The Dialogue Center in Lodz was established by the City Council in Lodz on 25 August 2010 as a center for cultural and educational research. Its purpose is to organize activities promoting the multicultural and multiethnic heritage of Lodz, with particular emphasis on the Jewish culture, as well as other cultures which has a significant impact on the city. On October 6th 2010, the newly founded institution was named after Marek Edelman.
The Marek Edelman Center for Dialogue was launched on January 1st 2011 in its temporary office at Tymienieckiego 5. For three months it was managed by Jadwiga Kwaśniak, director. Following a competition announced by the Mayor of Lodz, as of April 1st 2011, Joanna Podolska-Płocka took over as the director. As soon as on April 18th, the first event was held, open to the residents of Lodz, including high schools students. From then on, more such events were organized, such as meetings, lectures, guided walks and concerts.
The 68. Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising was commemorated on 18 april 2011, when a plaque was unveiled in the Survivors’ Park, commemorating the patron of the Dialogue Center – the hero and the last commander of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Marek Edelman.
Our guests included: Aleksander Edelman with wife, Zofia, deputy Mayor of Łódź, Agnieszka Nowak, Chairman of the City Council of Łódź, Tomasz Kasprzak, City Councillors Grzegorz Matuszak and Witold Rosset, as well as school students with teachers.
After the event, at the Museum of History of the City of Lodz at Ogrodowa 15, a special history lesson was held: “The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – 19 April 1943”, taught by Michał Trębacz, employed by the Center for Jewish Research of the University of Łódź and the Institute of National Remembrance and Justyna Tomaszewska (Dialogue Center).
The participants included students of the following schools: XXI LO, XXXV LO, XXIX LO in Łódź.
The special guest was prof. Henryk Panusz, chairman of the Monumentum Iudaicum Lodzense Fundation.
68. rocznica powstania w getcie warszawskim - Warszawa
Warsaw, Plac Bohaterów Getta Warszawskiego (The Warsaw Ghetto Heroes Square)
Representing the Marek Edelman Dialogue Center were: Joanna Podolska, director as well as Katarzyna Gucio and Justyna Tomaszewska, who took part in the commemoration of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. At the Monument of the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes flowers were laid. After the official event, the representatives took part in a meeting with Marek Edelman’s family and friends.
The Center representatives also visited Ms. Halina Elczewska, who was born in Łodź and whose idea it was to create the Survivors’ Park in Łódź.
WALKS IN DIALOGUE
In the first week of May a series of guided Walks in Dialogue was held. The special guest at the first meeting of this series was Dr. Grażyna Ojrzyńska, expert on wildlife and parks of Lodz, author of the Survivors’ Park project, a longtime gardener of the city, who, together with the Director of the Dialogue Centre, Joanna Podolska, led a walk through the valley of the Łódka river.
The second walk took place on 1st May 2011, the day of the beatification of John Paul II, and was combined with a talk on the role of the Pope in the intercultural and inter-religion dialogue. Special guests were: Fr. Jacek Stasiak - Director of the Ecumenical Centre for Dialogue of Religions and Cultures in Aleksandrów and Michał Markowicz – an enthusiast of the city of Lodz.
On May 2, 2011, two events were held. At 11 o’clock, celebrating the Flag of the Republic of Poland Day, we invited residents of Lodz to the statue of Tadeusz Kosciuszko, in order to take a group photograph in the national colors of Poland. Among our guests were: Agnieszka Nowak, Deputy Mayor of Lodz and the local government councilor of the Łódź Province, Krzysztof Makowski.
Also on May 2nd, to commemorate the Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah), together with the residents of Lodz, we went on a Remembrance March from the Survivors’ Park to the Jewish Cemetery, where on the Ghetto Field, El mole rachmim- a prayer for the dead was said, and at the Radegast station six symbolic candles were lit to commemorate the six million victims.
Special guests included: Symcha Keller, the head of the Jewish Community of Łódź, Deputy Mayor of Łódź, Krzysztof Piątkowski, Chairman of the City Council, Grzegorz Matuszak.
Clean-up of the Old Cemetery
On May 7th, along with enthusiasts of the oldest cemetery in Łódź located at Ogrodowa street, we were cleaning neglected and abandoned graves of families such as the Biedermanns, Krönings, Haertigs, etc.
Multicultural Guided Walk with Kolorek – Children’s Day
On Children's Day, the Dialogue Center invited the youngest citizens of Łódź – children from Łódź kindergartens – to a guided walk along with Kolorek – a colorful stuffed puppet, at Park Staromiejski, to tell them the story of multicultural Łódź. After the walk, we arranged a number of other attractions.