About the conference

Kazerne Dossin, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the Belgian Federal Police, KZ Gedenkstätte Flossenbürg and the Council of Europe announce the ‘Connecting Law and Memory’ conference in Mechelen on 20-22 September 2016. This conference will focus on training courses in human rights for law enforcement and civil servants – based on Holocaust and genocide studies – with an emphasis on bringing together both civil servants (especially law enforcement) and museums & memorials from all over Europe.

The overall aim of the conference is to create a coordinating forum and network for sharing and benchmarking expertise, intending to strengthen the civil service resilience through discussion, reflection and dilemma training. This will offer tools and attitudes to prevent and resist racist, xenophobic, homophobic behavior or other forms of intolerance – frequently aggravated by peer pressure and/or group loyalty – within law enforcement and other civil service institutions.

The goal of the conference is to connect, link, share and benchmark of existing outreach programs, good practices and experiences. Also to show the power of these programs to institutions that could be used to reflect upon history in their present day context.

An important aspect will also reflect on the circumstances to initiate and develop these programs, which needs to create a structural network or platform for existing and interested partners in order to stimulate exchange programs between institutions and organizations.

About the initiative:

Kazerne Dossin is a museum, memorial and documentation center on Holocaust and human rights.

“Between 1942 and 1944, 25,484 Jews and 352 gypsies were deported from the 18th century Dossin barracks. Just over 5% returned from Auschwitz-Birkenau. Kazerne Dossin is an intense and unique place of commemoration. The museum deals with the persecution of Jews and gypsies in Belgium. Until mid-1942, the occupier was able to count everywhere on the often supportive cooperation of the authorities. How was that possible? Why this persecution? What did it mean for the victims and how did they react? Was there no resistance? These are core questions in the museum.

Kazerne Dossin does not only deal with the ‘Belgian case’ but it is also a museum about mass violence. Taking the Holocaust as basis, Kazerne Dossin searches for timeless mechanisms of group pressure and collective violence that can result under certain conditions in mass murder and genocide. This question touches the core of modern human rights with emphasis on freedom and non-discrimination. The behaviour of the perpetrators and opportunists serves as basis for alerting the visitor to collective violent mechanisms among us and to the possibility to say ‘no’. Such an approach demands a special method. For this purpose, the visitor starts the visit by viewing an introduction movie in which the museum and its disturbing questions are presented.”


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Conference Program


Political views on human rights

Welcoming words by Mr Christophe Busch, Director of Kazerne Dossin

Lectures by

  • Mr Geert Bourgeois, Minister-President of Flanders and Flemish minister for Foreign policy and Immovable Heritage
  • Ms Snežana Samardžić-Marković,  Director General of Democracy at the Council of Europe
  • Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu - Chair of International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, ' The Holocaust: a history of contemporary political relevance'

Plenary sessions – Time for inspiration

  • Lecture by  Mr Thomas Lutz - Head of the Museum Memorial of Topography of Terror,  'What are the differences and the similarities of dealing with different crimes against humanity, for whom makes it sense to compare it? For which different groups makes it sense to learn from historical examples for human rights issues? Where are the obstacles and the benefits?'
  • Lecture by Ms Chris Van den Wyngaert - Judge at the International Criminal court, 'Connecting Law & Memory: the Role of International Criminal Courts'

Panel Debate

with  Mr Thomas Lutz,  Ms Chris Van den Wyngaert  and   Mr Morten Kjaerum, moderated by  Mr  Jan Deboutte

Good practices on Connecting Law&Memory – Workshops

Please choose two workshops out of the following workshops:
  • Workshop 1 Building a worldwide community of civil servants dedicated to Mass Atrocity Prevention -  The Auschwitz  Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, New York, US
  • Workshop 2 Holocaust, Police and Human rights – Federal police Belgium and Kazerne Dossin, Mechelen,  Belgium
  • Workshop 3 Memorialab. Social Construction of memory for promoting dialogue and co-existence in Basque Country – Museo de la Paz, Gernika, Spain 
  • Workshop 4 Sameness instead of difference - Reykjavik Metropolitan Police, Iceland

Good practices on Connecting Law&Memory – Workshops

Please choose two workshops out of the following workshops:
  • Workshop 5 Understanding Evil. Bridging Auschwitz and modern hatecrimes- Auschwitz Jewish Center,  Auschwitz, Poland   
  • Workshop 6 Society, that’s (for) you ! Discussion programme for the Dutch Police – Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Workshop  7 When French police looks back at its past. An experiment in adult education – Mémorial de la Shoah, Paris, France  
  •  Workshop 8 Bookapp Bitterveld -  De nieuwe onrust, Nijmegen, The Netherlands    

