“Our commitment must be to remember the victims who perished, respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm humanity's common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.”
-- Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
On December 3, during its plenary meeting in Manchester, IHRA hosted a panel discussion between the experts and government representatives involved in the project on the “Ex-Yugoslav” Pavilion exhibit to be set up at the Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and State Museum.
The event provided current information about the draft concept of the permanent regional exhibition space and served as a platform for an exchange of ideas.
The exhibit, a truly multilateral initiative between state and non-state actors, is supported by UNESCO’s global initiative “Culture: a bridge to Development” and has the support of several Holocaust organisations from various countries. IHRA has been following the developments with great interest, and has reported on previous meetings – the relevant articles can be found here and here.
The roundtable discussion in Manchester was hosted by Sir Andrew Burns, Chairman of IHRA and was organised with the support of Karel Fracapane, UNESCO, and Thomas Lutz, Topography of Terror. Participants noted the cooperation between the participating states and the significance of the establishment of a common historical narrative.
Nataša Mataušić from the Croatian History Museum, Olga Pintar from the Institute for Recent History of Serbia, and Kaja Širok from the National Museum of Contemporary History in Slovenia who comprise the Editorial Board of the steering committee, led the discussion by providing an overview of the project. For further information, please see the Report of the Editorial Board and the accompanying PowerPoint Presentation.
Additionally, representatives of Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, Alicja Bialecka, and the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism, Hannah Lessing, gave brief reports on their experiences with national pavilions at the museum. Governmental representatives from participating IHRA member and observer countries, including Damir Zupan from Croatia, Ambassador Roksanda Ninčić from Serbia, Maja Smid from Slovenia, and Ambassador Jovan Tegovski from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia then addressed the audience, and reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to the project.