Memoria [EN] No. 14 (11/2018) - Page 20

Ambassador. The next speaker was an employee of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage who read the welcome address to the conference participants in the absence of the Deputy Minister, Jarosław Sellin. Then came the address of the Vice-President of Warsaw, Włodzimierz Paszyński. His speech was received with a standing ovation by the conference participants. The speaker pointed out, among others, that the historical truth about Polish-Jewish relations during and after the war and the truth about Polish aid for the Jewish population during the Holocaust cannot yield to short-term political goals. He emphatically pointed out that the depositories of this memory are teachers, for whom decency and truth should be the main indicators in their pedagogical work.

The substantive part of the event began after the ceremonial welcome and opening of the conference by Deputy Director of the POLIN Museum Zygmunt Stępiński. It was inaugurated by Dr Stephen Smith, Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation and Chairperson of UNESCO on Genocide Education. He gave a lecture, in which he presented the problem 'How the Rescuers made Difficult Decisions during the Holocaust'. Dr Smith’s speech was illustrated with specific examples and aroused considerable interest among the audience. After a short break, female representatives of the education department of the POLIN Museum presented the latest educational resources prepared for school children and youth.

The first discussion panel titled 'Rescuing - Various Perspectives' attracted considerable interest. The panellists were: Aleksandra Bańkowska from the PAN (Polish Academy of Sciences) Institute of History, Karolina Panz from the PAN Institute of Philosophy and Sociology and Dr Piotr Forecki from the Faculty of Political Sciences and Journalism of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. The discussants shared opinions resulting from their detailed research. They drew attention to the contemporary ways of talking about the problem of rescuing, indicating their determinants. The reflections of the panellists on the desirable ways of talking about these issues from the past were extremely valuable and inspired the listeners. They pointed to the importance of the prewar period (1918 - 1939) in Polish-Jewish relations, about the possibilities of searching for the Righteous in this period, emphasising that the experience of help and rescue was the experience of the few needy; for the majority, it was an unattainable experience. Therefore, emphasising that the aid and rescue of the Jewish population during the Holocaust was commonplace, is not only untrue but also inappropriate. Then, the audience gathered in the lecture hall asked detailed questions, which the panellists answered.

After a break the participants took part in the long-anticipated show, New Dimensions in Testimony. It is worth recalling that its originator, the USC Shoah Foundation has been involved in recording, developing and making available for educational purposes the testimonies of survivors, witnesses and other participants of the Holocaust, as well as contemporary genocides, since the mid-1990s. The Visual History Archive of the USC Shoah Foundation contains more than 55,000 testimonies recorded on a digital carrier in 34 languages (including 1,500 in Polish) of the participants and witnesses of history. Access to this most extensive collection of oral history in the world is also available at the POLIN Museum. New Dimensions in Testimony is an advanced voice processing and projection technology that allows you to learn personal history through a conversation with its witnesses. The creation of such a recording is unique. The survivor, sitting in the middle of an illuminated semicircular stage, is recorded simultaneously by one hundred cameras. During recording the survivor responds to over 2,000 questions covering a broad scope of subjects. Questions posed to the survivor are processed through a computer programme that matches them to the most appropriate recorded statement. The exceptional feature of this technology is that with time, the accuracy of the responses searched by the programme increases and the time required to search for it becomes increasingly shorter. As mention by the presenters Karen Jungblut and Dr Stephen Smith, the technology was created in response to the ever-decreasing number of survivors and witnesses of history, who can talk about past events and testify to their authenticity. The presentation of the new technology, New Dimensions in Testimony aroused lively discussions and reflections among the conference participants, and the major subject was the possibility of using this technology in the historical education of children and youth. odpowiedzi na stale zmniejszającą się liczbę ocalonych i świadków historii, którzy mogliby opowiedzieć o przeszłych wydarzeniach i zaświadczyć o ich prawdziwości. Prezentacja nowej technologii Nowe wymiary relacji wzbudziła żywe dyskusje i refleksje wśród uczestników konferencji, a głównym ich tematem była kwestia możliwości wykorzystania tej technologii w edukacji historycznej dzieci i młodzie-ży.