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NeDiPa – Building a Local Community – Wrocław 16/11/2022

As part of the NeDiPa project, we had the pleasure of participating in the meeting on November 16, 2022 “PLACES OF DIFFICULT MEMORY – HOW TO DESIGN, HOW TO TALK?”, organized by the Urban Memory Foundation in the Oppenheim tenement house in Wrocław. The Urban Memory Foundation organized this event in cooperation with OP ENHEIM, architects from Wrocław and the Lower Silesian Architecture Festival – DOFA. We spent the afternoon talking about the theme of DOFy – “City of Solidarity” in the context of connecting pre-war Breslau with contemporary Wrocław and its inhabitants. We discussed the conservation of monuments and related challenges in Wrocław and Lower Silesia. We talked about the interpretation of Jewish law (halakha) in relation to burial sites and the application of non-invasive research practices in the field for this type of burial site. In turn, during the panel with architects and experts, we discussed, among others: about remembrance, about the need to inventory the pre-war cemeteries of our city; we studied the complicated situation of the Jewish cemetery at ul. Gwarna (formerly Claassenstrasse) and possible design directions and approaches to places of difficult heritage in Wrocław, in Europe and in the world. We invite you to listen to the audio from the meeting and watch the photo report on fb. It is an honor for us to be a partner of this event together with FestivALT.

NeDiPa stakeholder meeting

The second meeting of the NeDiPa project: Negotiating Difficult Pasts, which took place on December 13, 2022 in Krakow, is behind us. The purpose of the meeting was to present the current project activities to key organizations, people and initiatives operating in the area of remembrance and care for Jewish heritage in Poland, for discussion. Together with the stakeholders, we discussed the next steps, including risks.

We also invited the creators of the show Alte Hajm / Stary Dom, to the meeting, about the difficult Polish-Jewish heritage, which was presented in Krakow during the Divine Comedy Festival (this year’s theme is “Polish Taboo”). We talked about negotiating the difficult past, especially about how to use art to raise and open topics that are uncomfortable, suppressed and burdened with trauma. The meeting with director Marcin Wierzchowski and theater artist Michael Ruebenfeld was hosted by theater critic Jacek Wakar. In every old house, like layers of paint, successive chapters of family and local history are written. Although not every house is a traditionally understood monument, it can, along with its past, be an example of what is sometimes called “difficult heritage”. It is a kind of legacy that we inherit from the past, which may be inconvenient, difficult, embarrassing for us, which we may want to hide from the world or avoid becoming the subject of public narratives, such as commemorations. This type of legacy may concern both private and family history, as well as the history of entire communities.


In November, we prepared a green commemoration of the forest hideout, which became the burial site of seven Jews from Modliborzyce in Pikule (Janów Lubelski commune). Thanks to cooperation with landscape architect Natalia Budnik we marked the location of the dugout/burial with plants so that it fits into the local landscape.

On November 4, 2022, during the ceremony of unveiling the monument/tombstone, we commemorated the victims together. The ceremony was attended by its co-organizers, the Regional Museum in Janów Lubelski, the Janów Lubelski Forest Inspectorate, as well as the local authorities of Janów Lubelski and neighboring communes, representatives of the clergy, including Rabbi Yehoshua Ellis and the Bishop Mieczysław Cisło, youth from the 1st High School in Janów Lubelski, representatives of Jewish organizations, local community.

It was the second commemoration carried out as part of the “NeDiPa: Negotiating Difficult Pasts” project, thanks to the support of the European Commission under the program The Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV). We would like to thank our partners FestivALT & Urban Memory Foundation for their help and support in the implementation of the event.

NeDiPa – Chrzanów “Esther’s Willow” July 3, 2022

On Sunday, July 3, we took part in the “Esther’s Willow” event commemorating the former Jewish community of Chrzanów, organized by FestivALT as part of the project “NeDiPa: Negotiating Difficult Pasts”. It is an honor for us to be a partner of this event together with the Urban Memory Foundation. “Esther’s Willow” is an artistic project created by Marta and Katarzyna Sale from Chrzanów and Robert Yerachmiel Sniderman from Philadelphia, whose ancestors lived in Jarosław and Warsaw.