City walk ‘On the road with OP.RECHT.MECHELEN’ offered by the City project of Mechelen (if registered)

In 2016, Mechelen commemorates the fact that the Great Council, one of the first European legal entities, was established here in the Court of Savoy, where to this day justice is still delivered. The Parliament of Mechelen was a judicial body competent to pass judgement in Dutch, German, and French-speaking regions. It was established in 1473 by the Edict of Thionville, an initiative of Charles the Bold. As the ‘Great Council’, the Parliament settled in Mechelen. Fleeing from the Spanish Fury, the Council left the city but returned in 1616, finding shelter in the palace of Margareta of Austria, i.e. the Court of Savoy. The French Republic brought an end to the Great Council in 1797. /   

Plenary sessions – Connecting Law & Memory in practice

  • Lecture by Mr Julius Scharnetzky - Gedenkstaette Flossenbuerg 
'Historical - Political education at the Flossenbürg Memorial - Chances, Challenges and Limits'
  • Lecture by  Mr Hans-Christian Jasch - Director at Haus der Wannsee conference
' The experiences of the House of Wannsee conference in training lawyers, civil-servants and policeman about the Holocaust'  

Plenary sessions – Connecting Law&Memory in practice (part 2)

  • Lecture by  Mr Piotr Cywinsky,  Director at Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Connecting Law & Memory in practice: Bridging present and past, reaching out towards specific target groups like police, education, justice, ... Which tools can be used and why? '
  • Lecture by Ms Katharina von Schnurbein, EC Coordinator on combating Antisemitism

Panel debate

with Julius Scharnetzky, Hans Christian Jasch, Piotr Cywinsky and Katharina von Schnurbein, moderated by Jan Deboutte

Good practices on Connecting Law&Memory – workshops

Please choose two workshops out of the following workshops:
  • Workshop 9 Leadership programs at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC, US           
  • Workshop 10 Policing and polarization , The Netherlands
  • Workshop 11 Training Police Officers at Yad Vashem, Israel  
  • Workshop 12 Remembrance as a source of axiology , Auschwitz State Museum, Poland

Good Practices on Connecting Law&Memory – Workshops

Please choose two workshops out of the following workshops:
  • Workshop 13 Our responsibility today: historical approaches for police trainees as part of their education program – Flossenbuerg Memorial, Flossenbuerg, Germany  
  • Workshop 14 Resisting the spiral of mass violence: when perpetrators tell their story – RCN Justice et Démocratie, Brussels, Belgium
  • Workshop 15 The aspect of „human autonomy“ in historical learning - Villa Ten Hompel, Muenster, Germany
  • Workshop 16   Jewish history as a tool for antidiscrimination workshop for professionals: programme for Police and Teachers in POLIN, Poland

Conclusions and operational perspectives

What will bring the future?

Lectures by

  • Mr Koen Geens, Federal Minister of Justice, Belgium
  • Mr Claude Marinower, Alderman at the city of Antwerp
  • Ms Catherine De Bolle, General Commissioner of the Belgian Federal Police

Network drink

Exhibition: Mir ginn op Mecheln! : An exhibition on Justice in a changing society. Cultural activity (if registered) mech_mus_S0615_openingszitting_parlement_karel_de_stoute_schepenhuis_im_1 (1)

Visit to Breendonk Memorial (if registered)

Belgium has not been spared the horror of Nazism and its concentration camps. The fortress of Breendonk is a moving and striking example. It is one of the best conserved camps in Europe. Breendonk is only a dot on the gruesome map of concentration camps, but one which witnessed the same desire to annihilate the individual, which shared the same objective of enslaving and negating the human person. (more…)


Jan Deboutte

Conference Chair


Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance


Director General of Democracy at the Council of Europe


EU Commission Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism


Criminal Law Expert


Director of Raoul Wallenberg Institute Sweden


Director Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum


Head of Memorial Museums Topography of Terror Foundation


Director Gedenkstaette Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz


General Commissioner of the Belgian Federal Police


Minister-President of Flanders


Belgian Minister of Justice


Alderman for the City of Antwerp


General Director Kazerne Dossin

Resources Check our videos, photos, presentations & conference-related docs

Go to resources

Conclusions Provisional Conclusions

Go to conclusions


We booked an allotment for participants at the conference ‘Connecting Law&Memory’ at the following hotels in Mechelen. The location of the conference is at walking distance.The room rates include breakfast and service.

You can acces the special rates with the  codes mentionned below. The hotels will accept your booking as long as there is availability. For the booking, please contact the hotels directly by e-mail. Prices are guaranteed until 9 August 2016.

