Taiwan on Monday promised to donate 1.5 million Polish zloty (US$409,931) to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation to promote education programs about the history of the former Nazi concentration camp.
With Representative to Poland Weber Shih (施文斌), foundation president Piotr Cywinski and director-general Wojciech Soczewica signing a memorandum of understanding in Warsaw, Taiwan has become the first Asian nation to join the organization’s group of donors, the foundation said.
Shih spoke of Taiwan’s resolute support for the “high value of respect for human rights.”
Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times
The nation “stands ready to join global donors in supporting the foundation’s effort to perpetuate the Holocaust sites as the foundation for education and awareness for future generations,” he said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote on Twitter that it is proud to witness the signing, as the nation is working to bolster its education, remembrance and research on the Holocaust.
It also quoted Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard’s aphorism: “Life must be lived forwards; but it can only be understood backwards.”
Cywinski said that the foundation, in collaboration with many countries, private donors and local governments, has been able to preserve “the vast and the most important memorial site in the world.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation has used the time to strengthen the voice of the memorial, he added.
The new programs funded by the donation would utilize new technologies to teach the history of Auschwitz and preserve the memories of concentration camp victims, he said.
The participation of people “from the Far East” is evidence that “Auschwitz, as a symbol, has a global meaning,” Cywinski said.
The foundation’s activities are made possible by its constantly expanding coalition of global partners, Soczewica said.
“The similarity of the challenges faced by today’s young generation in Europe or Asia means for us the necessity to search for common answers to difficult lessons from history,” he added.
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
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