Terezin Memorial Events

Terezín Commemoration 2018

An act of remembrance marking the last wartime execution in Terezín on May 2, 1945. Photo: Radim Nytl, Terezín Memorial

An act of remembrance marking the last wartime execution in Terezín on May 2, 1945. Photo: Radim Nytl, Terezín Memorial

The traditional Terezín Commemoration was held in the National Cemetery in front of the Small Fortress in Terezín on May 20, 2018. This act of remembrance is organized by the Terezín Memorial in conjunction with the Central Committee of the Czech Union of Freedom Fighters, the Terezín Initiative, the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic, the Ústí Region, and the town of Terezín. Czech Minister of Culture Ilja Šmíd took over the auspices of the Terezín Commemoration 2018.
Terezín Commemoration 2018. Photo: Radim Nytl, Terezín Memorial

Terezín Commemoration 2018. Photo: Radim Nytl, Terezín Memorial


The Commemoration was opened at 10:00 a.m. with a ceremony of laying wreaths and flowers. After hearing the national anthem, its participants were welcomed by Mr. Jan Roubínek, Director of the Terezín Memorial; the act of remembrance was then inaugurated by Mr. Jaroslav Vodička, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Czech Union of Freedom Fighters. The key speech was delivered by Mr. Radek Vondráček, Speaker of the House of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, which was followed by Christian and Jewish prayers. The whole program ended with the performance of the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Act III of G. Verdi´s opera Nabucco, performed by the Děčín Choir.

The Terezín Commemoration is held every year, always on the third Sunday in May, at the end of the International Days of Remembrance and Resistance as a legacy of the so called Buchenwald Oath. This contained a declaration, made by the just liberated inmates of the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945, stressing that they would not cease commemorating the wartime events until all the roots of Nazism have been eradicated.

At 9:00 a.m. on May 20, 2018 wreaths were also laid in the former execution ground in the Small Fortress to mark the anniversary of the last and also the biggest wartime execution, held there at the very end of the war on May 2, 1945.

Based on Terezín Memorial´s press release

The Hana Greenfield Memorial

Ceremonial announcement of the results of the Terezín Memorial´s competitions in 2018

Stranger, Eliška Hlaváčková (15 years, Brno high school - Slovanské náměstí), third category – Erik Polák Award

Stranger, Eliška Hlaváčková (15 years, Brno high school – Slovanské náměstí), third category – Erik Polák Award


The winners of the Terezín Memorial´s 24th literary competition and its 22nd art contest known under the name The Hana Greenfield Memorial and held this year under the common theme: Home, took place in the cinema of the Ghetto Museum in Terezín on June 6, 2018.

The chief source of inspiration for the participants´ competition entries this time was the fate of Egon Ervín Kish, a well-known Czechoslovak journalist and refugee of Jewish descent. After the country´s occupation by Nazi Germany Kisch lived in France, then in the United States and Mexico. He returned home from Mexico after the Second World War.

Novinář Kisch, Michal Bláha (21 let, SŠ-COPt Uherský Brod), 3. kategorie – 2. místo

Novinář Kisch, Michal Bláha (21 let, SŠ-COPt Uherský Brod), 3. kategorie – 2. místo


While reflecting on his fate, the participating students were given an opportunity to contemplate the following questions and subjects: the true meaning of the loss of one´s home for refugees at that time, the kind of difficulties refugees had to cope with in a foreign country, how did locals probably perceive such refugees, how easy or difficult was it for them to integrate into a new society, what are the chief problems people, fleeing their home countries for different reasons, have to grapple with today, and what is the meaning of “home” for us nowadays etc.?
Happy Home, Kateřina Pilařová (7 years, Chrášťany elementary school and kindergarten), first category – fifth place

Happy Home, Kateřina Pilařová (7 years, Chrášťany elementary school and kindergarten), first category – fifth place


We received as many as 978 competition entries during the school year 2017/2018, out of which 758 were artworks and 220 literary essays.

In addition to most of the winners, the ceremony announcing the competition results was attended by many official guests. Mrs. Michaela Vidláková, representing the Terezín Initiative, an organization associating former inmates of the Terezín Ghetto, addressed the young artists with a speech interspersed with her personal experience. The Brno Children´s Choir, led by its choir leader Valeria Maťašová and with the piano accompaniment by Galina Aleshkevich, gave a concert featuring works by Leoš Janáček and Antonín Dvořák, parts of Bizet´s opera Carmen and the song Flowery Horse, composed by the former Terezín prisoners Karel Reiner and Norbert Frýd.

During the summer of 2018 the winning works of art were on display at an independent exhibition in the foyer of the Ghetto Museum cinema. The lists of the winners are available on the website of the Terezín Memorial in the section Vzdělávání (Education).

