The poster of the initiative
On 5 June 2014 Garden of the Righteous due to open in Warsaw as the first Garden of the Righteous of a country, Poland, that over 70 years has witnessed both totalitarian ideologies of the Twentieth century. The choice of the date is not by chance: in fact it was decided to
inaugurate the Garden the day after the 25th anniversary of the first
semi-free elections in Poland, on 4 June 1989, who would lead to the
fall of communism. Yesterday, in his speech, Barack Obama remembered the Righteous Among the Nation - quoting Jan Karski - and the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto, creating an ideal bridge between these dates.
The Garden, situated in the district of Wola, near the area of the former Ghetto, is to be set up thanks to the cooperation between Gariwo and the Committee for the Garden of the Righteous of Warsaw, that was established according to the express wish of the late lamented Tadeusz Mazowiecki – formerly Prime Minister of Poland and among the founders of Solidarność – during the celebrations of the first European Day of the Righteous, on 6 March 2013. This Day was set up upon Gariwo’s proposal thanks to the synergy between the Italian and Polish Members of Parliament, who have involved the entire European Parliament.
This cooperation will be remembered on the plaque at the entrance of the Garden.
“This garden is meant to be a warning for Europe to fight every kind of racism, every totalitarian ideology. – underlines Gabriele Nissim, Gariwo Chairman – The figures to be honoured in this garden, first of all, are those who committed themselves to rescuing the Jews during the Holocaust, in the countries where the concentration camps were built and the entire Jewish community was exterminated. Besides them, also all those who struggle against totalitarianism and for general prevention will be honoured”.
During the ceremony organized by the History Meeting House of Warsaw, trees will be planted and stones will be unveiled – following the example of the Garden on Monte Stella Hill in Milan – dedicated to:
Marek Edelman, Vicecommader of the insurrection in the Warsaw Ghetto, who devoted his life to civic commitment in favour of the weaker and in the defence of freedom
Jan Karski, envoy of the Polish underground state who tried in vain to make the world aware about the extermination of Jews
Magdalena Grodzka-Guzkowska, soldier of the Polish underground army who rescued many Jews in the Ghetto
Tadeusz Mazowiecki, politician who remitted his UN post as negotiatior of the Bosnia-Herzegovina crisis out of protest against the passivity of the international community
Antonia Locatelli, Italian missionary who lost her life to denounce the genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda
Anna Politkovskaja, Russian journalist killed for her investigations about the horrors of the war in Chechnya
The ceremony, which will be introduced by the greetings of Zbigniew Gluza, President of the Committee for the Garden of the Righteous in Warsaw, Hanna Gronkiewicz- Waltz, mayor of Warsaw, and Gabriele Nissim, will take place in the presence of the relatives of the honoured Righteous, the institutions and numerous international associations - International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, association AnnaViva and Gariwo-Czech Republic among others.
To be followed by reception in the premises of the Italian Embassy in Warsaw. The day will be concluded by round table on the value of the Righteous at the Museum of History of the Polish Jews of Warsaw with Gabriele Nissim, Marc-Henri Fermont, relative of the 30-year long President of Yad Vashem’s Righteous Commission Moshe Bejski, Konstanty Gebert, war correspondent and writer, Maria Wiernikowska, war correspondent and Tomasz Jastrun, journalist and poet.
During this conference message by Basilio Rizzo, President of Milan City Council, Gadi Schonheit, from the Jewish Community of Milan, Eduardo Eurnekian e Baruch Tenembaum, Chairman and Founder of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation - represented by Silvia Costantini during the ceremony - andAndrea Riscassi, founder of Annaviva, present at the initiative.