The “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre is a local government cultural institution based in Lublin. It works towards the preservation of cultural heritage and education. Its function is tied to the symbolic and historical meaning of the Centre’s location in the Grodzka Gate, which used to divide Lublin into its respective Christian and Jewish quarters, as well as to Lublin as a meeting place of cultures, traditions and religions.

Part of the Centre are the House of Words and the Lublin Underground Trail.

The “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre is a local government cultural institution based in Lublin. It works towards the preservation of cultural heritage and education. Its function is tied to the symbolic and historical meaning of the Centre’s location in the Grodzka Gate, which used to divide Lublin into its respective Christian and Jewish quarters, as well as to Lublin as a meeting place of cultures, traditions and religions.

Part of the Centre are the House of Words and the Lublin Underground Trail.

Robert Kuwałek - Cooperation with "Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre" Centre

Robert Kuwałek connected with the environment of the NN Theatre in the '90s. It was the beginning of the interest of the Theatre in Jewish culture and it was related to the realization of the spectacle “Earthy Foods” inspired by the work of Grigorijus Kanovičius – a Jewish writer from Vilnius. In 1994 Robert took part in the first academic session organized in the Grodzka Gate that was titled “Jews of Lublin” and from this point on collaboration with him became a constant in our activity.

 

Robert had priceless contribution to the activity of the Centre, not only as an expert and lecturer involved in the implementation of certain projects, but mainly as a teacher and friend of many employees of the Centre – always ready to help and advise, sharing the vast knowledge and richness of personal connections and inspiring future actions. We are very grateful for that.

 

Calendar of cooperation

 

1994.12.14

Session "Jews of Lublin"

First academic session related to the history of Jews in Lublin. Robert Kuwałek presented a lecture "Przemiany społeczno-kulturalne w środowisku Żydów lubelskich w XIX i XX wieku" (“Social and Cultural Metamorphoses in the Environment of the Lublin Jews in 19th and 20th Century”.

>> Program of the session and documentation in the Calendar

 

1998

Inauguration of the Oral History Program

In 1998 Robert Kuwałek went on a study tour to Israel, where he recorded for the “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre 5 testimonies of people who lived in Lublin before the war. They told him about the life of Jews in Lublin in the interwar period. These were one of the first testimonies which were registered within the Oral History Program. Today these testimonies are priceless. During his cooperation with the Centre Robert Kuwałek recorded memories of: Zahawa Lichtenberg, Zofia Weiser, Regina Winograd, Irena Gewerc-Gottlieb, Aleksander Szryft and Mosze Opatowski. Robert Kuwałek repeatedly shared with us his experience connected to the recording of the testimonies. His knowledge about the history and culture of Jews and oral history was for us an inspiration in many projects.

>> Inauguration of the projectOral Historyin the Calendar

 

1998.05.06

The exhibition Wielka Księga Miasta. Lublin w fotografii do 1939 roku (Great Book of the Town. Lublin in Photography until 1939)

Substantial consultations with Robert Kuwałek on the exhibition presenting Jewish Lublin.

>> Photos from the opening of the exhibitionGreat Book of the Town. Lublin in Photography until 1939”

 

1999

Project “Krawiecka 41”

Robert Kuwałek's substantial consultations regarding archival resources that concern once existing tenant house in 41 Krawiecka Street. Articles "Ha Szaron" kibuc-hachszara and Towarzystwo "Pas Leorchim" (“Association Pas Leorchim”), written by Tomasz Czajkowski on the basis of his MA thesis "Mała wspólnota – mieszkańcy kamienicy przy ulicy Krawieckiej 41 w Lublinie w wirach historii XIX i XX wieku" (“Small Community - the Inhabitants of the Tenant House in 41 Krawiecka Street in the Turmoil of the History of 19th and 20th Century”) in which there are some fragments of Robert Kuwałek’s expressions.

>> About the projectKrawiecka 41" in Calendar

 

1999.05.06

The Portrait of the Place - The Old City Complex in Lublin 1939 - the opening of the exhibition

Substantial consultations with Robert Kuwałek regarding the model of the Old City in Lublin.

>> Reconstruction of the historical Old Town complex

 

1999.11.16

Memorial meeting of Symcha Wajs

Robert Kuwałek was a participant of the memorial meeting dedicated to Symcha Wajs.

