Promoting Cultures of Tolerance and Democratic Value by Addressing Xenophobia and Exclusion
This network of historic sites and museums in Europe seeks to foster dialogue on issues of discrimination, migration, and xenophobia in Europe today. The network works to develop youth programs that use the sites’ unique histories to promote tolerance, democratic processes, and a European citizenship based in human rights. These youth programs will provide new spaces for long-time European citizens and newcomers alike to come together and explore how Europeans have confronted xenophobia and difference in the past – and how they might do so today.
Sites of Conscience across Europe will meet again April 26-30, 2012 in Spain to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Bombing of Gernika. Read more about why we remember Gernika.
In December 2007, the B92 Fund launched an initiative to build a Museum of Tolerance at the Old Fairground death camp site. Because of its history, the Old Fairground site is a critical location where a memorial educational complex should be placed in Serbia and in the Balkans. It will serve as memorial centre both for the events and history of repression after World War II, as well as for the wars waged in the period from 1991-1999, where interested parties can be introduced to the documents which encompass all the relevant facts related to these events in this dramatic period of time. The Belgrade Museum of Tolerance initiative entails the reconstruction of the buildings from the period when the concentration camp was situated there as well as the formation of a memorial centre which will include a partial reconstruction of the concentration camp. In addition, a cultural-educational centre will be set up with the intention to inform the public about the world’s history of violence and intolerance through a program exchange.
On August 8th, 1956, a fire spread through the Bois du Cazier coal mine in Marcinelle, claiming the lives of 262 men of 12 different nationalities. The disaster was the largest industrial tragedy of its kind in Belgian history, leaving in its wake hundreds of widows and orphans. More than half of the 262 victims were immigrants from Italy, who filled the need for labourers in Belgium’s former economic heartland. The tragedy put an end to a treaty that Belgium and Italy signed in 1946 to encourage Italian workers to come in Belgium to work in mines and led to stricter safety regulations for coal miners across the nation. A visit to the Bois du Cazier sensitizes visitors to question the costs and benefits of industrialization and consider issues of workplace safety. It also offers visitors the opportunity to reflect on the lives and past contributions of immigrants in Belgium and the factors influencing immigration policy today.
Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities
Contact: Peder Nustad, Educational Department
Postboks, 1168, Blindern
The Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities was founded in 2001 and in addition to its permanent exhibition on the Holocaust other genocides, the Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities (HL-senteret) is engaged in research, documentation and education, in addition to hosting temporary exhibitions. The permanent exhibition at Villa Grande tells the story of Nazi genocide and mass murder during the Second World War through audio and visual images, documents and artefacts. The exhibition focuses on the destruction of the Norwegian Jewish community under Nazi occupation. The center is located at Bygdøy in Oslo, in an old mansion called Villa Grande. The Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities and the permanent exhibition opened to the public in August 2006. Moreover, it is the explicit aim to be a meeting-place for people who want to participate in the enduring controversy concerning all kinds of religious, racist and ethnic motivated repression.
Cultural Heritage Without Borders
Kulturarv utan Gränser
113 21 Stockholm
Cultural Heritage without Borders is an independent organization based in Sweden dedicated to rescuing and preserving tangible and intangible cultural heritage touched by conflict, neglect or human and natural disasters. We see our work as a vital contribution to building democracy and supporting human rights. CHwB is neutral when it comes to conflicting parties, but not to the rights of all people to their cultural heritage.
Contact: Karmit Zysman, Director
Halil Alidemaj 26
The Discovery Center provides a secure and open environment, where youth are encouraged to be curious. Emphasis is be placed on creating a safe space to afford young people the chance to examine a wide range of topics and interests, from exploring issues of ethnic identity, to learning how electricity works. Initiated in 2003, the first phase of the Discovery Center’s development will include a traveling exhibit to access remote, rural communities and to collaborate with Serbian, Albanian and Roma youth and activists.
Diversity Challenges vision is a society in which people understand, and take responsibility for, the shared and distinctive traditions of all communities. Diversity Challenges mission is to assist culturally specific groups in integrating community relations principles and considerations within all aspects of their work. In working towards this mission, Diversity Challenges target key culturally specific groups within Ireland, with the greatest impact on community life and identify influential individuals within each group who are driving change (or wish to drive change) towards a fuller and more constructive role in a diverse society. Diversity Challenges support the individuals through consultancy, coaching, training, networking and practical assistance to develop and implement change strategies within their organizations. Diversity Challenges hopes to use their experience to develop and publish good practice models for international circulation and provide consultancy and training support on the use of the best practice models to agencies in other countries facing similar challenges.
