Article by Yael Gruenpeter for Ha’aretz, January 27, 2011:
An international delegation that includes many Muslim members will visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp site next week, as part of the Aladdin Project to curb Holocaust denial and disseminate information about the Holocaust in the Muslim world.
|People walk through the gate, with the words “Arbeit macht frei” (Work sets you free), of the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz.|
|Photo by: Reuters|
The French-based project, launched at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters some two years ago, is a cultural and educational program partially sponsored by France’s Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah. It includes an Internet site, projetaladin.org, whose aims including providing Arabic and Farsi speakers with an accurate account of the concentration camps’ history. The site offers online Arabic and Farsi translations of books, including Anne Frank’s diary.
A major part of the program is devoted to combating Holocaust denial, as well as to battling radical groups and individuals.
More than 1,000 intellectuals, politicians, historians, authors and artists from dozens of countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia have voiced support for the project, which is headed by 20 prominent figures including former French President Jacques Chirac, Jordan’s Prince Hassan, Bahraini Princess Haya al-Khalifa, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and others.
The members of the international delegation are due to arrive in Paris at the beginning of next week and will meet there with Mayor Bertrand Delanoe. The Muslim delegates, from countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, will meet and get to know Jewish delegates, including Holocaust survivors, clerics, authors and academics.
On Tuesday, they will fly to Krakow and visit Auschwitz, where they are due to attend prayer sessions and memorial ceremonies and lay wreaths.