On January 27, a traditional artistic conference, “Narrations of Stories“ was held in Ariogala, Raseiniai district, to commemorate the International Holocaust Remembrance Day – January 27.
The conference “Narrations of Stories“ was held in central Lithuania and brought together Tolerance Education Centre communities (teachers and students) from 16 schools. The conference was opened by the Ariogala gymnasium artistic performance, where more than 50 students participated.
Arvydas Stankus, Principle of the Ariogala Gymnasium, welcomed the participants and expressed his happiness that Ariogala hosted the conference for the sixth year. The Head of the Gymnasium highlighted that more and more historical signs were appearing in Ariogala, one of which is a monument unveiled on September 2, 2021, to mark the fact that there was a synagogue in the center of Ariogala before the Second World War.
Ronaldas Račinskas, Executive Director of the International Commission, reminded the audience of the date and the historical significance of January 27 and stressed that it was important not only to be aware of this date and to remember what had happened but also not to keep silent and resist evil to prevent it from happening again.
The conference participants were greeted by the Mayor of Raseiniai Municipality, Andrius Bautronis, and Modesta Lukoševičienė, Head of the Education and Sports Department of Raseiniai Municipality Administration.
Although the theme of the conference is related to the history of the Holocaust in Europe and Lithuania, the theme of this event was the people’s stories connected with Lithuania: the stories of survivors or victims of the Holocaust, one person or family, and the stories of Jewish rescuers.
The audience watched a feature story “Don’t Let Me Forget” based on the diary of Yitzchok Rudashvesky, listened to an excerpt from the works of Grigorijus Kanovičius, and watched four videos: about the Jews of Šeduva, the rescuer of the Jews of Kupiškis, the fate of the Jews of Dotnuva, and the stories of the children – Holocaust survivors – in Kaunas. At the event, an artistic composition was presented about the Jews who lived in Vilnius before the Second World War – their love for the town and the country. The conference ended with a joint creative project of the 6 Tolerance Education Centres of Alytus – an artistic composition “Our Home.” The presentation reflected both the past and the present: life in independent Lithuania before the war, the Second World War, life after the war, the creation of the State of Israel, and the memory of what had happened and what we all needed to know and remember.
Participants and guests of the conference took part in the global initiative #We Remember.
The Secretariat of the International Commission organized the event in cooperation with the Tolerance Education Centre of Ariogala Gymnasium, which is named after the Righteous Among the Nations Janina Tarapaitė – Šliburienė.