Sunday, 17 January 2021

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Ciné-ONU: Bogdan’s Journey – learning from the past

 Bogdans Journey Screen View with Audience

To mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, Ciné-ONU presented Bogdan’s Journey in partnership with the Mission of Israel to the EU and NATO and the United Nations Liaison Office for Peace and Security in Brussels (UNLOPS) at Cinema Galeries in Brussels on the 25 January 2017.

The film tells the story of the Catholic Pole Bogdan Bialek, who confronts the people of Kielce with their city’s darkest moment – Europe’s last Jewish pogrom in 1946.

 Deborah Seward UNRIC Moderating Discussion

The ensuing discussion centered around learning from the past in order to understand how to prevent genocides in the future.  Deborah Seward, UNRIC Director moderated the discussion.

Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the American Jewish Committee’s EU Office, acknowledged the complexity of dealing with genocides and reconciliation, with Rory Keane, Head of UNLOPS in Brussels, agreeing and stressing that “storytelling and memories are critical components" in addition to the work of the UN Genocide Prevention Office. Even though these conversations are “emotionally draining”, societies need to provide space for them.

 Audience Thoughts and Comments Bogdan's Journey

The audience actively engaged in the discussion and pointed out the need to reflect on how information, stories and messages about genocide should be far-reaching. Embracing that information is “ ingredient of reconciliation”, Rory Keane emphasized the role of archives and education, particularly at the primary and secondary school level, to ensure that facts are not written out of history.

 Daniel Schwammental AJC at Bogdan's Journey

As Rory Keane said in conclusion, “We all have a responsibility to protect. If we all use it as a North Star, our dialogues can move forward”.

In memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the UN Secretary-General has released an official statement, which you can find here.

Please click here to see the handout from the event and don’t forget to check out more event photos on our Flickr!


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