>> Film of the memorial meeting of Symcha Wajs

 

2000.06.06

Promotion of an album "Bramy nieba. Bóżnice murowane" ("The Gates of Heaven. Masonry Synagogues".

Robert Kuwałek was one of the panelists during the meeting.

>> The meeting with the authors: Maria and Kazimierz Piechotka

 

2001.11.15

"Jewish Cultural Heritage in the Lublin Region"

During the seminar for the teachers from Lublin Robert Kuwałek led educational activities in the city space - guided tour in the cemetery in Kalinowszczyzna Street.

>> Three days long seminar for teachers from the city and region of Lublin

 

2003.05.19

Exhibition "The Primer. Children in Majdanek Camp"

Robert Kuwałek was an author of a fragment of the instruction of the exhibition “The Primer. Children in the Majdanek Camp”.

>> About the exhibition "The Primer. Children in Majdanek Camp"

 

2005 - 2013

Summer University of Memorial de la Shoah

An external seminar for French teachers, organized since 2005 by Memorial de la Shoah in Paris (the most important French institution interested in the memory of Holocaust) in cooperation with Polish institutions, including the “Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre” Centre. The curriculum of the seminar includes three day long stay in Lublin and the Lublin region. During 8 recent editions of the Summer University Robert Kuwałek played a role of expert - guide while following the trail of past Jewish life and memorial sites related to the Holocaust.

>> Subsequent editions of the Summer University of Memorial de la Shoah in Lublinie and the region

 

2005.04.19

Letters to Henio

Substantial consultations with Robert Kuwałek regarding the history of the Żytomirski family during the war, and the destiny of Henio.

>> Subsequent editions of the project Letters to Henio

 

2006 - 2010

Website “The Gate of Memory - history of Lublin Jews”

Robert Kuwałek shared his texts for the first opening of the portal “The Gate of Memory - history of Lublin Jews”. A series of articles, based on them, was created. It regarded quarters, streets and suburbs of Jewish Lublin, and characteristic places related to this community. Robert was writing also about important people related to religious, cultural and political life of Jewish Lublin.

As the website developed, Robert Kuwałek consulted substantial content of the entries that concerned history of the city and region of Lublin during the Extermination.

>>Website Jews in Lublin - The Gate of Memory

>> About the program The Gate of Memory

 

2007

Genealogical research

For many years the Centre has been a place visited by many descendants of former inhabitants of Jewish Lublin and small towns of Lublin region. They seek information regarding the members of their families and places where they lived before the Extermination. Often, they ask questions about the war histories of their families. Problems with that were occurring repeatedly and it was possible to solve them thank to Robert. Due to his enormous knowledge and the fact that he mastered several languages, he was able to connect facts that he was discovering during his many years long research on the sources, interviews with the witnesses of the history during recordings of their relations, and during his numerous trips. His contribution in this field of studies is inestimable. It is confirmed by many people all around the world, who were helped by him in finding the information.

 

2007/2008

Jewish orphanage at Grodzka 11

Substantial consultations regarding the oral history testimonies submitted by the Witnesses. The testimonies concerned liquidation of Jewish orphanage - so called Ochronka in 11 Grodzka Street and the actual place of the crime, where in 1942 children from the orphanage were shot dead by Nazis.

>> Subsequent editions of the March of Memory on the anniversary of the liquidation of the Jewish orhpanage

 

2007 - 2008

Mobile Seminar in former death camps of the Operation Reinhardt

For the major part of the seminar Robert Kuwałek was a guide through the Memorial Sites, former death camps, Lublin and localities of Lublin region.

>> Mobile Seminar to former death camps of Operation Reinhardt 2007

>> Mobile Seminar to former death camps of Operation Reinhardt 2008

 

2007.11.08

Promotion of a post-conference monograph "Jews in Lublin. Jews in Lviv. Places - Memory - Contemporaneity"

Participation of Robert Kuwałek in the international academic conference "Jews in Lublin. Jews in Lviv. Places - Memory - Contemporaneity" and publication of an article titled "Ways of commemorating places of extermination of Jews in Poland and in Ukraine

>> Academic conference "Jews in Lublin. Jews in Lviv. Places - Memory - Contemporaneity"

 

2008

Mobile Seminar in former death camps of the Operation Reinhardt. 2008 Edition.

