Exhibitions

The dignity of men...

Stéphane Hessel - Vernissage

Vernissage Hessel

On the evening of the 25.09.2017 the exhibition “The dignity of men… - Stéphane Hessel” , produced by the Maria Pawlowna Gesellschaft e.V.from Weimar, was inaugurated at the International Youth Meeting Centre in Oswiecim/Auschwitz (IYMC).

For this vernissage inhabitants of the town, pupils from the Bergschule gymnasium in Apolda, managers and foremen from Volkswagen, as well as the participants of the German-Polish youth-exchange of Volkswagen trainees from Wolfsburg, Zwickau, Chemnitz and Dresden with workers from VW Polkowice and students from the vocational school in Chocianow gathered in the forum of the IYMC.

Leszek Szuster, director of the IYMC, welcomed the 90 guests and stressed the long-lasting cooperation between Thuringia and Lesser Poland and the good relations between the IYMC and the State Chancellery of Thuringia which are rooted on the visits of Christiane Lieberknecht and Bodo Ramelow at the IYMC. Then Jérôme Déodat gave an insight into the cooperation between the IYMC and the Maria Pawlowna Gesellschaft. Before Christoph Heubner, executive vice-president of the International Auschwitz Committee and chairman of the board of the foundation for the IYMC, held a laudation remembering the work and person Stéphane Hessel. In this context Heubner stated: There is no better day to remember Stéphane Hessel and heed his call “Time for Outrage!” then this day after the many votes the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) won in the German parliamentary election.

The short version of the film “The Diplomat” by the Antje Starost Film production (Berlin), shown subsequently, gave further insight into Hessel’s biography and enabled the viewers to get a better idea of the person. Lastly, Wolfgang Knappe, curator of the exhibition and president of the Maria Pawlowna Gesellschaft, gave a passionate speech about how this travelling exhibition came about and an insight into his personal motivation to bring this exhibition to over 50 places in Europe since its creation in 2013.

After the official part of the program the numerous guests strolled through the exhibition and many used this occasion to talk to the curator in order to get to know more and even to propose further stops to present it.

The exhibition was accompanied by a workshop, led by Wolfgang Knappe, dedicated to Stéphane Hessel. Young people from Germany, Austria, Poland and Ukraine joined together to arrange the exhibition and wrote down their thoughts to Stéphane hessel and the dignity of men. Their results were framed and thus became a part of this travelling exhibition. The exhibition will be presented in the IYMC until the 21st of October and is under the patronage od Bodo Ramelow, Prime Minister of Thuringia, and of Christiane Lieberknecht, former Prime Minister of Thuringia.

The IYMC and the Maria Pawlowna Gesellschaft would like to thank the Goethe Institute in Krakow, the Alternative 54 and the Institute for teacher training, curriculum development and media of the Free State of Thuringia who supported this project financially.

This was already the second project which the IYMC realized with partners from Thuringia, after the exhibition “Harmony – Dissonance” by the Polish artists Elżbieta Kuraj and Janusz Karbowniczek was inaugurated in the Kunsthalle Arnstadt on the 16th of September.

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