Fundação Aristides de Sousa Mendes
Contact: Mariana Abrantes, Consultora Financeira
Ave. Cristo Rei, 23
3430-618 Cabanas de Viriato
Carregal do Sal
Tel: (351) 917 286 396
As Consul of Portugal in Bordeaux, France in June 1940, Sousa Mendes was severely punished for granting nearly 30.000 visas to Jewish and other “undesirable” refugees, having chosen to follow his conscience against the instructions of the Portuguese governement. The Fundação Aristides de Sousa Mendes (FASM) was created in 2000 by the Sousa Mendes family with the mission to create a memorial center dedicated to the celebration of his Act of Conscience and altruism in the former family home Casa do Passal, in Cabanas de Viriato, central Portugal. The site was classified as a National Monument as of March 3, 2011 by the Portuguese heritage authority.
Gernika Gogoratuz Peace Research Center
Contact: María Oianguren Idigoras, Director
Artekalea, 1 – 1º
E – 48300 Gernika-Lumo
Tel: +34 946253558
Fax: +34 94 6256765
Gernika Gogoratuz is a Peace Research Centre created in 1987 by unanimous decision of the Basque Parliament, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Gernika. The Centre conducts peace-building activities in the areas of research, training, information dissemination, and civic engagement in order to strengthen peace-building networks and to make Gernika a global reference on peace. The Centre is supported by the Gernika Gogoratuz Foundation, consisting of the municipality of Gernika-Lumo, the Basque Government branches of Culture, Justice, Education, Universities and Research, University of the Basque Country, University of Deusto, University of Mondragón and the Gernika Gogoratuz Association, which manages the activities of the Centre and guarantees its independence.
Gernika Peace Museum Foundation
Contact: Iratxe Momoitio Astorkia, Director
Foru Plaza, 1, 48300 Gernika-Lumo
Gernika Peace Museum Foundation preserves, displays, publicizes, conducts research and educates visitors about the history of the Spanish civil war and the bombing of Gernika to foster dialogue and discussion on shaping a culture of peace. The Gernika Peace Museum was originally founded in 1998 to document the history of the 1937 bombing of Gernika during the Spanish Civil War. From 1999 to 2002, the Museum expanded its mission to become the first museum in Spain to focus on the theme of peace. The goal of the Museum is not to teach absolute truth, but to provide different ideas for achieving and maintaining peace. The Museum’s permanent exhibit has three main foci: to explore definitions of peace and how peace flourishes in relationships between people; to teach the legacy of the Gernika bombing, the lessons taught by survivors, and instances of reconciliation and mediation around the world; and to encourage discussion on contemporary peace issues.
From 1941 to 1945 about 15.000 people were killed in Hadamar. The victims were people with disabilities and with psychiatric diseases; the perpetrators were physicians, nurses and the administration. In 1941 the victims were killed by gas, from 1942 to 1945 they were given overdoses of medicaments. In 1983 Gedenkstätte Hadamar (Hadamar memorial) was opened and consists nowadays of the former killing-facilities, the bus-garage, the graveyard and the exhibition. The Gedenkstätte Hadamar has more than 14.000 visitors each year. About 95% get information via guided tours and lecture days. The visitors are mostly students (schools, nursing schools, universities). The emphasis lies on the relation between euthanasia-crimes and current issues, like the medical progress.
Healing Through Remembering
Contact: Cate Turner, Project Director
Alexander House, 17a Ormeau Avenue
Belfast, BT2 8HD
Healing Through Remembering (HTR) is an extensive cross-community project made up of a range of individual members holding differing political, social and religious perspectives who have come together to focus on the issue of how best to deal with the past relating to the conflict in and about Northern Ireland. Uniquely, HTR ensures comprehensive involvement of all stakeholders to investigate the feasibility, viability and usefulness of remembering the conflict and in so doing both individually and collectively contribute to building a better future for all. Through ongoing internal discussions, research, round table discussions, conferences and outreach programmes, HTR has produced a range of reports, options papers, discussion papers and audits which continue to inform discussion throughout society – this includes community groups, political parties, statutory and Government policy makers.
Between 1939-1945 the Silesian House served as headquarters of Security Police and Security Service for the Krakow’s District. The 4th department was the Secret State Police (Geheime Staatspolizei) called Gestapo. During the occupation, Silesian House was a place of torture for thousands Poles and people of other nationalities (the exact number of imprisoned isn’t known). The exhibition examines the Nazi apparatus of terror, the resistance movement within the city and gives a brief history of the Krakow in the post war period.