For the major part of the seminar Robert Kuwałek was a guide through the Memorial Sites, former death camps, Lublin and localities of Lublin region.

>> Information about the Mobile Seminar in former death camps of the Operation Reinhardt

 

2008

Lights in the Darkness. Righteous Among the Nations

Robert Kuwałek cooperated in creation of the publication “Lights in the Darkness. Righteous Among the Nations. Testimonies”, published within the project “Lights in the Darkness”. He is an author of the article titled "Human Tales about the War”. He also had a lecture during the ceremony concluding the project in the Crown Tribunal.

>> Project Lights in the Darkness. Righteous Among the Nations

>> Website dedicated to the Righteous from Lublin and region

 

2008.02.29

Meeting with Mira Ledowska

Robert Kuwałek led a meeting with a Holocaust Survivor, an inhabitant of Tłumacz near Stanisławów. He cooperated also in organization of meetings of Mira Ledowska with youth from Bełżec and Lublin.

>> Documentation of the meeting with Mira Ledowska

 

2008.04.15-16

Symposium “Extermination of Jews in Western Ukraine and Eastern Poland. Majdanek – Sobibór – Bełżec”

Robert Kuwałek’s collaboration in Polish-Ukrainian symposium of students of politology, cultural studies and history.

 

2009.11.09

Announcement of results of competition for a permanent form of commemoration of the Lublin Death Square (the Umschlagplatz of Lublin)

Workshops related to the subject

Within the competition for a permanent form of commemoration of the Lublin Death Square (the Umschlagplatz of Lublin) workshops were planned for the participants of the contest. In the Grodzka Gate there were lectures led by Robert Kuwałek and Adam Kopciowski. There was also a meeting in the former City Slaughterhouse area, where the commemoration was planned to be placed. Robert Kuwałek presented a history of this place during the World War 2. He was also a member of the Commission of the Contest.

>> About the contest

>> the Umschlagplatz of Lublin

 

2010.03

Brama. Polish-Jewish meetings

Substantial consultations regarding workshops implemented during the meetings of youth from Lublin and the region and Jewish youth.

>> Website Brama. Polish-Jewish youth meetings

 

2010.06

Emil Meyerson (1859 - 1933)

Substantial consultations and cooperation of Robert Kuwałek with Eva Telkesz-Klein who was working on a biography of a brother of Franciszka Arnsztajn - Emil Meyerson, distinguished French philosopher of science.

>> Leksykon Lublin: Emil Meyerson (1859 - 1933)

 

2010.09.15

Work with „difficult memory” in local communities. Polish-Ukrainian exchange of experience. Seminar for teachers and educators

Robert Kuwałek collaborated in the seminar “Work with <<difficult memory>> in local communities. Polish-Ukrainian exchange of experience.” He was one of the panelists during the discussion: “Difficult memory of Righteous Among the Nations - Polish and Ukrainian historical perspective” (program of the seminar).

Robert Kuwałek was a guide for the seminar group during the study tour to Zamość, Bełżec, Zwierzyniec and Szczebrzeszyn.

Robert Kuwałek was also co-author of the article "Difficult Memory of the Righteous. Simple question and not easy answers" in the post-seminar publication titled “Work with <<difficult memory>> in local communities. Polish-Ukrainian exchange of experience. Materials from the seminar”.

>> Polish-Ukrainian seminar for teachers and educators and animators

 

2010.09.24

Promotion of the book “Ucieczka z Sobiboru” (“Escape from Sobibor”) by Tomasz Toivi Blatt

Robert Kuwałek led a meeting with the Holocaust Survivor Tomasz Toivi Blatt, who escaped from the camp in Sobibor.

>> Film from the event

 

2010.10.26

Promotion of the book "Koniec niewinności. Polska wobec swojej żydowskiej przeszłości" (“The End of Innocence. Poland in Face of its Jewish Past”) by Jean-Yves Potel

Promotional meeting with Robert Kuwałek among participants - as one of the protagonists of Jean-Yves Potel’s book. A book "Koniec niewinności. Polska wobec swojej żydowskiej przeszłości" (Znak, Kraków 2010) was published in France in 2009 and was granted an award for the best historical book on Jewish issues by Fonds Social Juif Unifié – the most important organization of Jewish community in France.

