Branko Lustig talks to students about his own experience of living in the concentration camp
Before Branko Lustig's lecture there was a screening of the film 'Wunderkinder' about musically unusually talented children developing a deep and genuine friendship extending beyond their different religions and nationality
Students entering the Cinema Europa hall before the Educational morning program with Branko Lustig at the 7th Festival of Tolerance
Branko Lustig on the Educational morning in Zagreb intended for the elementary school pupils (May 24th, 2012)
Johann Chapoutot's lecture on the Educational morning in Zagreb on May 21st, 2012
Branko Lustig's lecture during the Educational morning in Čakovec on September 20th, 2012
After the 4th Festival, due to excellent turnout and response from pupils, as well as great dialogue established with them after the screenings and lectures, Educational mornings project has further developed in the sense that we started to bring this program to other Croatian cities, outside the Festival term (“Educational mornings tour”). The focus is put on the cities from regions where the promotion of tolerance is needed (e.g. regions formerly affected by war, regions with numerous minorities...). The main goals remain the communication with the pupils, promotion of tolerance and pointing out the errors from the past with the intention that they are never to be repeated so we all can build better and more harmonious world.
All Educational mornings organized in cities outside Zagreb are intended for the elementary school pupils and are led by Mr. Lustig. During 2010, Educational mornings were held in Velika Gorica (June 8, in front of 275 pupils), Osijek (September 16, in from of 350 pupils) and Varaždin (September 30, in front of 250 pupils) with the screening of the film “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”.
In 2011 the Educational mornings tour started in Čakovec (September 8, 2011). As Čakovec is known for having a very strong national minority (the Romani people), Mr. Lustig’s lecture was focused on promoting tolerance and comprehension of social and ethnical differences and diverse values as the most important conditions of a healthy coexistence. The tour continued in Osijek (September 15, 2011, 300 pupils) and Vukovar (September 16, 2011, 300 pupils). The film screened on the Educational tour 2011 was “Inside Hana’s Suitcase”.
The Educational tour 2012 has started in Čakovec. Around 550 elementary school pupils from the whole region gathered on September 20 in order to attend the program and listen to Mr. Lustig’s lecture, who himself spent a part of his childhood in Čakovec. After the screening of the film “The Last Flight of Petr Ginz”, Mr. Lustig drew parallels between the life of its protagonist, Petr Ginz, and his own. After he introduced the pupils to the tragedy of the Holocaust in a more detailed manner, Mr. Lustig urged them not to let anything similar ever happen again: “...that hatred leads to evil. The only way to overcome this evil is through love. In your hands and in your heads, you hold the power not to let these things repeat themselves.” Commenting on the current issue of the integration of Roma children in local schools, Mr. Lustig invited everyone in the audience to fight against the discrimination, as all people are the same. On September 26, we brought the Educational mornings program for the first time to the region of Dalmatia. Thanks to the exceptional cooperation with the City Government, around 300 pupils participated in the program. Judging by the evaluation questionnaires, the program was a success. The film received an average grade of 4.3 (out of 5), while the lecture was even better accepted with the average grade of 4.5.
In 2013, in cooperation with the local authorities, Educational mornings will be organized in Šibenik, Zadar and Knin in October, as well as Varaždin, Čakovec and Osijek in November.