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The Great War through the Eyes of Painters

letacek_vystava00Exhibition marking the centenary of the end of World War I

Terezín Memorial, foyer of the Small Fortress cinema
September 13 – November 28, 2018

The First World War brought death and suffering to dozens of millions of people. The exhibition depicts this war conflict through the works of art from the collections of the Terezín Memorial. The key exhibits in the first part of the display are drawings and paintings by Theodor Lindner and Hans Denk depicting combat operations and everyday life of the Austro-Hungarian troops from the Cheb-based Infantry Regiment No. 73 in the Serbian, Russian and Italian battlefields. This particular unit fought in the same battlegrounds as the Terezín Infantry Regiment No. 42, but unfortunately no works of art are available in the Terezín Memorial featuring this regiment. On display in the second part of the exhibition, dedicated to the battles waged by the Czechoslovak Legions until the end of World War I, are cycles of lithographs by Otto Matoušek entitled Zborov and Bakhmach. The Czechoslovak Legions were formed in Russia, France and Italy as a voluntary army fighting on the side of the Entente powers against Austro-Hungary and Germany. The successes scored by the Legions made a decisive contribution to the international recognition of the rights of the Czechs and Slovaks to their own independent state and significantly supported the Czechoslovak politicians in exile in their activities. The displayed artworks are supplemented with many other exhibits.

Hans Denk (* 1888 Greiz, † 1971 Heilbronn) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna; in his career he focused mainly on portraiture and posters. Since his childhood he lived and worked in Mariánské Lázně (Marienbad) where he also designed the painterly decorations of the local Russian church. Just as Theodor Lindner, Denk spent the First World War fighting in the ranks of the 73rd Infantry Regiment. After World War II he was probably moved to the US occupation zone in Germany.

Theodor Lindner (* 1882 Düsseldorf, † 1956 Düsseldorf) attended the Düsseldorf College of Applied Art between 1902 and 1904. He applied himself primarily to genre painting with subjects depicting life in the 18th and first half of the 19th centuries. During World War I he served in the Cheb-based Infantry Regiment No. 73 (as an Austro-Hungarian national). He was seriously wounded in the Russian front on June 30, 1915 and that is why his works from the second half of 1915 are missing in the set of his art capturing the campaigns waged by the Regiment No. 73.

Otto Matoušek (*1890 Plzeň, † 1977 České Budějovice) studied at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts between 1910 and 1914. In 1915 he began his military service in the Pilsen-based 35th Infantry Regiment and left for the Russian front where he was soon taken prisoner. Following his application, in July 1916 he enlisted in the Czechoslovak Legions, passed a training course for commissioned officers and then held various command posts. After his returned home he stayed in the Army and ended his CO career due to poor health in March 1938. During World War II he joined the underground Nazi resistance movement, was arrested in March 1943 and imprisoned until the end of the war. The themes associated with the Czechoslovak Legions figured prominently in his works.

Department of Collections, Terezin Memorial

Meeting of the European Members of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience in the Terezín Memorial

Working groups during workshop, the attic theatre of the Magdeburg Barracks, photo: Linda Norris.

Working groups during workshop, the attic theatre of the Magdeburg Barracks, photo: Linda Norris.

Between November 17 and 19, 2017 the Terezín Memorial hosted representatives of the European members of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (ICSC) at a gathering held under the motto: Inspiration for a New Generation. One of the major goals of the Coalition is to involve young people in taking an active part in discussions on various historical events, frequently from the recent past, events that might seem to be complex and controversial but that should not be forgotten.

A varied program was prepared for the participants who came to Terezín from all corners of Europe. Its key section opened with presentations of the current projects carried out by the participating institutions. For its part, the Terezín Memorial, as one of the founding members of the Coalition, unveiled its projects launched in co-operation with the ICSC; the latest of these, Being at School in the War Years (1938 – 1945) is still ongoing. Presentations were followed by debates focused on the potential direction of the ISCS´s work and collaboration with its member institutions.

The meeting was also designed to facilitate closer acquaintance with the Terezín Memorial itself, its history and the objects it administers. Its offer of activities came complete with a fact-finding visit to the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes in Prague, with the attendees learning about the Institute´s agenda, its archives and programs for school-age youth.

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The Holocaust Remembrance Day in Terezín – Joint Czech-German Act of Commemoration

Debate with Holocaust survivors – Mrs. Dagmar Lieblová (right) and Mr. Felix Kolmer (left) during a commemorative act on the Day of Remembrance for Holocaust Victims, Small Fortress, Terezín Memorial, photo: Radim Nytl

Debate with Holocaust survivors – Mrs. Dagmar Lieblová (right) and Mr. Felix Kolmer (left) during a commemorative act on the Day of Remembrance for Holocaust Victims, Small Fortress, Terezín Memorial, photo: Radim Nytl

Attended by officials representing the Czech Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany, an act of remembrance was held in Terezín on January 24, 2018 to mark the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust and for the Prevention of Crimes against Humanity. The purpose of the Terezín gathering was to hand over the legacy passed on by the victims of Nazism to the current young generation, represented, in this case, by several dozen students from the Friedrich Schiller Czech-German Bilingual High School in the Saxon town of Pirna.

Studenti z gymnázia Friedricha Schillera v Pirně, připomínka Dne památky obětí holokaustu, Národní hřbitov, Památník Terezín, foto: Radim Nytl.

