Austria: Exhibition of Paintings by Falun Gong Practitioners in Amstetten’s City Hall

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From May 26th until May 28th, the international “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance” Art Exhibition was held in Amstetten City Hall. The exhibition was advertised in many regional newspapers, one reputable national daily newspaper and also by a regional television station.

Friday evening was the private view. Three speakers offered their support for Falun Gong with long and touching speeches, and a few members of the European Falun Gong Choir sang a song entitled “Coming for You,” which lent a pleasant ambience to the event. The first speaker was Mr. Mag. Alfred Brandhofer, a member of the Society for Endangered People, who first spoke about the many different groups of people of this world who are threatened with extinction, providing many examples. In summary, he said that the threat to these groups couldn’t be compared to the inhuman persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. He wrote a thank you note to the ARS CARA Association in the guest book: “Pictures that awaken the conscience are depressing, but the others represent hope. Thank you ARS CARA that you have taken on these human rights violations as your special concern!”

A Falun Gong practitioner guides visitors through the exhibition
The second speaker, a member of Amnesty International and also a Christian chaplain, Mr. Franz Sieder, gave an impressive and deeply stirring speech. He said, “The intent of this exhibition is that we are deeply affected by the misery the people in China have to suffer. The art not only speaks to our mind, but also to our heart, which is why we are so much more deeply touched by the pictures than if we heard about this inhumanity in China over the radio or if we would read about it in the newspaper. All of us are in danger to become indifferent because of the many problems happening throughout the world. We all are in danger to become apathetic. We especially are in danger when we can’t find a way to help. If we are by ourselves we are inclined to become resigned to the situation and feel it more convenient to let the world deal with its problems, but without our input.

Kaplan Sieder
Mr. Markus Brandstetter, the township representative gave the first and last speech of the event. He also showed his deep shock about the extent of the cruelty of this persecution and thanked the organisers for brining the exhibition to Amstetten. He wished the exhibition great success.

All those who viewed the exhibition were deeply touched. Most everyone went from picture to picture and read all the description in detail. Some were deeply shocked after viewing the inhuman torture re-creations. They approached practitioners to hear more about the reasons for the persecution. A child who had come to the exhibition with her mother almost cried. She asked her mother, “Why do people do something like this?” The woman took her daughter into her arms and told her about the situation of Falun Gong in China.
Many people couldn’t understand the inhumanity of the persecution and that something like this still happens today. They also could not understand why no one really heard about this in Austria.

An elementary school teacher was deeply taken aback that the Austrian media had not reported about this situation. He wrote the following in the guest book: “Deeply touching exhibition. It brings to the forefront that humans can become enemies and torturers of humans. All want to do business with the people in China, that is, they want to make money. This is totally immoral. Where is the moral courage to stand up for one’s beliefs? Please, show these pictures on TV and over the Internet, to wake up the conscience of many people!” He bought an introductory book about Falun Gong and wished the exhibition much success.
Many of the visitors expressed their sympathy and support with the commentaries in the guest book:

“Fortunately, there is a person who does not only see economic benefits, but also that which is hidden.”

”I hope that this exhibition will achieve that more and more people will awaken and realise that truth and peace will win in the long-term.”

Originally published in German at:

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