The museum is housed in what used to be the administrative building of the former Oskar Schindler factory, Emalia. The wartime history of the factory, its owner Oskar Schindler, and the Jewish prisoners of the Płaszów camp became known primarily thanks to Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List. It is the intention of the museum to show the history of the factory in a broader historical context, and provide visitors with an opportunity to learn more about the history of Kraków under the occupation.
When the Podgórze district became the new Jewish ghetto under the Nazi occupation, the Eagle Pharmacy quickly became a meeting point for the Jewish intelligentsia, who would gather there to debate, socialize and even entertain. During selections for deportations, many were able to hide there and if needs be escape by the rear exit. Food, valuables, and letters were smuggled via the pharmacy, which was treated as a kind of depository. The Eagle Pharmacy now houses an exhibition which documents the ghetto history and life saving activities of Tadeusz Pankiewicz, during the war.
International Forum of Solidarity – Emmaus BIH
Contact: Emir Nurkic Kacapor, Advisory Council Member
Duje bb, 74 207 Klokotnica
74207 Kolokotnica- Doboj East
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tel: +387 35 72 60 20
Website: www.emmaus-europe.org; http://www.mfs-emmaus.ba/V2
IFS was created in 1999 as a response to an influx of returned refugees after the war in Bosnia. The organization has its headquarters in Doboj East, with additional offices in Tuzla, Sarajevo and Srebrenica. IFS-Emmaus is a member of Emmaus International movement and Emmaus Europe movement and founding member of World Solidarity Alliance – Franco Bettoli. The activities carried out by IFS are diverse: providing aid for refugees, helping people with disabilities, carrying out prevention sessions with young people about human trafficking, drugs and AIDS etc. Apart from providing continuous help to returnees, starting in 2006, IFS has launched Youth Camps attended by young people from all over Europe. Youth participate in community projects such as the renovation of a primary schools, rebuilding of water supply network in the city of Srebrenica, distribution of commodities to returnees (food, clothes, furniture), as well as other activities that provide direct help to the elderly and vulnerable people in Srebrenica.
Jasenovac Memorial Site
Contact: Natasa Jovicic, Director and I am Jasenovac Memorial Site
Brace Radic 147
44 324 Jasenovac
Tel: +385 44 672 319
Fax: +385 44 672 319
The Jasenovac Memorial Site marks the former Jasenovac concentration camp, Brickworks. The memorial also manages the preserved camp building known as The Tower, the Stara Gradiška Camp cemetery, the Roma cemetery in Uštica, the mass graves in Krapje, Mlaka and Jablanac, and an Education Centre. Their activities include compiling, researching, processing, preserving and exhibiting documentation of Jasenovac Ustasha camp operations, educational programs and publications, ongoing co-operation with surviving prisoners, and commemorative events for the Jasenovac victims. Today Jasenovac is a place that encourages contemplation and learning and where the value of human life and the moral principles which characterize humankind are embraced.
Contact: Oriol López i Badell, Historian and Sites of Memory Technician
Jordi Guixe i Coromines, Responsible for Projects and Spaces of Memory
Av. Diagonal, 409, 7a
08008 – Barcelona
By recovering formerly repressed histories and voices, Memorial Democràtic aims to defend the Catalan citizens’ “right to remember”. The institution works to research, preserve, and publicize the history of the period 1931-1981, including the democratic struggle against fascism during the Spanish Civil War, Franco’s regime, the citizens’ fight for democracy against the dictatorship, and the transition to democracy. Memorial Democràtic is a place of commemoration and serves as an information and resource centre for the Catalan government, other public administrations, and the civil society in their policies and initiatives to recover and share historic memories of the fight for democracy. The institution organizes traveling exhibitions, conferences and debates and publishes books for teachers and researchers, as well as pedagogical tools on how to engage students in recovering memory. Memorial Democràtic is dedicated to preserving historic sites and provides technical assistance and financial support to historic research and various memory projects. It aims to create a series of museums, sites, and visitor centres where the public can gather a comprehensive understanding of Catalonia’s recent history.
Mu.MA – Instituzione Musei del Mare Galata
Contact: Anna Dentoni, Project Manager
Calata de Mari 1
Tel: +39 010 2514760
Fax: +39 010 2543908
MuMA uses the SEA as dialogue between people and cultures. It presents the history of Men and Sea across 600 years, from 1492 to the present.
