The idea of Campanella came last year to my head. Before that, two similar projects took place in Rehlovice in Czech Republic in 2001 and 2002 which initiated Jakob Racek then a volunteer in Terezin. The participants come from two European countries which are already in EU that means: Austria and Germany, and two others which are going to join EU in 2004: Czech Republic and Poland. The program which supports that kind of conferences calls ´youth program´ within European Union. The goal was always to bring people from different countries together, to let them get to know each other, their culture, tradition, to let them have fun, but also let them to do something useful for a local community.
These workcamps had such a good influence on people and was such an excellent experience for everybody who took part in it that we decided to continue that kind of international meetings. First step did Franz Brunner and Roland Hummer. They took a risk and organized Campanella in Austria in 2002 in St. Florian. Their success encouraged me to make some effort and it happened.
With cooperation of Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation I could present to the participants not only the history of the Second World War and it´s terrible example "Auschwitz" but also a town and it´s normal life nowadays. There were also lectures devoted to a Jewish minority in Poland, and a trip to Cracow to a Jewish district ´Kazimierz´ helped to understand that situation.
The main goal of that workcamp was to clean up the Jewish cemetery. But in spite of that young people could take part in a painting and photo workshops where they could develop their artistic talents and in a journalist one where they were making a documentation of the project.
I´m really glad I had a chance to try to do something amazing like that, because meeting new people is the most fascinating thing in the world. When it´ s possible to confront so many points of views and exchange the opinions in international society then it´s a great opportunity to learn something new, sometimes to change a mind , or maybe even to get rid of some prejudices! Getting to know a topic closer makes that we´re not only wiser but also more tolerant and that´s a point of international meetings.