Janusz Makuch in Conversation with Arnold Zable

November 12, 2017

Melbourne, Australia

In its final event for 2017, ASPJ President Izydor Marmur (pic right) introduced Founder and Director of the Kraków Festival of Jewish Culture, Janusz Makuch, in conversation with Melbourne writer Arnold Zable. In 2008, Janusz became the first recipient of the prestigious Irena Sendler prize awarded by the Taube Foundation for preserving and revitalising Jewish heritage in Poland.

The Festival was founded in 1988 in Kraków, a city with a flourishing Jewish culture before WWII and whose Jewish community almost vanished during the Holocaust. Although not being Jewish himself, when asked about the original purpose of organising the festival, Janusz Maluch said, “It’s a way to pay homage to the people who lived here”.

In 2017, the Festival hosted over 200 events, including musical performances, workshops, lectures, guided tours, and attracted some 30,000 visitors. The Festival gathers around 200 artists and workshop leaders from all over the globe.

Janusz spoke about the festival and what it means to Kraków and Poland in general . He also told about his personal journey during the years in which he became involved with the project.

Arnold Zable, an award-winning writer, novelist and human rights advocate, is the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants who lost their families to the Holocaust. During his conversation with Janusz Makuch, Arnold shared some of his own experiences during his visits to Poland before and following the fall of communism and also his observations of the changes that have taken place.

From left: Eva Hussain (Vice-Pres. ASPJ), Janusz Makuch, Arnold Zable, Adam Warzel (Pres. AIPA)
From left: Adam Warzel (Pres. AIPA), David Southwick MP, Nick Wakeling MP, Dr George Łuk-Kozica (Hon. Polish Consul), Janusz Makuch, Izydor Marmur (Pres. ASPJ)

Following the inspiring conversation, there were a number of questions from the audience.
Later many people stayed behind to mingle and to talk with both speakers.