently accessed from a computer, a tablet or a smartphone. An important thematic section of the website is the one dedicated to the history of the massacre in Piaśnica. Digestible descriptions of issues related to the subject matter have been provided for the visitors.
The museum employees prepared for the visit a small exhibition of mementoes that have been already collected and that will enrich the permanent exhibition at the final seat of the institution. Amongst them there was a note by one of the Panek sisters, smuggled out of prison after she had been arrested. Sisters Kazimiera and Stanisława, who were daughters to Franciszek Panek, a doctor from Wejherowo known also for his pro bono initiatives and efforts, were murdered in Piaśnica. Doctor Panek’s villa will in the future become the seat of the Piaśnica Museum. Pictures taken in the interwar period at the construction site of the villa could also be seen at the impromptu exhibition.
The President of IPN and the Director of the Piaśnica Museum summarized during a conversation the existing cooperation between those two institutions in the area of preliminary academic research in foreign archives, as a result of which the researchers managed to find, amongst others, testimonies obtained from the murderers from Piaśnica Wielka by German prosecutors in the course of investigations conducted in the 1960s and 1970s. They discussed further actions the purpose of which will be to find out more on the circumstances of the crime committed by Germans in the first months of World War II. Another search for documents is to be commenced in September in American archives.