Memory in Poland of the rescuers and the rescued from the Holocaust

    11-12 June 2015, Warsaw, Poland

    The conference was organised on the 30th anniversary of granting the honorific title of the Righteous Among the Nations to Sugihara Chiune, Japanese Consul in Lithuania. Its main aim was to bring together scholars interested in public memory and commemorations of Sugihara’s actions, and of similar rescue operations.

    The first day of the conference focused on the history of Jews in Asia and the process of rescuing Jews in Japan and in Asia. A special event was held in the evening at the Synagogue on Twarda street in Warsaw - personal testimonies of Sugihara survivors and their descendants were presented. The second day of the conference began with a panel touching upon the topic of memory and commemoration of Consul Sugihara. Further sessions looked at broader issues of contemporary dilemmas and problems associated with the award of The Righteous Among the Nations, and the perspectives of those rescued by the Righteous, and their descendants. Finally, activities of Polish institutions regarding the rescuers and the rescued from the Holocaust were presented.

    Read the programme

    11 JUNE 2015

    9:00 Registration

    9:30 Welcome

    9:50 – 11:00 Opening Address:
    Representative of the Embassy of Japan in Poland
    Representative of the Embassy of Israel in Poland

    Olga Barbasiewicz (Warsaw, Poland), Aleksandra Hadzelek (Sydney, Australia), In Search of Sugihara in Poland

    11:00 – 13:05 [SESSION 1] Rescuing Jews in Japan and Asia
    Rotem Kowner (Haifa, Israel), Reflections on the Righteous Among The Nations: Sugihara Chiune as a Case Study
    Chiharu Inaba (Nagoya, Japan), Japanese rescuers other than Sugihara in Vladivostok and in Kobe
    Ewa Pałasz-Rutkowska (Warsaw, Poland), The rescued in Japan. The role of Polish Ambassador Tadeusz Romer
    Mikhail Mitsel (New York, USA), JDC’s Major Rescue Operations During WWII
    Teruji Suzuki (Kanagawa, Japan), Japanese government and military leaders measures toward Jews

    13:05 – 14:00 Lunch break

    14:00 – 15:40 [SESSION 2] Jews in Asia
    Joanna Guzik (Cracow, Poland), Japan’s Policy toward Jews
    Andrew Jakubowicz (Sydney, Australia), Suspended between… : the Polish Jewish community of Shanghai 1941-1946
    Barbara Abraham (Oxford, UK/Shanghai, China), Jewish literary contribution to the cultural life of Polish community in Shanghai. Involvement of Stefan Gołąb and A. Swislocki in publication of Echo Szanghajskie
    and “Wiadomosci” – the special supplement for the Polish refugees in China

    Emilia Rydel (Poznan, Poland), The identitydiscourse in "Zachráněnej v šanghajském ghettu". AnkaVoticka’s testimony

    18:00 – 20:00 Memories and recollections: personal testimonies of Sugihara survivors and their descendants
    Stefans Golab’s poetry from Japan and Shanghai
    Marcel Weyland’s pre-recorded reading of a chapter of his unpublished memoir
    Meeting with Nina Admoni (nee Wertans) who will present her personal recollections of the journey as a child
    Second generations’ personal testimonies: Ms. Admoni, Andrew Jakubowicz, Erica Mitsidis (nee Hechtropf)

    12 JUNE 2015

    9:00 – 10:15 [SESSION 3] Memory and commemorations of Sugihara and Zwartendijk in Poland and Lithuania
    Linas Venclauskas (Kaunas, Lithuania), Process of memorialization of Ch. Sugihara and J. Zwartendijk in Lithuania
    Simonas Strelcovas (Šiauliai, Lithuania), Footprints of Sugihara and Zwartendijk in Lithuanian historiography. The perspectives for future research
    Aleksandra Hadzelek (Sydney, Australia), Silence or amnesia: the non-memory of Sugihara in Poland

    10:15 – 10:45 Coffee Break

    10:45 – 12:00 [SESSION 4] The Righteous Among the Nations: Contemporary dilemmasand problems associated with the award
    Miriam David (Tel Aviv, Israel), The righteous among the nations in the Jewish Tradition
    Jan Grosfeld (Warsaw, Poland), Instrumentalisation of the memory. The case of the Righteous Among The Nations
    Jakub Greloff (Warsaw, Poland), Recent Issues in Polish Historiography of the Shoah, commemoration, public and scientific discourse

    12:00 – 13:00 Lunch Break

    13:00 – 14:15 [SESSION 5] The perspective of the rescued: personal testimonies of people saved by The Righteous, and their descendants
    Iryna Radchenko (Dniepropetrovsk, Ukraine), The Righteous Among the Nations: the problem of rescue in saviors` representations
    Leora Tec (Tel Aviv, Israel), Krysia Bloch, Hela Bawnik, Nechama Tec - the labels of victim, survivor and rescuer
    Adam Raszewski (Warsaw, Poland), Destroyed innocence. The experience of children of the Holocaust in terms of Bogdan Wojdowski and Joanna Iwaszkiewicz

    14:15 – 14:45 Coffee Break

    15:00 – 16:15 [SESSION 6] The rescuers and the rescued from the Holocaust. Activities of Polish Institutions
    Anna Wencel, Kamila Czerkawska (Cracow, Poland), Working with Survivors and Witnesses – Educators’ Perspective
    Tomasz Sudoł (Warsaw, Poland), Komitet dla Upamiętnienia Polaków Ratujących Żydów (Committee for the Commemoration of Poles who Rescued Jews during the Holocaust) and its collecting data activity of testimonies of Poles that rescued Jews in years 1939-1945
    Klara Jackl (Warsaw. Poland), Project ”The Polish Righteous – Recalling Forgotten History” by the Polin Museum

    16:30 Screening of Ocaleni (Rescued), the documentary film by Joanna Król and Karolina Dzięciołowska (English Subtitles) with the introduction by Joanna Król and followed by a Questions & Answers session

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