On November 26, an event “The Road of Memory – the Road of Awareness” was held for teachers of Tolerance Education Centers in the Great Hall of the Government office.
At the event, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė thanked teachers who organized the “Road of Memory” commemorative events throughout Lithuania.
The event ‘Memory Road: the Road to Learning’ was held at the Great Hall of the Office of the Government. During the event, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė thanked teachers who had organized the Memory Road events throughout Lithuania.
‘This year, while commemorating 80 years since the beginning of the Holocaust, we have talked a lot about this tragedy. I welcome that, for, as prominent thinker Leonidas Donskis once said, discussing uncomfortable topics can save us from the recurrence of nightmares of the past. Indifferent or cowardly silence, he said, is the midwife of hatred.
However, no words could convey the full extent and pain of the tragedy that took place. After all, we are speaking about the trauma whose effects we still feel. Yet certain things we definitely need to realize and allow them to enter our hearts and minds.
The Holocaust is not just a tragedy of the Jewish nation, but rather a terrible catastrophe that has impoverished and robbed the entire humanity. We can only dream of the world we would live in if the Litvak culture could have continued to flourish, and if those killed had an opportunity to continue to create their own unique destinies.
We are talking about the Holocaust first and foremost to reaffirm that we remember the lesson of the tragedy and are committed to doing everything we can to prevent it from happening again. As long as the painful memory is alive, and as long as we feel affected by the events that happened 80 years ago, we have hope that we will not allow that to happen again, that we will cherish all the fragments of the polyphonic Lithuania that was destroyed, and, most importantly, that we will try to remain human towards each other.
I truly understand how difficult it is to tell about the tragedy that happened eighty years ago to the young generation, to whom it may seem as yet another horror thriller. Therefore, stories of Holocaust survivors, fostering empathy, and warning about how easily hatred makes a nest in a person’s life are highly important. I am glad that you succeed in this, that you have the courage to learn constantly and to raise uncomfortable questions. It is highly important that the development of tolerance is related not only to the transmission of important information but that it also changes a young person’s personality and fosters a more mature relationship with the world and other people.
Let me thank all the staff of the Tolerance Centres who foster compassion and understanding and make hatred melt away daily. Thank you to everyone who constantly reminds us that uniqueness and otherness are the most precious gift to all of us. Thank you for raising your voices and encouraging others to utter words that heal traumas of memory.
I believe that the 80th anniversary of the Holocaust tragedy will not be just a formal tribute; and that the Holocaust will be discussed, and tolerance will continue to be fostered until respect for another person’s dignity and uniqueness become part of our identity,’ said the Head of Government.
Almost 50 teachers from schools hosting Tolerance Education Centres, set up at the initiative of the International Commission, attended the event. They were the main organizers of the Holocaust remembrance commemorations this year.
Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė served notes of gratitude to fifteen teachers who were the most active contributors to the events of the “Road of Memory” in Lithuania:
3.Edita Gliožerienė, a teacher of Darbėnai Gymnasium in Kretinga dstr.;
8.Silva Paulauskienė, a teacher of Mažeikiai Gymnasium after Merkelis Račkauskas, a coordinator of the Tolerance Education Center;
13.Arvydas Stankus, Headmaster of Ariogala Gymnasium;
Participants of the event received a book by Arūnas Bubnys ‘Holocaust in Lithuanian Province in 1941’.
The event paid tribute to the national project ‘Memory Road 1941-2021’ that had been organized to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the destruction of Jewish communities in the townships and towns of Lithuania.
The event was organized by the Secretariat of the International Commission together with the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania within the premises of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.
For more information about the ‘Memory Road 1941-2021’, the past and planned events, please visit a website of the International Commission at www.komisija.lt
Moments from the event:
Photos by Laima Penek