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Michael Žantovský: "The lesson of Vaclav Havel during the pandemic"
An interview with the biographer of the Velvet Revolution's leader

Michael Žantovský: "The lesson of Vaclav Havel during the pandemic"

Topical News

2021 Ceremony at the Garden of the Righteous of Warsaw

We gathered in the Warsaw Garden of the Righteous to honour those who received this title in 2021: Hrant Dink, Julia Ilisińska, Emanuel Ringelblum and Liu Xiaobo, as well as those who were given the title in 2020: Karol Modzelewski, Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov and Antonina Wyrzykowska, as the ceremony in their honour did not take place last year due to the pandemic.


Kabul, a rescue story

It is at that very moment that professor Kerem Gulay decides to do something. He writes to all his friends and colleagues: “Do you know anyone who needs to get out of Afghanistan? Someone in the Taliban’s sights? Politicians, human rights activists, artists, journalists, teachers?”. He starts drawing up a list of individuals in danger. He starts collecting names, CVs, documents…


Women's resistance is the answer to the betrayal of Afghan politicians

Amin Wahidi is a Kabul born film director and journalist, currently based in Milan. While in Afghanistan, Amin Wahidi worked for ATN (Ariana Television Network) producing three weekly television shows. In 2007, while working on his film “The Keys to Paradise”, about a suicide bomber in Afghanistan, he received death threats from fundamentalists and had to leave his country. In this interview he explains to readers how Ghani's bad governance led to the current crisis and how to change the situation.


Sima Samar. Doctor and activist for women’s rights in Afghanistan

When she was born in 1957 in Jaghori, Afghanistan, Sima Samar’s destiny seemed to be marked: she was a woman, in a place where women’s rights were violated and forgotten and she belonged to the Hazara ethnic group, among the most persecuted in the country. However, it was precisely these two characteristics that marked her path and her desire for change. First Afghan woman to graduate in Kabul, she dedicated her life to defending the rights of women in her country, against fundamentalism.


Stories of Uyghur dissidents outside China’s borders

The testimonies of overseas Uyghurs constitute a growing body of evidence of China’s abuses in Xinjiang, which brought national governments to impose sanctions and international organs like the European Parliament to write that “we may be witnessing the implementation of a genocide”. By arresting Uyghur dissidents abroad or targeting their relatives, China seeks to silence these voices.


“The Family of Genocides Represents a Universal Sickness of Mankind”

Israel Charny is an Israeli psychotherapist, a well-known genocide scholar, and the author of Israel’s Failed Response to the Armenian Genocide: Denial, State Deception, and Truth versus Politicization of History (2021). In this interview, Professor Charny tells us about Israel’s attempts to cancel an international conference on genocides in 1982, Israel’s relationship with the Armenian and other genocides, and his personal involvement, as a psychotherapist, with genocides.


Stories

Raphael Lemkin

Lemkin, a Polish and Jewish jurist, is the coiner of the notion of "genocide". He devoted his life to add this notion to international law and to preventing this crime from recurring. He formulated a proposal for making the destruction of national, social, and religious groups an international crime. On December 9, 1948, this proposal was approved unanimously at the UN: the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was born, and Lemkin’s huge, extenuating efforts had finally been rewarded.


Sadia Hussein

Sadia Hussein, from Kenya, underwent FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) at 10. At 21, she painfully gave birth to her first daughter and decided she’d never have to go through the same hell. Her daughter was the first of many girls that she saved from the knife. Today, Sadia Hussein, aged 34, is one of Kenya’s most powerful advocates for the eradication of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). She is building a mass movement and undertaking the difficult task of eradicating a collective and deeply ingrained social practice.


Dolkun Isa

Uyghur Human Rights laureate of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in 2016 and exiled in Germany for over 20 years, Dolkun Isa has never stopped fighting to denounce injustice and violence suffered by his people. A victim of constant intimidation, he raised the Uyghur issue before the United Nations, before EU institutions, and in individual states. In 2017, he was also elected Vice-president of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO), of which the World Uyghur Congress is a member. 


