The Carl Lutz Circle was founded in Geneva, the international depositary city for the conventions sealing humanitarian law. Its members aim to raise awareness among civil society, including youth, of the humanitarian action of the Budapest Righteous, who included several neutral nations, international organizations and religious leaders. Their joint effort is one of the most remarkable pages of this dark period in human history.
The Circle has carried out projects with recognized partners such as the Shoah Memorial (Paris), the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (Bern), Yad Vashem (Jerusalem), the State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau (Krakow) and George Washington University. He also intervened at the request of several Education Departments of Swiss cantons, as well as educational institutions abroad.
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July 2020: The Carl Lutz Circle organized a major conference online featuring
Dr. Michael Berenbaum
co-founder, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM)
Dr. Mordecai Paldiel
f. Director, Department of the Righteous, Yad Vashem
A high-level debate led by the Carl Lutz Circle (Geneva), in partnership with the Sousa Mendes Foundation (New York) and the University of Miami (Florida).
The conference was introduced by the Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States.
June 2020 . the Carl Lutz Circle has joined the Strategic Working Group of the “Glass House”, located at Vadász u. 29 in Budapest (Hungary).
The Glass House, an architectural jewel, will be restored to its pre-war state and become a modern memorial in the heart of Budapest, 500 meters from the Parliament of Hungary, the U.S. Embassy and Liberty Square.
The Secretary General of the Carl Lutz Circle is the niece of the leader of the underground organization that ran the Glass House. Also on the Working Group are relatives and descendants of survivors, the Chief Historian of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the Director of the Jewish Museum in Hungary and the President of the Israel Museum.
June 2020 : the Carl Lutz Circle organized an online conference with two members of our Board, the famous Serge and Beate Klarsfeld, highly respected European intellectuals decorated by France and Germany.
3’000 people have registered for this event, in partnership with the Jewish University and Cultural Space (Institute Elie Wiesel, Paris)
March 2020: the Carl Lutz Circle gave a conference in front of 200 young professionals from Geneva, at the invitation of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the Welcome Center of International Geneva (CAGI) and the United Nations Office in Geneva.
February 2020: the Carl Lutz Circle gave a conference at the request of its partner, the canton of Valais, to nearly 200 students of the Collège-Lycée de l’Abbaye de Saint-Maurice.
January 2020: round table organized by the University of Applied Sciences for Teacher Education (HEP Vaud), in partnership with the Carl Lutz Circle, Amnesty International Switzerland, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Paul Grüninger Foundation.
December 2019: The Carl Lutz Circle teaches the figure of Carl Lutz and the Righteous of Budapest as part of the official programmes of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
In this context, the members of the Carl Lutz Circle were invited to an exceptional evening, in the presence of Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize winner.
December 2019: The Carl Lutz Circle was invited by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum to give a two-day training seminar to all the guides of the institution (340) in Oscwiecim, Poland.
This was the first session devoted to the role of Swiss civil society in the Auschwitz Protocols. At the end of this training, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the Carl Lutz Circle decided to establish a partnership for future collaborations in 2020. The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum welcomes 2.3 million visitors per year.
This seminar was the subject of an interview with the Carl Lutz Circle for Swiss television, in the programme “Forum”.
September 2019: The Carl Lutz Circle gave a major conference in Lausanne, with an introductory speech by the President of the Vaud Council of State.
This event, which was sold out at the Casino de Montbenon (300 people), was organized in partnership with Yad Vashem and institutional partners in Lausanne and Zurich.
Welcomed by the press, the conference was also covered by the Swiss national radio – RTS. In addition to delegates from several countries represented by Carl Lutz in Budapest, including the United States and Hungary, we had the pleasure of interacting with school programme managers.
At the end of the conference, the Carl Lutz Circle announced partnerships with the Departments of Education of several cantons.
July 2019: the President of the Carl Lutz Circle was welcomed at the Senate, in Paris, to present the organisation’s activities and find common synergies.
July 2019: Carl Lutz Circle Vice-President and Secretary General travelled to Paris for a meeting with Serge & Beate Klarsfeld, of the Circle’s Advisory Board, famous historians who brought many Nazi criminals to justice.
Serge Klarsfeld, decorated by the French Presidency, is one of the most important European voices on the Shoah. His wife Beate, who was awarded the German Order of Merit, was nominated as candidate for the Presidency of Germany in 2012.
June 2019 : the Carl lutz Circle was the guest of an evening in Geneva and introducted its activities.
The keynote speaker was the f. Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper
October 2018: Frédéric Hayat, Vice-President of the Carl Lutz Circle, gave a lecture in the United States at George Washington University, where Carl Lutz graduated. This conference was privileged to have representatives from Switzerland, Israel, Hungary and El Salvador, as well as many American personalities, including representatives of the State Department and the daughter of parliamentarian Tom Lantos, who gave his name to a parliamentary committee of the U.S. Congress.
The delegation also met with dignitaries at the U.S. Senate.
During this trip, supported by the Swiss Embassy, the delegation conducted research interviews at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and spoke to 400 students at the prestigious Washington International School.
October 2018: Carl Lutz was finally recognized by Switzerland. Following a letter from the President of the Circle to the President of the National Council, Dominique de Buman, a tribute was paid to Carl Lutz in plenary session of the Swiss Parliament
October 2018: the Circle gave a lecture at the Bugnon College, in Lausanne, Switzerland, to an audience of more than 200 students
February 2018 : Switzerland paid tribute to Carl Lutz by dedicating the staff room of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) to him. This decision follows an initiative launched by the Circle, supported by more than 50 parliamentarians from the National Council and Council of States, the Klarfeld Foundation, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, the Federal Commission against Racism, the Jewish and Protestant federations in Switzerland and the Memorial of the Shoah in Paris.
The ceremony was privileged to have the Federal Councillor in charge of Foreign Affairs Ignazio Cassis present.
February 2018: The Carl Lutz Circle took part in a conference for nearly 300 students at Andrassy University.
Previously, the delegation met with the chargé d’affaires of the United States in Budapest, then by the Hungarian Secretary of State for European Affairs.
November 2017: The Carl Lutz Circle was invited to address a large audience at the Copernicus Synagogue in Paris, including Simone Veil’s son, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, the CRIF, the Ambassador of Hungary, Switzerland and representatives from El Salvador, Israel and the United States. The State Secretary for European Affairs of Hungary attended the event and addressed the audience.
The President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron sent a letter to welcome the event and said “to fully associate himself with the work of remembrance around Carl Lutz.”