The Polish Mission would like to extend the deepest of thanks to the many state and religious officials who most graciously lent their support of our very first commemoration of Liberation Day, presented in cooperation with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum (A-BSM). Photos here. Organized in partnership with Kari Alterman of the American Jewish Committee and Mike Smith of Wayne State University, it is our honor to recognize:
- Vice Consul of the Republic of Poland Konrad Zielinski
- Consul General of Canada Roy B. Norton
- American Jewish Committee Detroit Regional Office President Howard Brown
- The Honorable Ms. Jackie Beach, Mayor of Orchard Lake Village
- Msgr. Thomas C. Machalski
- Rabbi Aaron Bergman, Adat Shalom Synagogue
- Mr. Stephen Goldman, Director of the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington, Michigan
- Vice President of the United States of America Joe Biden
- Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywinski, Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
- Most Reverend Abp. Carlo Maria Vigano, Apostolic Nuncio
- H.E. Ryszard Schnepf, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland
- Consul General of the Republic of Poland Paulina Kapuscinska
- Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski, Head of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland
- Undersecretary Maciej Klimczak, Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland
- Consul General of Israel Roey Gilad
- Rabbi Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Poland
- H.E. Sergey I. Kislyak, Ambassador of the Russian Federation
- H.E. Christian Brecht, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany
- H.E. Gary Doer, Ambassador of Canada
- H.E. Claudio Bisogniero, Ambassador of Italy
- H.E. Bozo Cerar, Ambassador of Slovenia
- H.E. Peter Kmec, Ambassador of Slovakia
- H.E. Hans Peter Manz, Ambassador of Austria
- H.E. Gyorgy Szapary, Ambassador of Hungary
- H.E. Vladimir Drobnjak, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Croatia to the United Nations
- The Honorable Rick Snyder, Governor of the State of Michigan
The Polish Mission is the exclusive American partner with A-BSM for the Forbidden Art educational project, and it is our honor to participate in a first-of-its kind joint commemoration of Liberation Day with our colleagues at A-BSM in Oświęcim, Poland. This remarkable occasion is the first time in history that an American institution has hosted an extension of the official Liberation Day proceedings at Auschwitz. In light of this, and due to overwhelming requests, we’ve brought the Forbidden Art exhibition back to The Polish Mission for a second showing in our Galeria, from January 27 through March 31. The landmark exhibition had its North American premier at The Polish Mission in August of 2012, and following formal endorsement by the President and Vice President, has since toured major universities and institutions across the United States. The following is an address from Polish Mission Director Marcin Chumiecki:
Today we join with the world to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
Named “International Holocaust Remembrance Day” by the United Nations in 2005, today, we together with the community of nations represented here, pay homage to the victims, to the survivors, and to the righteous.
This day has been sanctified by the souls of the victims, who were doomed to vanish under a shadow of hatred. Today, the many traces of their existence are remembered, in dedication and reverence, in order that their memory will ever be a solemn reminder. A reminder that the sword of hatred is forged slowly; that its reach is far; and that to see it nevermore requires constant vigilance.
Vigilance is increased by education, which is why The Polish Mission is proud to remain the exclusive North American partner with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland, for the Forbidden Art educational program. This partnership is the essence of memory, and the key to that vigilance; through education, the engagement of young people, and the fervent passion to share this history, wounds will heal, and understanding will grow.
This effort, embodied by tonight’s gathering, is needed deeply for a new, peaceful future.
The Polish Mission of The Orchard Lake Schools