A Silent Procession passed through the streets of Chrzanów. Its participants set off from the vicinity of the railway station, then went along Henryka Avenue to the Market Square and from there to the former Esther Square (now unnamed), where, in the place where the Great Synagogue once stood, they planted a symbolic willow. The project refers to the memory of a place. Until 1973, on the former Estera Square in Chrzanów, there was the Great Synagogue, which was blown up. Over the years, a weeping willow spontaneously grew in its place, unexpectedly cut in 2018. Before the Nazi genocide, half of the inhabitants of Chrzanów were Jews. The history and memory of them are getting weaker in the city every year. Thus, a tree was planted on the synagogue site – the symbolic Esther’s Willow, and the nameless square was metaphorically re-named Esther Square.

Code of conduct 2022-2024

Code of conduct of the consortium and partners and stakeholders of the NeDiPa project 2022-2024

Together with the partners of the “NeDiPa: Negotiating Difficult Pasts” project, we are aware of the importance of the quality and comfort of cooperation – especially in projects carried out by many organizations, involving local communities. Mutual trust, agreement as to the most important values that define the framework for cooperation, as well as good communication and inclusiveness are extremely important for us and our partners.Together with FestivALT and the Urban Memory Foundation, we have developed the principles of cooperation in the project, which are reflected in the Code of Conduct. We are convinced that the process is as important as the effects of actions and that the quality of cooperation translates into long-term relationships, without which it is difficult to imagine social change.

Child protection policy of the consortium of the NeDiPa project 2022-2024

Guided by the care of our youngest participants and recipients of the Nedipa project, we introduced the rules for working with children, which are contained in the document “Policy for the Protection of Children’s Rights”. We want all our employees and associates to be guided by the child’s best interests and best interests when carrying out their tasks, seeing children as partners in building a safe, friendly and mutually respectful space.

NeDiPa – Commemoration in Nowe Trzciano, June 8, 2022

There are many things I have fear of, freezing cold, gnawing hunger, chronic pain but the most frightening thing for me is oblivion. The idea that after I die nothing will remain of my actions, my dreams, the good and even the bad that I have done. We rely on our families, communities and even the physical places we inhabit to keep our memories alive after we have  left this world. The men and a woman who lie here lost all of that. Today we can save them from oblivion– said on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, Rabbi Yehoshua Ellis during the ceremony of unveiling the monument commemorating the Jewish victims of the Holocaust in the forest in Nowe Trzciano in the Szudzialowo commune (Podlaskie Province).

It was our first memorial ceremony carried out as part of the NeDiPa project: Negotiating Difficult Pasts. We would like to thank our project partners FestivALT & Urban Memory Foundation for their help and support.

Together with the local community, we commemorated the memory of seven men aged around 30 and a woman around 20, Jewish refugees from the Białystok ghetto, murdered in the second half of 1943. The commemorative ceremony is the result of a fruitful cooperation with the  local authorities of the Szudzialowo Commune, Supraśl Forest District and local primary school in Szudziałowo.  The ceremony was attended by the representatives of the local government and the authorities of the neighboring communes, representatives of three denominations, young people from the school in Szudziałowo, representatives of Jewish organizations, including the Jewish Religious Community in Warsaw, and most of all the inhabitants of Szudziałowo and the surrounding towns and villages.

NeDiPa – kicking off the new project

The first meeting of the NeDiPa project: Negotiating Difficult Pasts is behind us. It took place on May 23, 2022 at JCC Warsaw. The purpose of the meeting, which took the form of a kick-off for stakeholders, was to present the project to the key organizations, people and initiatives working in the area of ​​remembrance and care for Jewish heritage in Poland. We will work together so that the effects of the project serve all parties that can benefit from it.

We are glad that thanks to the support of the European Commission, we will be able to work in this group for the next two years and cooperate with the network of experts and partners.

The NeDiPa project aims to develop a systematic approach to the difficult heritage of the Holocaust in Central and Eastern Europe. Over the next two years, together with our partners, FestivALT & Urban Memory Foundation, we will implement 29 events, during which we will develop, together with experts from many fields, DIFFICULT HERITAGE REMEMBRANCE FRAMEWORK. It will include guidelines for various groups of recipients and tool boxes for local activists.

Development of the digital archive May 1, 2021 – December 31, 2022

As part of the Digital Culture 2022 program, we are implementing the project “Development of the digital archive of Jewish war graves outside the extermination camps and the educational use of archive resources.” The main assumption of the task is to develop, digitize and make available heritage resources regarding 25 uncommemorated and unexplored burial places of Jewish victims of the Holocaust in 25 towns in Poland, as well as developing and making available 25 transcripts of witness recordings.

The project was co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund – a state earmarked fund in the amount of PLN 78,000. The total value of the task is PLN 97,700.