It was launched on Jan 24 by Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos. Guests of honour included Holocaust survivors Elżbieta Ficowska, Jehoshua Shochot, and Elisabeth Drillich.
Testimonies on aid rendered to Jews during the Second World War invoke both the most horrific and the most worthy aspects of our history. This is why on the eve of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day an exhibition entitled "Between Life and Death. Stories of Rescue During the Holocaust" was launched at the European Commission in Brussels. The display is a joint project of the ENRS, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and Silent Heroes Memorial Center.
"The family of humankind made a decision to engrave the crime committed against European citizens of Jewish descent to its collective memory and to make it into an act of collective remembrance" - emphesized Dimitris Avramopoulos, Member of the European Commission for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, in his opening speech. "We need to ensure that there are enough guarantees that such a tragedy will not happen again and that we will not be passive spectators walking into the abyss."
His words were reaffirmed by Prof. Jan Rydel, Polish Coordinator of the ENRS. As Prof. Rydel described the idea behind the exhibition, he pointed out that events like these prompt us to aks ourselves difficult, yet crucial questions about the human condition. "During the Second World War it was difficult to stay human and not lose hope in mankind. The exhibition we are all opening today is about people who struggled to do so no matter what" - he remarked. Jolanta Gumula, deputy director of POLIN Museum, also addressed the attendees, stressing that the display constitutes the first project to depict the perspective of both survivors and rescuers in such a broad European context.
The speeches were followed with a discussion with the event's guests of honour: Holocaust survivors Elżbieta Ficowska, Jehoshua Shochot, and Elisabeth Drillich. The witnesses to history shared their unique life stories as well as reflections on the importance of raising awarness about the Holocaust.
The opening was attended by European Union officials, including Federica Mogherini, the Vice-President of the European Commission, as well as representatives of the ENRS, POLIN Museum and Silent Heroes Memorial Center.
The exhibition "Between Life and Death. Stories of Rescue During the Holocaust" presents accounts from nine European countries: Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine. It will be on view at the European Commission from 24 January until 6 March. Following its presentation in Brussels, the display will be shown in other European cities.
Between Life and Death. Stories of Rescue During the Holocaust
Venue: European Commission, Charlemagne building, Rue de la Loi 170, Brussels
Dates: 24 January - 6 March 2018
European Network Remembrance and Solidarity
POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
Silent Heroes Memorial Center in the German Resistance Memorial Center Foundation
ENRS projects funded by:
Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland
Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM)
Ministry of Human Capacities, Hungary
Ministry of Culture of Slovakia
Ministry of Culture of Romania
Memorial Chambon sur Lignon (Lieu de Mémoire au Chambon sur Lignon)
Memorial de la Shoah
The Danish Jewish Museum
Museum "Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine"
Museum of the Second World War
NIOD, the Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum (Vilnius)