On June 25-27th, 2019, the International Conference How to speak about the Righteous? was organized by the Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews in World War II in Markowa. This project was the first such meeting in the region, gathering representatives of Polish and foreign institutions that deal with the subject of saving Jews during the Holocaust.
The meeting was an opportunity to reflect on the title question in the framework of three panels: The Righteous. Between Memory and Remembrance, The Righteous. Different ways of telling their stories, The Righteous. Education and today’s social commitment. The participants shared their experience and reflection on the role of the Righteous in collective memory and public discourse. Presentation of the invited institutions made it clear how diverse their activity can be related to the Righteous, both in terms of the accepted artistic form and the accented aspects of the narrative. Above all, the complexity of the issue, and the need to intensify activities and to integrate the specialist environment was emphasized.
Speakers at the conference were: Dr. Anna Stróż-Pawłowska and Kamil Kopera (Museum of Poles Saving Jews), Dr. Lea Ganor (Mashmaut Center, Bar Ilan University), Adi Almalem Hacohen and Inbal Raz (Mashmaut Center), Lolita Tomsone (Žanis Lipke Memorial), Klara Jackl (Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich POLIN), prof. Dr. Stephan Lehnstaedt (Touro College Berlin), Dr. Marta Ansilewska-Lehnstaedt (Gedenkstätte Stille Helden), Dr. Eleonora Cussini (Fondazione Villa Emma), Bartosz Heksel (Fabryka Schindlera), Corey Niemchick (Storytelling Pictures), Éliane Wauquiez-Motte (Lieu de Mémoire au Chambon-sur-Lignon), Antony Lishak and Janine Shalev (Learning from the Righteous), Dr. Jakab Atilla (Holocaust Emlékközpont), Dr. Piotr Trojański (Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny w Krakowie, Międzynarodowe Centrum Edukacji o Auschwitz i Holokauście).
Apart from the proceeding, accompanying events were included in the conference program. It was preceded by a meeting at the Museum in Markowa dedicated to the exhibition Between Life and Death, created by European Network Remembrance and Solidarity. An introduction was given by dr Anna Stróż-Pawłowska, director of the Museum, as well as guests – Rafał Rogulski, director of ENRS and prof. Jan Rydel, chairman of the ENRS Steering Committee. After that a guided tour was led by the exhibition curator – Klara Jackl from the POLIN Museum. On the second day of the conference, guests joined the study tour: Markowa. Holocaust Memory Trail, which is an original project of the Museum of Poles Saving Jews. Kamil Kopera and Jakub Pawłowski acquainted the guests with the sites related to the local Jewish community and its tragic fate. The tour ended with a tour of the Museum’s permanent exhibition. On the last day of the conference, all participants had the opportunity to see the theatre play The Righteous. Story of the Ulma Family dir. Benjamin Bukowski at the Wanda Siemaszkowa Theatre in Rzeszów.
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