On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Nazi extermination camp, we opened a documentary exhibition titled ‘Passports for Life’.
The exhibition was dedicated to Polish diplomats who issued forged passports from Latin American countries, especially Paraguay, during World War II in Bern, thus saving Jews.
The exhibition opened on Wednesday 22 January 2020 at 17:00 in the Avla exhibition space, the University of Maribor Library (Razstavišče Avla, Univerzitetna knjižnica Maribor), Gospejna ulica 10.
The main guest of honour and speaker was Mr. Uri Strauss from Switzerland. Mr. Strauss survived the Holocaust as a child thanks to a forged Paraguay passport. The audience was also be addressed by His Excellency Mr. Paweł Czerwiński, the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Slovenia, and Mr. Ivan Martelanc, Adviser to SASA, whose idea it was to host the exhibitions ‘Passports for Life’ and ‘Visas for Life’ in Slovenia.
The exhibition has been prepared by the Pilecki Institute from Warsaw in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Bern. The exhibition hosted in Slovenia has been organised by the Center of Jewish Cultural Heritage Synagogue Maribor and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Ljubljana.
The opening ceremony was followed by a screening of the documentary film ‘Passports to Paraguay’ (directed by Robert Kaczmarek, 2019, 57 min) by the Institute of National Remembrance from Warsaw at the Glazer Hall of the University of Maribor Library (Glazerjeva dvorana Univerzitetne knjižnice Maribor). This was the first time the film was shown with Slovenian subtitles.
The exhibition was on display until 29 February.
Center of Jewish Cultural Heritage Synagogue Maribor
Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Ljubljana
University of Maribor Library
Municipality of Maribor
Pilecki Institute, Warsaw
Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Bern
Institute of National Remembrance, Warsaw
State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau
The event was organised as part of the Shoah – Let Us Remember 2020 project. The honorary patron of the project was Zoran Poznič, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.
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