October 17, 2023


Event program

On October 17 in Kałuszyn, the Zapomniane Foundation conducted participatory commemoration workshops, the topic of which was commemorating the Jewish history of the city, the Jewish cemetery and the mass grave of Holocaust victims.

The workshops were an attempt to transform the innovative commemorative practice we created – green commemorations – into a participatory event. The event began with a screening of the film “Ukos Światła”, and was followed by a meeting with the descendants of Kałuszyn Jews, Wiktoria Kurtz and her father Artur Kurtz. This was Wiktoria’s third visit to the school in her efforts to build long-term relationships with the local community, but for her father, the son of Kałuszyn Jews, it was the first visit to the city and Poland. They shared their family history, talked about who they were and what their intentions were (restoring the memory of the Jewish past in Kałuszyn) and talked to children who could ask questions and build relationships with them
The aim of the workshops was to involve local youth – 7th grade students of the Primary School in Kałuszyn – in the process of long-term involvement in building and cultivating local Jewish memory. The third part of the workshop was a conversation with landscape architect Natalia Budnik, who, together with Victoria Kurtz, presented to the youth the idea of marking the boundaries of the Jewish cemetery and mass grave with plants (in line with the idea of “green commemoration”). Together they presented the idea and brought to school plants selected for planting in the cemetery. The children learned about the plants, could touch them and ask questions. After the workshops, the plants were planted in pots on the school premises so that the children could care for them throughout the winter and plant them in the cemetery in the spring.

The idea of the workshops was to expand the idea of “green commemorations” and develop a methodology in which it can be a longer process involving the local community. Thanks to successful cooperation with the school, children will take care of the plants until spring, when they will plant them in a designated place in the cemetery.




  • The project is funded by the European Union (CERV-2022-REM) and involves nine European partners: FestivALT, UMF, Zapomniane Foundation, JCC Warsaw, the Formy Common Foundation, the Foundation for the Documentation of Jewish Cemeteries, CEJI – A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe, the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg and the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg.