Representatives of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association have participated in a week-long series of meetings and discussions held in Phnom Penh on the occasion of the Cambodian Victory Over Genocide Day and the UN International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The participants paid tribute to the victims of the totalitarian Khmer Rouge regime at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (former S-21 prison) and the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek.
The programme also included a visit to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, known as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, and discussions with its high-level officials.
The international expert conference entitled ‘Dealing with the Past: Engaging in the Present’ was organized by the Heinrich Boell Foundation Cambodia Office, the German Agency for International Cooperation, and the One Earth Future Foundation on 20-27 January.
Natalia Sineaeva discussed the challenges of Holocaust commemoration and the experiences of the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews POLIN during the panel on ‘The Role of Museums and Institutions in Genocide Education’ together with Visoth Chhay (Director of Tuol Sleng Museum), Andreas Ljungholm (Raoul Wallenberg Institute) and Keo Duong (Bophana Centre). The panel was moderated by Dara Bramson (New York Museum of Jewish Heritage / Auschwitz Jewish Center).
Rafal Pankowski presented the activities of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association in the field of monitoring hate speech and hate crime. He was also one of the keynote speakers during a special session on ‘Dealing with the Legacy of the Holocaust’ introduced by the German Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, Dr Ingo Karsten.
– ‘I am deeply moved by the visit to the killing fields in Cambodia’ - said Rafal Pankowski. – ‘The message of NEVER AGAIN is indeed universal and we look forward to continued cooperation with our new partners in the field of commemoration, peace building and human rights education.’
The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association will be represented by Rafal Pankowski during a debate on xenophobia held in Cambridge (UK) on 28 January. Adam Bodnar, Poland’s Ombudsman (Human Rights Commissioner) who has been a ‘NEVER AGAIN’ activist, will join the panel, too. Other speakers at the conference, organized by the Cambridge University Polish Society, include former Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and current Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
Other presentations of ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association activities and research findings planned for February include forthcoming seminars at the Polish University in London (PUNO) as well as at St. Antony’s College (University of Oxford).
The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is a Warsaw-based anti-racist educational and monitoring organization established in 1996.