Berta Cáceres

Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores was a Honduran activist who fought for the protection of the land and the rights of the Lenca people. In 1993, when she was still a student, she co-founded the Consejo Civico de Organizaciones indigenas Populares (Council of the People’s Indigenous Organizations or COPINH). Due to her activism, Cáceres was threatened by the local police more than once. On March 3, 2016she was murdered by armed men in her home in La Esperanza, in Honduras. Her death has sparked international outrage. 


Hrant Dink

Born on 15 September 1954, Hrant Dink was a Turkish-Armenian intellectual, editor-in-chief of Agos, journalist, and columnist. In 1996, he founded "Agos" (The Furrow), a bilingual newspaper for Istanbul’s Armenian community. From the columns of this paper, he tirelessly advocated reconciliation between Turks and Armenians and between Turkey and Armenia. On 19 January 2007 he was shot dead by an assassin as he was leaving his "Agos" office.


Ilham Tohti

Ilham Tohti - 2016 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders - is an Uyghur university professor born on October 25, 1969, in Artush, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Province. In 2014, Chinese authorities sentenced him to life in prison on charges of inciting "separatism." In 2016, he received the Martin Ennals Prize, which many consider the Nobel Prize for Human Rights. 


Valerij Legasov

A chemist, with his prompt decisions, mitigated the damage caused by the terrible Chernobyl nuclear accident. When the power plant broke down (26 April 1986), Legasov was the first deputy director of the Kurčatov Institute of Atomic Energy. He insisted on evacuating the population of Pripyat, saving many lives, and worked tirelessly, regardless of the radiation to which he was exposed, to try to contain the disastrous consequences of the accident, also contributing to the investigations into the causes of the explosion., 


Yusra Mardini

A young Syrian swimmer, with the outbreak of war and bombardment she fled the country with her sister Sarah - also a swimmer.
In August 2015, their rubber dinghy, which had to arrive from Turkey on the island of Lesbo, began to take on water. No one could swim, but Yusra and her sister Sarah dove into the sea to unload weight and start to propel the boat. They swam for three and a half hours, at night, for 5 km of sea, trying to give direction to the dinghy, until the engine finally started again. Thus the sisters managed to save all the shipwrecked. 


The Charters for responsibilities

Web reality. Tips for online awareness

To foster the development of personal awareness in conscious use of the Web and say no to the violence of words, Gariwo has proposed the Charter for social media, made up of suggestions to stay online in a conscious way.


The responsibility of a fragile planet

Gariwo wants to make his voice heard about the urgency of doing something to save the world we live in. This is why we have proposed the Charter for the environment, made up of reflections and virtuous practices to understand and deal with the climate emergency.


Charter of Remembrance

Remembrance has been extremely educational in that it has made us understand how genocides were not an extra-historical catastrophe, but rather happened due to the responsibility of human beings. This happened on a battlefield where there were executioners, accomplices, indifferent, resistant, spectators, Righteous individuals and all the intermediate nuances which, as Primo Levi knew and described to us, are very numerous.


  • About us

    Gariwo is the acronym of Gardens of the Righteous Worldwide.

    We are a Non-Profit Organization based in Milan, with international coworkers.

    Since 1999 we have worked to make the people aware about the Righteous: we think that the memory of Good is a powerful educational tool and can help prevent cases of genocide and crimes against Humanity.

    This is why we create Gardens of the Righteous worldwide and use the communication means, social networks and public events to spread the message of responsibility. From the European Parliament we have obtained the establishment of the European Day of the Righteous - 6 March.

    Our activity is supported by institutions, schools, volunteers, an International Scientific Committee and our 'Ambassadors'.

  • ​The Gardens of the Righteous

    The Gardens are like open books that tell the Righteous’ stories.

    They are public spaces, places of memory, meeting and dialogue. Here it’s possible to organize initiatives for students and citizens, to keep alive the examples of the Righteous all the year round, not only by planting new trees.

    The Garden of Milan was born in 2003 at Monte Stella Park. The Association for the Garden of the Righteous - formed by Gariwo, Milan City Hall and UCEI - was created in 2008, and it takes care of the Garden activities.

    Every year, a lot of Gardens arise in cities and schools in Italy and all over the world.

    Our aim is to create a widespread network to connect everybody who believes in these topics.

  • European Day of the Righteous

    On 10 May 2012, the Parliament in Strasbourg approved Gariwo’s call establishing the European Day of the Righteous on 6 March - remembering the death of Moshe Bejski, the creator of the Avenue of the Righteous. On 7 December 2017 Italy became the first country to officially join the marking of that recurrence, with the law that establishes also at the national level a Day in memory of the Righteous of the humanity.  Starting from Yad Vashem, we have extended the meaning of the term “Righteous” including men and women who saved lives in all the genocides and defended human dignity during totalitarianisms.

    Every year we celebrate the example of the Righteous of past and of the present, to spread the values of responsibility, tolerance and solidarity.

  • The Charter of responsibilities 2017

    The Charter of responsibilities 2017 arises from the collective reflection proposed by Gariwo through the series of meetings The crisis of Europe and the Righteous of our time, held in cooperation with Teatro Franco Parenti - Accademia del Presente and under the patronage of Università degli Studi di Milano and the Corriere della Sera Foundation.

    The Charter, inspired by the experience of Charta ’77 and subscribed by important personalities from the world of culture and society, represents our ethical commitment for the memory of Good and the education to responsibility, to reaffirm the value of plurality, of peace and non violence, as opposed to the culture of hatred and enemy.

Rescue of the Danish Jews

Rescue stories after the deportation order

The Nazi plan was to deport the Danish Jews during the Jewish New Year which in 1943 fell between 29 September and 1 October. The night between 1st and 2nd October the Danish Resistance Movement - aided by a large part of the population - managed to secure almost all 7,000 Jews in the country. It was one of the largest rescue and solidarity movements of the Second World War. In the Gariwo Encyclopedia of the Righteous there are stories of Danish Jews rescuers, find some in the list below.

Warsaw

New Righteous at the Garden of Warsaw

On 23 September 7 Righteous have been honoured in the Garden of Warsaw, located near the former Jewish Ghetto area. The Garden is  is managed by the Warsaw “House of Encounters with History” in collaboration with the Gariwo Foundation and the “Polin” Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Warsaw’s Garden of the Righteous: from Polish history to the world
An interview with Anna Ziarkowska

Italy Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The avenue from now dedicated to the Righteous Diplomats

On 14 September 2021 the opening ceremony of the Viale dei Giusti della Farnesina has been held in front of the main building of the Italian Foreign Ministry. The avenue is dedicated to the Righteous diplomats that saved lives during their mandates. The inauguration ceremony involved Mr. Luigi Di Maio, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ms. Virginia Raggi, Mayor of Rome, and Mr. Gabriele Nissim, President of Gariwo Foundation.

Genocide prevention

Memory and knowledge for the prevention of genocides

Genocides and mass atrocities reappear in history in different ways but with similar mechanisms, languages, and dynamics. Therefore, knowing how to read, recognize and bring them to the world's attention is fundamental for preventing such crimes. That is why the knowledge of what happens inextricably links to memory so that we can keep the promise of "never again." But what are the most severe and urgent scenarios of genocide and mass atrocities today?

the analysis

The Righteous and the prevention of genocides. Gariwo’s new challenge in the world

editorial by Gabriele Nissim, Gariwo's President, 16 June 2021

Through the narration of the Righteous and the enhancement of their stories, we want to teach society to prevent genocide and all forms of hatred that create the conditions for exclusion and dehumanization. The Righteous teach how to think and how to act. They represent a tremendous ethical example, one that is able to foster a mechanism of emulation in society. With their actions, the Righteous inspire us with individual behaviors that allow us to prevent genocides. They make us understand that everyone, in his personal space, can contribute to extinguishing the signs of hatred that can lead the world in a bad direction.

The UN for the Righteous