>> Documentation of the promotion of the book "Koniec niewinności. Polska wobec swojej żydowskiej przeszłości"

 

2010.11.10

House of Memory - The History of the Arnsztajn Family

Within this project Robert Kuwałek had an open lecture presenting the history of Meyerson and Arnsztajn families in relation to the Lublin Jewish community. He led also an educational walk in Lublin, following traces of both families. Youth involved in the project participated in the walk.

>> About the project House of Memory - History of the Arnsztajn Family

 

2011.03.10

Presentation of the newest book by Marcin Wroński “A imię jej będzie Aniela” (“And her name will be Aniela”

Robert Kuwałek led a meeting with the writer, Marcin Wroński, regarding the book that in a moving way presents the end of prewar Lublin and the extermination of Jews.

>> Promotion of the bookA imię jej będzie Aniela”

 

2012.03.17

Mystery of Memory “Salvaged Stories” - March 17th 2012

Robert Kuwałek participated in the Mystery Salvaged Stories 2012. Para-theatrical event was open for public. Inhabitants of Lublin participated in conversations of students of Lublin high schools with the members of the Lublin Landsmannschaft.

>> Program and information about the Mystery of MemorySalvaged StoriesMarch 17th 2012

 

2012.04.17

Lublin Frames of the Past - Jewish Neighborhood

Academic session organized by the School Complex No. 1 in Lublin within the project “Let’s Bring the Memory Back”, realized by FODŻ. Robert Kuwałek had a lecture “The Extermination of Jews in Lublin” during the conference.

>> Academic session Lublin frames of the past - Jewish neighborhood

 

2012.06.10

To Save from Oblivion - Krystyna Modrzewska

Within the project Robert Kuwałek had a lecture “Family of Krystyna Modrzewska - nee Mandelbaum - in Relation to the Jewish Community of Prewar Lublin”. The lecture was designed for youth who participated in the educational part of the project. Moreover, he shared his own memories about contacts with Krystyna Modrzewska.

>> About the project To Save from Oblivion - Krystyna Modrzewska

 

2013.07.01

Meeting from the seriesReconciliation through Difficult Memory. Volhynia 1943”

Robert Kuwałek was one of the panelists who were invited to summarize the one year long project, realized for Polish-Ukrainian reconciliation on the 70th anniversary of tragic events that took place in Volhynia.

>> About the projectReconciliation through the Difficult Memory. Volhynia 1943”

>> Website of the project

 

2013.08.04

Teaching the Holocaust at Memorial Sites. Seminar for Yad Vashem European Seminar Graduates

Seminar was organized in cooperation with Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem. Educators from European countries were invited to participate in the seminar. It was a second stage of education about teaching the Holocaust in Memorial Sites. Within the curriculum of the seminar Robert Kuwałek had a lecture about Operation Reinhardt and was a guide during the study tour to Zamosc, Memorial Site in Bełżec and in Józefów Biłgorajski.

>> About the seminar

 

2013.05.09

Promotion of the documentary film “Album Rodzinny” (“Family Album”) directed by Andrzej Titkow

Substantial consultations and participation of Robert Kuwałek in the film about the Lublin ancestors of the director, Andrzej Titkow - the Arnsztajn and Meyerson families.

>> Information about the promotion of the documentary filmAlbum Rodzinny”

 

2013.05.27

Promotion of the 34the issue of "Scriptores" dedicated to Anna Langfus

Substantial consultations of Robert Kuwałek and his help in archival research while working on this issue of “Scriptores. Anna Langfus. Życie. Twórczość. Recepcja” (“Scriptores. Anna Langfus. Life. Work. Reception”)

>> Information about promotion of the 34th issue ofScriptoresdedicated to Anna Langfus

>> Website dedicated to Anna Langfus

 

2013.12.01 -

Project "Shtetl Routes. Objects of Jewish Cultural Heritage in the Trans-Border Tourism”

Robert Kuwałek was one of the main experts involved in the project. He was supposed to become an author of the touristic guide to the Jewish heritage of the borderland between Poland, Ukraine and Belarus. We planned common study tour to Ukraine and Belarus for August 2014.

>> About the project "Shtetl Routes”

>> Website of the project

 

 

Prepared by Tomasz Czajkowski, Izabela Czumak,
Dominika Majuk, Tadeusz Przystojecki,
Wioletta Wejman, Agnieszka Wiśniewska, Agnieszka Zachariewicz



English version by Magdalena Dziaczkowska

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