Two exhibits in particular—‘Memoria e Migrazione’ and ‘LA MERICA 1892 – 1914 da Genova a Ellis Island,’—present the history of migration by sea to and from Italy in the recent and more distant past, respectively. In three and a half years, more that 524,000 visitors have experienced the migration exhibitions, walking in the footsteps of people who made the difficult journeys. Aboard two boats once used to carry African emigrants to Italy, ‘Memoria e Migrazione,’ launched in 2011, compares issues of migration today with what happened in Italy more than 120 years ago with photos, videos, artifacts, interviews, and multimedia stations. Visitors ‘meet’ the immigrant people and their families, learn their histories and home countries, see what they eat and where they work.
Il Museo Storico della Liberazione – Roma (the Historical Museum of the Liberation) is housed in the building used as a prison by the Security Police during the Nazi occupation of Rome (September 1943-June 1944). The detention cells within have been preserved as they were left by the fleeing Germans. These rooms remember the most dramatic and significant national events during the occupation of Rome and are now dedicated to the memory of those who were detained.
Museum of Free Derry
Contact: Adrian Kerr, Curator
55 Glenfada Park
Derry, Northern Ireland BT48 9DR
On Sunday January 30, 1972, in an incident known as Bloody Sunday, British paratroopers killed 14 people and wounded 14 others after a peaceful civil rights march in the Bogside area of Derry. Glenfada Park, in the heart of the Bogside, lies on the “killing line” of Bloody Sunday, where four of the 14 men murdered that day were shot directly in front of or beside a block of flats facing the car park. The Museum of Free Derry is housed in the renovated flats in Glenfada Park, which symbolize the link between modern refurbished Bogside to the older Bogside neighbourhood where horrendous social conditions inspired the civil rights movement in the north of Ireland. The Museum covers the entire period of the national movement, with reference to its international context, and the onset of the troubles in Ireland leading up to the Bloody Sunday massacre and the British army invasion of Free Derry in July 1972.
The Museum of Romani Culture (MRC) was founded in 1991 based on the initiative of Romani and non-Romani Czech intellectuals and experts and with support from the Czech Ministry of Culture. Its aim is the expert collection of records and documents which give evidence of the material and spiritual culture of the Roma and their coexistence with the majority population from the past to the present time. The museum preserves examples of Romani cultural history as part of Europe’s heritage, provides a space where different cultures meet and in its commitment to fighting xenophobia and racism, it educates the younger generation to be tolerant and appreciate other cultures.
Peace School Foundation of Monte Sole
Contact: Marzia Gigli, Director of Historical Research
Elena Monicelli, Director of Education
Via S. Martino, 25, Marzabotto
The mission of the Peace School Foundation of Monte Sole is to promote training and peace education projects, non-violent transformation of conflicts, respect of human rights for peaceful coexistence among different people and cultures, and a society without xenophobia, racism, and any other kind of violence towards human beings and their environment. Between September 29 and October 5, 1944, around 800 people in more than 100 places in the mountains (small villages, churches and single houses) were killed by Nazi SS troops with the help of italian fascist elements. The houses and churches were burnt down everywhere. Today the land is preserved as a natural and historical park, scattered with ruins of the former village. The Peace School uses the sites as a basis for education programs and summer youth camps that examine the context that made that system of terror possible, both in Monte Sole and in other places.
Between 1873 and 1934, the legendary Red Star Line transported more than two million European passengers to America. At the port in Antwerp, Belgium, emigrants in steerage class underwent disinfection and medical examinations while clerks scrutinized their documents. Today three warehouses stand as a testament to this emigrant experience. In 2012, Red Star Line / People on the Move will open a new museum at this historic location. It will be a place of remembrance, experience, debate and research into international mobility, both past and present.
The mission of the Research & Documentation Center is to gather facts, documents and data on genocide, war crimes and human rights violations during the Bosnia war, 1992-1995. The Center believes that by empowering Bosnian citizens with the facts of war it will prevent conflict and manipulation of the facts in the future. To this end, the Center has created two public resources; the Bosnian Book of the Dead – a database that includes the names of all the people killed during the war; and the Bosnian War Crimes Atlas – a geographic information system, which using Google Earth technology allows users to find sites of mass executions and mass graves across Bosnia, along with the names of the victims, as well as available court documentation.
