On 26 June, at the University of Graz, a symposium and an exhibition, “Latvia’s Tragedy.1941”, concluded the public diplomacy programme of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in Austria. This was the first display of the German language version of the exhibition jointly arranged by the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia and the Museum “Jews in Latvia”, enabling wider possibilities for raising awareness on Latvia’s history in the major German-speaking regions of Europe.
The event was introduced by a symposium which included Vice Rector of the University of Graz, Prof. Dr. Peter Scherer; the Head of the LudwigBoltzmann Institute for Research into Consequences of War, Prof. Dr. Stefan Karner; Head of the Exposition Department of the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, Kārlis Dambītis; Director of the Museum “Jews in Latvia”, Iļja Ļenskis; Latvia’s Ambassador-at-Large Kārlis Eihenbaums; and a research assistant at the Ludwig Bolzmann Institute, Mag. Philipp Lesiak who presented the joint work of Austrian and Latvian researchers on Jewish refugees in Latvia in advance of World War II in 1938 and 1939.
At the opening of the exhibition, the audience was addressed by the Ambassador of Latvia to Austria, Edgars Skuja, and the Permanent Representative of Latvia to the OSCE, the United Nations and other international organisations, Ambassador Bahtijors Hasans. Taking part in the event were the official representatives of the Federal State of Styria and Graz - the Minister of Economy and European Affairs of Styria, Dr. Christian Buchmann and a representative of the Graz municipal government, Mag. Markus Schimautz, as well as the Honorary Consul of Latvia in Graz, Mag. Tino Pölzer. The event also featured a performance of Latvian folk songs by young Latvian singers studying in Graz - Sintija Šmite and Helēna Sorokina.
The exhibition in Graz was presented in cooperation with the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Research into Consequences of War, which has been working together with the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia and has a broad network of contacts and followers in Austria.
The exhibition, “Latvia’s Tragedy.1941” (Die Tragödie Lettlands. 1941) will remain open till 10 July at Resowi-Zentrum der Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Bauteil E, 2.Stock.
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