1.Hotel Novotel Mechelen Centrum
Vanbeethovenstraat 1
2800 Mechelen
Tel +32 15 4049 53    Fax +32 15 4049 51

Settle into 4-star comfort at Novotel Mechelen Centrum  hotel,  a 5- minute walk from the medieval city center. Wood furnishing, subdued colors and sleek design make your room a serene haven. is located in the historical city center Mechelen, from where the city’s sights are within walking distance. Full-length windows let the sun shine in at the lavish hot breakfast buffet while a stylish bar gives you a more intimate place to unwind at Novotel.For more info see www.novotel.com      www.accor.com
For your booking please mail to H3154-RE@accor.com and use the following reference code  50444171.

Room rate single:            € 150  per night per room
Room rate double:          € 155 per night per room
City tax:                             € 3.40 per night per room







2. Hotel Mercure Vé
Vismarkt 14
2800 Mechelen
Tel +32 15 20 07 55    Fax +32 15 20  07 60

Hotel Mercure Vé is situated in a fish smoke house dating from 1923. The hotel disposes of a Wellness area with swimming pool, jacuzzi and saunas. The hotels design seamlessly combines the buildings historic elements with modern architecture and contemporary luxury. The result is a unique cosy style which ensures an unforgettable stay. The warm personal service turns Mercure Mechelen Vé into a home away from home. For more information see www.hotelve.com

For your booking please mail to info@hotelve.com with the following reservation code: G47152

Room rate: € 132 per night per room
City tax:  € 3.40 per night per room







Venue / check location

The Conference will take place at

Lamot Conference and Heritage Center

Van Beethovenstraat 8-10

2800 Mechelen


Lamot Conference and Heritage Centre

Get Direction

Event FAQS / find your answers

  • Who attends  Connecting Law & Memory ?
Connecting Law & Memory attendees are a mix of decision makers and educators working at  museums, memorials and civil service bodies involved in setting up  training programs in human rights - based on Holocaust and genocide studies – with an emphasis on bringing together both civil servants (especially law enforcement) and museums & memorials or showing a strong interest to do this in the future.  
  • When and where will Connecting Law & Memory take place?
Connecting Law & Memory will take place from 20 September  until 22 September at Lamot Conference and Heritage Center in Mechelen, Belgium. An optional  cultural program on 23 September is possible upon registration.  
  • What is the address of the Lamot Conference and Heritage Center ?
Van Beethovenstraat 8-10 2800 Mechelen www.lamot-mechelen.be  
  • What is the common language spoken at Connecting Law&Memory?
The common language at the conference will be English. All plenary sessions and workshops will be presented in English.    
  • How do I register  for Connecting Law & Memory?
Participants can register by filling in the registration form on this website.  
  • I only want to attend one day  of the conference, is that possible?
Unfortunately  one-day-registration is not available.  
  • Is there  a deadline for registration?
Registration is possible  until 6 September 2016  
  • What are the registration fees for Connecting Law & Memory?
There is no registration fee for participants. Transport and accommodation costs for participants are NOT  paid for by the organizers.  
  • What is included  in the registration?
Your registration entitles you to the following  
  • Welcome diner at Kazerne Dossin
  • Plenary sessions
  • Workshops
  • Contribution stands
  • Closing Event
  • Access to the conference website
  • Lunch and refreshments
If you wish to participate  in the optional cultural program, please mark this on your registration form.  
  • What services are available for special needs and requests?
Connecting Law & Memory encourages persons with disabilities to participate in the program and activities. Please contact info@connectinglawandmemory.eu to make arrangements. If you have dietary preferences, please be sure to mark those on the registration form when you register.
  • Will materials presented at the conference be available?
Yes, presentations and videos will be available on the Conference website.  
  • I’m  a keynote speaker or a contributor – is there a powerpoint or other template I should be using?
All speakers and contributors have received  an e-mail with information for their session, including guidelines. Missed It? Please contact info@connectinglawandmemory.eu
‘Keep it Simple’ – a message for all presenters You have been selected to give presentation, or run a workshop, at the ‘ Connecting Law & Memory’ Conference. Delegates at the conference will be coming from many different countries, speaking many different languages. We will be using English as the common language and there will be no interpreters to translate into other languages. This is a conference about  training courses in human rights for law enforcement and civil servants - based on Holocaust and genocide studies – with an emphasis on bringing together both civil servants (especially law enforcement) and museums & memorials. We would like everyone at the conference to understand and feel inspired by what you present. We hope you will be sensitive  to your audience  and use a range of methods  to help everyone  understand what you say. The presentations and workshops are for sharing information, ideas and experiences. Outside the sessions there will be space at the conference, during the contributions stands,  where you can present your materials on 22 September 2016. The schedule of presentations can be found on our conference website:  www.connectinglawandmemory.eu   General  Information
  • Plenary presentations are 35 min in length: 30-minute presentation. Between each intervention there will be 5 minutes-break
  • Panel debates: Each member of the debate panel will reflect shortly upon the intervention of his/her colleagues.  During the debate there is time for Q&A for the participants. Questions will be selected in advance.  The whole debate will be moderated by the conference chair.  Hereby the questions prepared for the panel debate
  • Workshop presentations are 55 minutes in length: 45 minute presentation, and 10 minute question and answers- time.
  • Please note that  the conference will be filmed entirely. A camera team will be present during both plenary sessions as well as all workshops. Full presentations will be made available to participants online, on the conference website.
  • Contribution stand: There is a possibility to have a contribution stand on your project where you can present brochures, leaflets, … on your project.
  • Speakers should send their presentation slides in advance of traveling to the Conference. The presentations can be send to diependaele@kazernedossin.eu , one week before the conference.
   Information on the panel debates
  • Time for Inspiration

