The third youth event part of the EU-fundend “ Persecution Through Their Eyes” project was organised throught the month of October in Lublin by “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre and integrated in a wider programme of activities designed to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the end of the devastating “Reinhardt” operation. This is the third youth event of the series, following the ones in Camp Vught National Memorial and Sant’Anna di Stazzema National Park of Peace.
Operation Reinhardt resulted in a mass murder of Jews, the liquidation of ghetto and the execution of 40,000 prisoners in the Majdanek camp and its branches. The 80th anniversary of its conclusion served as an occasion for reflection on the subject of persecution during World War II.
Over 100 students took part in educational activities that integrated the historical theme of WWII persecution with contemporary experiences of war, particularly in Ukraine. Several workshops were held that drew upon the biographies created for the “Persecution Through Their Eyes” project exhibition, which recounted a wide array of stories and experiences related to persecution during WWII concerning people from four different countries. Additionally, participants attended the theatrical performance “Borders of War”, which was created by young artists and told the stories of those experiencing war in Ukraine.
The youth event concluded on October 30th at the Catholic University of Lublin. The halls of the university hosted students, teachers, representatives from the Lublin town, cultural institutions, and historians. The official launch of the exhibition was preceded by a panel discussion titled “The Experience of War,” organized in collaboration with the Department of History and Historiography of Central and Eastern Europe.
On this occasion, students were able to listen to a unique recording featuring Rose Lipszyc, one of the exhibition’s protagonists. At the age of 94, Ms. Lipszyc shared her own wartime experiences, emphasizing the enduring importance of freedom and democracy after years of suffering and conflict.
Overall, the youth event and educational activities provided an excellent opportunity to go further into a multi-perspective understanding of history and past and present conflicts.
Joanna Roman, Project Manager at the LRE Foundation, highlighted the significance of events like the one in Lublin. She said, “Events such as the one organised in Lublin allow us to see the particular need for similar educational activities, which meet with great commitment from young participants and help to see the individual stories and perspectives of directly suffered the atrocities of WWII”.
The “Persecution Through Their Eyes” project does not end here; another youth event is planned for November 7 at the Buchenwald Memorial in Germany.