To mark the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the ghettos of Vilnius and Warsaw, the permanent delegations of Poland and Lithuania are organizing a roundtable “Courage and Creativity in Warsaw and Vilnius Ghettos”, at UNESCO on 3 December 2014 at 4pm.
This event, primarily commemorative, will pay tribute to the power of spiritual resistance and to the artists who worked in the ghettos in order to leave a testimony of the destruction of European Jews, although they were living in extreme conditions.
Speakers at the roundtable will include representatives from UNESCO, the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum, the Warsaw Jewish Historical Institute and the Paris Museum of Art and History of Judaism. Leonidas Donskis, philosopher and vice President of the Jewish community of Lithuania will be chairing the discussion .
On the same occasion, various exhibitions on the Holocaust and Jewish life in Central Europe, including drawings and watercolours from Samuel Bak’s childhood in the Vilnius ghettos, as well as paintings from Rafael Chwoles, created on the ruins of that same ghetto after its destruction.
Additionally, the Polish and Lithuanian permanent delegations will present photographs from Emmanuelle Polack’s “Craftsmen and Peasants of Yiddishland (1921-1938)” and “They risked their lives”, an exhibition from the Museum of History of Polish Jews, describing heroic actions of Polish people who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.
This event will be an opportunity for UNESCO to exhibit “Interstice or break with hope”, a monumental sculpture from Franco-Israeli Hedva Ser, a UNESCO artist for Peace.
During the inauguration of exhibitions, texts by the great Yiddish poet Avrom Sutzkever will be read by the actor Olga Grumberg and the Director of the French Center for Yiddish Culture in Paris, Gilles Rozier, accompanied on violin by Dalia Kuznecovaite.