“Celebration of the memory of the events witnessed by this city”

On the 80th anniversary of the closure of the Warsaw Ghetto borders, i.e. 16 November, the Director of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum, Albert Stankowski, and the President of the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland, Artur Hofman, invited all those interested to the ceremony of lighting candles by the ghetto wall on the premises of H. Sienkiewicz Secondary School, at 53 Sienna Street

16 November 2020

Due to safety procedures related to the pandemic, the number of attendees was limited.  The ceremony was broadcast on the following websites: https://1943.pl/ and http://tskz.pl/ as well as on the social media channels of the organisers.

The event as well as the entire celebration of the 80th anniversary of the closure of the Warsaw Ghetto borders is co-organised by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland.

Here is a list of delegations that lit candles:

Embassy of Israel – Deputy Ambassador Tal Ben Ari Yaalon,JHI,The Memory of Treblinka Foundation,

Stowarzyszenie Żydów Kombatantów i Poszkodowanych w II W.Ś. (Association of Jewish Veterans and Victims of World War II) – Marian Kalwary,

Office of the “Independent” („Niepodległa”) Programme,Office for Culture – director Artur Jóźwik,

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews – Director Zygmunt Stępiński,

The Nissenbaum Family Foundation,

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland – Ambassador Jacek Chodorowicz, Mr. Tymon Markowski, photographer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

The Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression – Head of the Office Jan Józef Kasprzyk,

Museum of Independence – Justyna Wyszyńska, Head of the Promotion and Marketing Department,

Institute of National Remembrance – Vice-President Mateusz Szpytma,

Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany,

Association of the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland,

Polish Underground State Foundation – President Mirosław Chada,

Polish Association of the Righteous Among the Nations – Joanna Bąk on behalf of president Anna Stupnicka-Bando.

The following persons have spoken during the ceremony: Director of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum, Albert Stankowski (“Standing next to one of the few surviving fragments of the ghetto wall, not far from the future seat of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum under construction, I would like to remind you how important it is to remember the events witnessed by this city“); Artur Hofman, President of the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland (“It is our duty to cultivate our common Polish and Jewish memory of those terrible events, of what should be remembered, and to draw conclusions for the future“); Minister Jarosław Sellin (“With today’s ceremony, we begin a new tradition of commemorating Polish, Warsaw Jews“); Monika Krawczyk, President of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities (“It is a touching ceremony because we did not commemorate the anniversaries of the closure of the ghetto walls in previous years“). We listened a recording of the speech of prof. Szewach Weiss, a Survivor of the Holocaust: “This is not a story to be erased. There will be more and more documents, more and more awareness, books, films and pieces of art about this inhuman phenomenon.” Minister Wojciech Kolarski read out a letter from the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda. At the end of the ceremony, Rabbi Oriel Zarecki sang a prayer.

Anna Kilian

Photo: Jacek Turczyk