Traveling Exhibition Being at School in the War Years

Preview of the touring exhibition Being at School in the War Years at the Charles University’s Faculty of Education, May 2017, photo: Radim Nytl, Památník Terezín.

Preview of the touring exhibition Being at School in the War Years at the Charles University’s Faculty of Education, May 2017, photo: Radim Nytl, Památník Terezín.

Back in 2015, the Terezín Memorial, the J.A. Komenský National Pedagogical Museum and Library, the Terezín Initiative Institute and the National Institute for Further Education launched their joint educational project called Being at School in the War Years. Almost twenty teams and individuals from Czech elementary schools entered the project’s first wave. Their task was to carry out research into the topics associated with the school environment in the Czech lands in the years 1938 to 1945. The outcome of their research is presented at a traveling exhibition, premiered in the premises of the Charles University’s Faculty of Education (PedF UK) from March 15 to May 8, 2017. The preview of the exhibition, including a guided tour of the display, screening of the feature film Vyšší princip (Higher Principle) on Czech secondary students during the Nazi reprisals after the assassination of the Acting Protector in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heydrich, and also the follow-up debate with Holocaust survivors, was attended by a number of distinguished guests and pupils and students involved in the project.

Lectures on education and upbringing of youth in the conditions of the Nazi totalitarian regime, plus workshops on the topic of minority schooling were also held during the two months of the exhibition, while one of the school teams involved in the project came in for discussions with the students and lecturers of the Faculty of Education of the Charles University. Starting on May 8, 2017 the exhibition began its tour of the schools taking part in the project; it will go on until the end of the next school year. Then the display will be made available to other interested institutions, and finally it will be dismantled and the individual exhibition panels will be leased to the participating schools. The installation of the display was financed from the grant awarded by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience; the preview of the exhibition at the Faculty of Education of the Charles University was supported by the Endowment Fund for the Holocaust Victims.

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