Around 30 people from eight European countries gathered from 2-4 November at the Protestant School Centre in Cieszyn, Poland, for this year’s IV General Assembly. The theme of the meeting was: “Remembering for the future. New ways of remembering the Holocaust and combating anti-Semitism in Christian schools“. It was combined with a visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial site on 3 November. Prof Sonja Danner (University of Vienna) and Prof Wilhelm Schwendemann (Protestant University of Applied Sciences Freiburg), both members of the REMEMBER research group and involved in a major international study on the topic, spoke about the importance of memorials for learning processes and the prevention of anti-Semitism as a task of religious education in schools. Given the war in Israel, which has sparked anti-Semitic resentment in many European countries, the topic has become highly relevant and urgent, which was also evident in the lively discussions. It was, therefore, all the more important that there was room for discussions and personal dialogue in addition to the depressing visit to the memorial site.
The conference programme was complemented by exciting insights into the eventful history of Cieszyn on the border between Austria-Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, which Irena French, director of the local town museum, gave us in a lecture and guided tour of the town. And on Friday evening, we enjoyed a wonderful choir concert in the huge Jesus Church. A stimulating and eventful conference in every respect, for which we would like to thank our Polish hosts, Alexandra Trybus-Cieslar and Dagmara Jagucka-Mielke!