The black, marbled monument consists of two parts: a sculpture and memorial beneath it. The sculpture presents the bust of a crying man. He is holding his head with both hands. His grief is caused by the death of people who died during the attack of German bombers, mostly patients of the hospital. The writing on the memorial includes the following information: “ This is a place where a memorable act of violence happened and Nazi crimes over a defenseless population of the city of Wieluń on the first of September 1939, at 4:40”.
During the first hours of World War II, German dive bombers started bombing the city of Wieluń. Their first purpose was the All Saints Hospital. During the attack, 32 people died, mostly those who tried to find shelter in the hospital’s basement. In 2009, exactly 70 years after that episode, the unveiling of the marble monument took place.
The bombing of Wieluń is considered by many historians to be the first combat operation of World War II. The exact time of the bombing of Wieluń has been a subject of debate, particularly in reference to claim that first bombs of World War II were dropped on Wieluń, five minutes before the shelling of Westerplatte which is traditionally considered the beginning of the war.
My name is Magda. I come from Poland and I am a volunteer in the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira.
Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.
Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.
In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.
Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.
We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.
Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.