Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A couple more Holocaust memorial events for information

Holocaust Memorial Day - email from the Yellow House for information.

Kensington based Yellow House have been working with young people throughout Europe for nearly 20 years, working with groups from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Finland.

Yellow House Founder George Mc Kane and his Polish wife Gosia have created a mini United Nations at their Cultural Centre in Kensington, Liverpool with young people from Turkey, Spain. Sweden, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Poland, Latvia and Germany living at their House in The (He) Art of Kensington over the past 2 years mixing and sharing cultural similarities and differences with local young people on a daily basis.

In October 2007 Yellow House linked up with a group of young people from Krakow, Poland and visited the death camp at Auschwitz together. The experience was harrowing, humbling and hopefully lifelong. As part of that trip, the young people had the privilege to meet Josef Roslowski, a 14-year-old freedom fighter in The Warsaw Uprising, and survivor of Auschwitz and Mathausen.

As part of the Yellow House programme for Holocaust Memorial Day Josef will visit Liverpool to talk about his experiences in the death camps as a young boy. He will be at The Picton Room Central Library at 2.00pm on 26th January 2008.

Photographs and poetry by the young people from Liverpool and Krakow recalling their memories of the trip to Auschwitz will be on display at Liverpool Town Hall from 21st January and will be on banners on the outside of St. Luke's Church from 25th January 2008

51 young people from Israel, Poland and Georgia have been invited by Yellow House to Liverpool from 21st January and will collaborate with local young people for a performance at The Picton Room Central Library on Friday 25th January at 2.00pm.

George Mc Kane, Yellow House - "This is such a tremendous experience not only for the young people to visit Liverpool but also for our young people and for Liverpool. It is also a true honour to be able to welcome Josef, a truly inspirational human being and a great speaker, full of humour and bravery. Yellow House are proud and privileged to be part of Holocaust Memorial Day and this work confirms our continuing work in Europe, our commitment to making Liverpool a true European Cultural Centre and our belief in creating new work that has an importance in this world and is art that has strong content, meaning and enables young people the opportunity to show their skills, their work and their feelings. Yellow House is at the centre of truly innovative work with young people and has been for more than 25 years."

Below are some comments from the young people of Yellow House about their visit to Auschwitz - they are available to meet the press - contact via Yellow House:

"My experience at the concentration camp was so emotional and sad. I couldn't speak I was that horrified. I can't imagine myself or anybody else I know being in that hell on earth. I can't stop thinking about it and how it made me feel. I can't get this one picture out of my head. It was a girl of my age. She was crying. They shaved all of her hair off. That girl could've been me for all I know. Words cannot describe the feelings at Auschwitz, only that it sends chills up and down my spine every time I think about it or think about all those people who died so that people like me could have the freedom to do things." Charlotte (aged 13)

"I was really scared to visit this place because of the terrible things that I had been told about by people. But when I entered AUSCHWITZ I got a lot more scared. This place was so heartbreaking the way these people were killed like they were food in a factory and they got burned alive, thousands at a time. It was life changing for me because of the level of nasty, savaging, hatred that I saw just at the camp and in the pictures. I couldn?t begin to imagine what it would have been like to actually be there at the time. It was eye opening because I thought this was inhumane. I felt so guilty of what humans are capable of." Christian (aged 14)

"If you don't know your history, you will live through it again. Never forget it. Thank you to all those heroes who were murdered so I can live in peace today. I am embarrassed to live without you. Never forget the real heroes, the real saviours. But also think about those who survived the slaughter and horror to lose friends and family. Let us spread the message If you don't know your history, you will live through it again. You can read, watch or listen about the horrors but the only experts are those who were murdered. Never again can this happen. Only those who died know the truth. Take responsibility, stand up against discrimination and what is wrong. You won't be a hero like those already, but can pass the word of these heroes. It is amazing how a so-called human can kill, no, MURDER such good humans. Everyone is equal. Never take dignity away from people no matter what. Yet remember the love. People made love in the horror, people were born in the horror and people laughed and joked to survive in the horror. The people who were harmed in the horror are the only people who can tell the real stories, those who hear them can tell others of what they hear. When you visit a camp where such horror occurred, don?t try to imagine you were there, because you weren't. Think about those who deserve the respect. I was sick, scared and shocked. But most importantly I was embarrassed and thankful. I am embarrassed that one who calls himself a human can do this to another human." Liam (Aged 15)

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