Comments, reflections, questions on the statements by the other speakers?

Questions by the moderator: (depending on the length of the answers this can be limited to  one or two questions)

- How do the International Criminal Courts, the Museum of Topography of Terror and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute see their respective roles in society? The ICCs as intergovernmental organisations are obviously in a different situation than the museums and memorials but are not working in the legendary ”ivory tower”.

- Do you work through privileged channels or with specific organizations or institutions? Did you develop some kind of partnership?  How can this be optimized?

- How can we reach out to other institutions and groups and touch a larger part of public opinion?

        Q & A  from the audience  
  • Connecting Law and Memory in Practice

Comments, reflections, questions on the statements by the other speakers?

Questions by the moderator: (depending on the length of the answers this can be limited to  one or two questions)

-       This morning we learned about the  education, training  and outreach programs of museums and memorials created to remember atrocities and crimes against humanity committed by the Nazi regime and its collaborators and about the efforts undertaken by the European Commission  to combat antisemitism  in the framework of its strategy of combating hate crime, hate speech, intolerance and discrimination. Does the Commission or do the Gedenkstätte Flossenbürg, the Haus der Wannsee Conference or the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau assess the impact and the effectiveness of their programs?

-       Do you work in particular with dedicated organisations and/or institutions and is there a special role for civil servant organizations?

-    What are the biggest challenges in setting up these partnerships and programs?

-    Are there possibilities to inspire other groups?

Q & A  from the audience

  Information on Logistics When you prepare and deliver your presentation of workshop please remember these points:
  • Presentation room:
    • All rooms have a screen, projector and laptop to display a power point presentation
    • All rooms have flip charts
    • All rooms have free internet connection
    • All rooms have sound capability
    • You may use your own laptop/Mac computer but please provide the connection leads/any other technical accessories yourself.
    • Water is provided in every room
    • Go to your presentation room at least 5 minutes before the presentations starts
    • There is someone  in every room to help you set up your presentation. He/she will address you when entering the room.
  • Media for your presentation:
    • There is no standard format you should use.
    • You can use a range of media, not just spoken or written word, to make your point
    • Try to avoid too much text on one slide
    • Using interpretive pictures is recommended
    • If you want to give handouts to your listeners, please provide them yourself
    • Bring your presentation on a USB stick and store it online somewhere too
  • How can I reserve a hotel room and what are the rates?
Please visit the Conference Accommodation page for the selected hotels and rates  
  • Are the selected hotels within walking  distance of the conference center?
The selected hotels are within walking distance of the convention center.  
  • Will shuttle buses be provided from the airport to my hotel?
Conference participants are responsible for their travel from/to the airport. There is a good public transport connection from Brussels airport to Mechelen with 2 trains each hour between 6.00 am and 10.00 pm. The ride takes about 11 minutes and costs about  € 8,20 (one way)  
  • What other activities can I plan for Mechelen?
Take a look at Mechelen’s highlights at www.toerismemechelen.be
  • Where can I find the latest information on the conference?
Stay up-to-date on www.connectinglawandmemory.eu  
  • My question is not listed here. Whom do I contact?
Please contact Mrs. Isabelle Diependaele via info@connectinglawandmemory.eu for assistance


Contact get more info

For further information: Isabelle Diependaele – Kazerne Dossin/Federal Police
Isabelle.Diependaele@kazernedossin.eu +32 15 28 86 35

For media information: Nele Custers – Kazerne Dossin
Nele.Custers@kazernedossin.eu +32 15 28 86 29

For registration and general information: info@connectinglawandmemory.eu