La Route des Abolitions de l’Esclavage consist of five sites: The Abbot Gregoire Embermenil House, La Casa Victor Schoelcher in Fessenheim, The House of Blackness in Champagney, The Castle of Joux in Pontarlier, and Anne Marie’s House in Chamblanc Javouhey. These sites seek to remember the enslavement of blacks and to honor the memory of those who fought for the abolition of slavery at a time when Europe was rich from the slave trade.
Launched in 2004, the La Route des Abolitions de l’Esclavage is a resource of the international project “The Slave Route” supported by UNESCO. Its mission is to remember and apply the French law passed on May 10, 2001 “recognizing the slave trade and slavery as a crime against humanity.”
Between the July 11-22, 1995, at the end of the Bosnia War, over 8,000 Bosniak men were executed by the Bosnian Serb Army in the Eastern Bosnian i Herzegovinian enclave of Srebrenica. These killings became the single largest massacre to take place on the European continent since World War II. Inside a former battery factory, where the Army separated families before the executions, the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial Center & Cemetery (SPMCC) offers a space for prayer and remembrance and serves as a final resting place for many of those massacred. In the Spomen Soba (Memorial Room), visitors can hear testimonials, watch film installations, and view recovered artifacts. In the on-site cemetery, a memorial wall is inscribed with the names of the 8,372 victims and provides one of the largest open-air Muslim prayer spaces in Europe. The SPMCC dedicates its knowledge, experience, and energy to ensure that the Srebrenica story be heard by the whole world so as to avert future genocide.
During the Nazi occupation of the Czech part of Czechoslovakia in World War II, the Small Fortress of Terezín was turned into a Gestapo prison and the Great Fort – the town of Terezín – a Jewish ghetto and transit station to death camps in the east. For displaced Jews, the Terezín ghetto was a place of suffering, but also of resistance – nearly unimaginable courage, self-sacrifice, and unending struggle to save the intended victims of genocide. The key mission of the Terezín Memorial, the only institution of its kind in the Czech Republic, is to commemorate the victims of the Nazi political and racial persecution during the occupation of the Czech lands in World War II, to promote museum, research and educational activities, and look after the memorial sites connected with the suffering and death of dozens of thousands of victims of violence.
The Workhouse is a museum operated by the National Trust. Built in 1824, it was the prototype of the 19th century workhouse. The Workhouse is dedicated to preserving an example of a once familiar building that loomed on the outskirts of every town, and to interpreting its historic meaning as both a refuge and a warning to the millions who lived near subsistence level in 19th century Britain.
World Solidarity Alliance – Franco Bettoli
Contact: Emir Nurkic Kacapor, Chief Executive
Piaggia Murello n.30, c/o Margit Svensgaard
Tel: 39-33-574 607 49
World Solidarity Alliance – Franco Bettoli is a non-profit international development organization that was established in April 2008 and incorporated in July 2009. Franco Bettoli was an Italian humanitarian worker and international grassroots leader with a vision for a better world where all people live in peace and harmony. WSA is founded on Franco Bettoli’s believes in unity, human rights and freedoms, justice for all and true democracy. The organization is committed to addressing the following five priority issues in development: 1. Providing relevant, accessible and high quality education for 21st century; 2. Introducing a more rigorous international legal framework guaranteeing Human Rights protection to individuals; 3. Providing an integrated investment in youth leadership and workforce development; 4. Responding to the demand for special protection of children and marginalized groups, and; 5. Advocating for and committing to evidence based programming with a clear and measurable impact on individuals, communities and their society. Since its inception, WSA has established Franco Bettoli Scholarship Fund, established various income generation programs for conflict affected groups, financed programmatic assessments and feasibility studies to establish evidence based programs in Eastern Europe and Bosnia in particular.
Youth Initiative for Human Rights
Contact: Alma Masić, Director
Luna Kalas, Capacity Building Coordinator
Mula Mustafe Bašeskije 8/4
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) is regional non-governmental organisation operating and implementing programmes in Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia i Herzegovina (BiH) and Croatia. Established in 2007, YIHR in BiH (YIHR BH) trains young people to critically think of the society and to get actively engaged in changing it. YIHR BH builds new links amongst young people within BiH, especially in terms of inclusion of divided communities and encouragement of the Europeanization of the Western Balkans through regional cooperation of young people from different countries of the former Yugoslavia. The organisation supports and encourages young people of BiH to promote social and political action about issues of relevance to them. Such promotion includes advancement of the 1992-1995 BIH war remembrance culture; advocating for human rights protection and minority rights; as well as the promotion of issues related to EU integration processes and democratisation within the Western Balkans region.
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