To highlight the importance of human rights education, the National Human Rights Museum held a two-day Taiwan-Germany Human Rights Education Workshop in Taipei on Oct. 30 and 31.
The workshop's theme was "Transformation and Rebirth of Collective Traumatic Memories: Educational Challenges for Human Rights Museums," and specialists from five pertinent German institutions were invited to come to Taiwan and share their experiences in education and transitional justice.
The panel of experts and lecturers included Chair of German Federal Parliament Cultural and Media Affairs Committee Katrin Budde, Executive Director of the Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany Anna Kaminsky, Director of Stasi Records Agency Niels Schwiderski, Director of Berlin Wall Memorial Collections and Archives Manfred Wichmann, and research associate and project manager of the Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Adam Kerpel-Fronius. The workshop aspires to foster collaboration among human rights agencies from Taiwan and Germany, and to further expand Taiwan’s international human rights network.
Deputy Director General of German Institute Taipei Sabrina Schmidt-Koschella stated that Taiwan and Germany are working towards signing a pact for more exchanges and collaborations on advancing human rights. She noted that based on Germany's experience, understanding the past not only helps with healing traumas, but also helps to prevent the same mistakes from happening again.
She remarked with pleasure on the increasingly close associations between the two nations, with members of the German parliament and national institutions visiting Jing-Mei White Terror Memorial Park and Green Island White Terror Memorial Park on numerous occasions. Schmidt-Koschella believes that it is important to actively use the collections of the National Human Rights Museum to promote human rights education.
Director of the National Human Rights Museum Chen Chun-hung (陳俊宏) remarked that transitional justice is not limited to law and system reforms — it is also a profound introspection movement on culture and history. It is important for society, as a whole, to learn to face the past, he added.
The program was presented in two parts: a preparatory workshop in August and an international workshop in October. The first workshop convened Taiwanese museum professionals to catalogue the challenges of human rights education in Taiwan. The second workshop discussed transformative justice from the perspective of cultural education and museums and the exchange of information and stories with experts from Germany.
Chen offered his gratitude to the German Institute Taipei and Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉), Taiwan's representative to Germany, for their support. He also thanked the political victims for their attendance, saying that the two-day exchange was an invaluable experience for both Taiwanese and German attendees.