Theatre in Rome Hosts Festival of Psalms of David

Outstanding Artists Sing Appeal for Peace and for Life

Festival of Psalms of David

On Tuesday evening on December 14, 2021, at the Brancaccio Theatre in Rome, the Festival of the Psalms of David was held, during which the “Psalms of Peace and Reconciliation” sounded. Outstanding artists representing Poland and Israel took part in the event. The concert was initiated by The Ulma family SOAR Foundation is a composition that calls for peace in the world. Life was also the theme of the project.

The meeting was hosted by Magdalena Wolińska-Riedi, a Polish-Vatican journalist, and special guest Claudio Marchisio, who plays football for Juventus after playing for Italy in international matches.

The festival leaders started with a conversation about peace.

Wolińska-Riedi recalled that “World War II put the whole world in the face of great evil, therefore it is so important to appeal for peace so that it will never happen to us again. It is estimated that thanks to the help of Poles, it was possible to save from 30,000 to 100,000 Jews”.

“There are also young people among football fans, there are children. They are especially important in the call for peace. You can tell them the truth from an early age that the only colors that can differ from us should be the colors of the football clubs,” said Marchisio.

Festival of Psalms of DavidOn stage, among others appeared Anna Maria Anders, the Polish ambassador to Italy, representing Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Referring to the difficult history of the 20th century, the ambassador emphasized that “millions of Jews and Poles called for an end to the war. It was a dark time when peace had to be carried amidst the fire of war. Although saving Jews was associated with the death penalty, Poles – which I want to emphasize – for saving Jews, Poles were sent to the camps themselves. They were ready to leave everything and save their neighbours, even of a different nation and religion. Poles are the most numerous group of the Righteous among the nations in the world ”. “This concert is a tribute to those who lived truth and peace, even paying for it with their lives” – summed up the ambassador.

Bogdan Romaniuk, the festival’s general director also took the floor. On behalf of the SOAR Foundation, he thanked the people for participating in the event, which was a tribute to the Righteous.

Romaniuk referred to the tragic history of the Ulmas who lost their lives helping Jews: “The Ulma family and many other people, protecting their Jewish friends,” expressed love by giving their own life. We are making an appeal for peace to those who rule the world. At the same time, we raise these songs as a prayer to God, because, as we read in the Bible in the Book of Jonah – ‘Who knows, maybe he will turn away and God will have mercy, he will turn away from the anger of his anger, and we will not perish?’ Pray that the world would be free from any conflicts armed “- said the director of the Festival.

Rev. Mons. Tomasz Trafny from the Pontifical Council for Culture in the Vatican, representing Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Israeli ambassador Dror Eydar. Janusz Kotański, the Polish ambassador to the Holy See, also had their time on stage.

In the artistic part of the event, the guests could watch and listen to the performances of many outstanding artists representing Poland and the culture of Israel.

The meeting ended with a joint performance of the artists, and the whole event was appreciated with a standing ovation.

The festival organized in Rome was co-financed thanks to the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the “Public Diplomacy 2021” competition, the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage in the “Inspirational Culture 2021” program, the Subcarpathian Voivodeship, the Museum of Poles Saving Jews in World War II, The Ulma family in Markowa, the Institute of National Remembrance, PKN Orlen and the State of Poland Foundation.

The patron of the event was the Pontifical Council for Culture, and the partners of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Italy and at the Holy See.

On 24th March 1944, in Markowa in the Subcarpathian region, German military policemen murdered the Ulma family and eight Jews who were hiding there. This day is the National Day of Remembrance of Poles who saved Jews under German occupation.

The Psalms of David Festival was held for the first time in 2016. This initiative, from the very beginning, is part of the mission of the Museum of Poles Saving Jews, consisting in presenting the history of saving Jews by Poles during World War II, Polish-Jewish relations during the Holocaust, and disseminating knowledge about the fate of the Ulma family from Markowa.

Photos: Fr. Tomasz Podlewski / Family News Service