This year’s Conference on the International Day in Remembrance of the Victims of Totalitarianism was generously supported by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation; the embassies of Ukraine, Italy, Romania, and Sweden in Argentina; the Secretary of Human Rights and Cultural Pluralism of Argentina; the Assistant Secretary of Human Rights and Cultural Pluralism of the City of Buenos Aires; the Delegation of Argentine Jewish Associations (DAIA); Generations of the Shoah in Argentina; and Forum 2000, UN Watch, Club Político Argentino, and Cultura Democrática.
The conference opened with words from Sybil Rhodes, President of the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL); Pamela Malewicz, Assistant Secretary of Human Rights and Cultural Pluralism of the City of Buenos Aires; and Claudio Avruj, Secretary of Human Rights and Cultural Pluralism of Argentina.
The first panel, moderated by Ezequiel Podjarny, Representative of UN Watch in Argentina, centered on “The Fight Against Antisemitism.” To begin, Marisa Braylan, Director of the Center of Social Studies of the DAIA, spoke about “Antisemitism in Argentina: Tendencies and Recommendations.” Franco Fiumara, Judge of the 4th Oral Criminal Court of La Matanza, then presented “The 80th Anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass.” Fabrizio Mazza, Advising Minister of the Italian Embassy in Argentina, followed with his speech “Antisemitism and Resistance to the Holocaust in Italy.” Diana Wang, President of the Generations of the Shoah in Argentina, concluded the panel with a personal testimony.
The second panel was moderated by Bernabé García Hamilton, Secretary of CADAL. Margaryta Aristova, Business Director of the Ukrainian Embassy in Argentina, and Gustavo Sterzcek, historian and writer specializing in issues of genocide and crimes against humanity, spoke about “The 85th Anniversary of the Holodomor.” This panel concluded with presentations from Ricardo López Göttig, Ph.D. in History from Charles University in Prague, and Ondrej Jurik, Czech journalist and fellow graduate of Charles University, that covered “The 50th Anniversary of the Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia.”
The last panel, moderated by Gabriel C. Salvia, General Director of CADAL, examined “The Democratic Challenge of Confronting 21st Century Autocracies in Latin America.” The two panelists were Dennis Fernández, member of the National Assembly of Venezuela and Representative in the Mercosur Parliament, and Marcos Novaro, a researcher at CONICET and academic advisor at CADAL.
With the passage of Law 5608 in 2015, the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires inaugurated the “Day in Remembrance of the Victims of Totalitarianism.” The bill was presented in the City Legislature by representatives Cecilia de la Torre (1962-2016) and Francisco Quintana.