Studenti z gymnázia Friedricha Schillera v Pirně, připomínka Dne památky obětí holokaustu, Národní hřbitov, Památník Terezín, foto: Radim Nytl.

In his opening speech, Mr. Jan Roubínek, Director of the Terezín Memorial, welcomed the attending officials and guests. Then Mrs. Dagmar Lieblová, a former Terezín Ghetto inmate, recollected her wartime imprisonment in Terezín. Her address was followed by speeches delivered by young high school students from Pirna. In conclusion, the Dresden Rabbi Andreas Nachama offered a prayer, and flowers were laid in the National Cemetery to honor the memory of the Holocaust victims For the students and official guests, the program continued with a visit to Terezín´s Small Fortress, the site of the Terezín Police Prison in the years 1940-1945, and a debate with Mrs. Dagmar Lieblová and Mr. Felix Kolmer, also a former Terezín Ghetto inmate.

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Exhibition: New Arrivals to the Terezín Memorial´s Collection from the Years 2010 – 2016

A set of surgical instruments from the Police Prison in the Small Fortress, probably the property of a surgeon-inmate, Terezin Memorial, PT 14139.

A set of surgical instruments from the Police Prison in the Small Fortress, probably the property of a surgeon-inmate, Terezin Memorial, PT 14139.

In the second half of 2017 the Terezín Memorial staged an exhibition offering its visitors a very interesting insight into the Memorial´s collection – this time a total of 66 most interesting new arrivals from the period 2010 – 2016 went on display from the total amount of 513.
The exhibits featured worthwhile works of art and historically valuable collection items from the wartime and postwar eras. Most of the wartime exhibits came from the Terezín Ghetto. An exception to the rule was a painting depicting a book-binding workshop in the Litoměřce prison. On the other hand, artworks from the postwar period were quite diversified in their subject matter. On display from the collection of 3D exhibits were objects previously owned by people imprisoned in the concentration camps (Mauthausen, Ravensbrück and Buchenwald), in prisons (Police Prison in Terezín´s Small Fortress, in Mladá Boleslav), and in the Bernau penitentiary, two exhibits also came from the Terezín Ghetto.

Children´s shoes worn in the Terezín Ghetto by Petr Dadák (born in 1942). He was deported to Terezín from Ostrava in March 1945 in a transport AE 6. He stayed in Terezín with his mother until the ghetto´s liberation, Terezin Memorial, PT 14298.

Children´s shoes worn in the Terezín Ghetto by Petr Dadák (born in 1942). He was deported to Terezín from Ostrava in March 1945 in a transport AE 6. He stayed in Terezín with his mother until the ghetto´s liberation, Terezin Memorial, PT 14298.

The acquisition policy of the Terezín Memorial’s Department of Collections is focused primarily on works of art and objects made in the Jewish Ghetto in Terezín and in the Police Prison in the Small Fortress in Terezín. These are mainly items used by inmates as well as their prison guards or objects that formed part of the Ghetto buildings. However, the whole gamut of items in the Terezín Memorial´s collection is much larger, both in historical and thematic terms. In addition to the above-mentioned thematic fields, the collection also comprises works of art created during the 1920s and 30s in response to the advance of fascism and Nazism, as well as works by artists pointing a cautionary finger at violence and the danger of war in today´s world. The 3D objects kept in the Memorial´s collection are not solely connected with Terezín, some of them illustrate the life of inmates in many other concentration camps, prisons and penitentiaries.
Up to this day, the Terezín Memorial still succeeds in acquiring works of art and 3D objects from the estates of former prisoners. New arrivals mostly come from the children and grandchildren of those who had passed through the repressive facilities during Nazi persecution. Newly acquired items are restored, conserved and then displayed at exhibitions or are loaned to other museums for their own displays.

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The Terezín Memorial’s Events, Exhibitions and Seminars in 2017

Just as last year, 2016, proved to be rich in various events held by the Terezín Memorial, during this year, too, one can look forward to a number of Memorial-sponsored events.

On January 27, we commemorated the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, this time at a joint commemorative event staged by the House of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic, the Bavarian Diet, and the Foundation of Bavarian Memorials.

Commemorating the Holocaust victims in the former Crematorium in Litoměřice on January 27, 2017, January 2017, photo: Radim Nytl, Památník Terezín.

An annual act of remembrance Yom Ha´Shoah in honor of the Holocaust victims will be held in the spring, on April 24 to be precise. During the rally, more names of the deceased inmates jailed in the Terezín Ghetto will be read out again.

The third Sunday in May (this year it is May 21) is inseparably linked with the Terezín Commemoration to honor the victims of the Nazi persecution. This particular act of remembrance takes place in the National Cemetery, in the foreground of the Small Fortress. During the first days of May, this event will be preceded by a rally commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Memorial’s establishment on May 6, 1947.

On June 27, we will recall the anniversary of the execution of Dr. Milada Horáková, jailed in the Gestapo Police Prison in the Small Fortress during the Nazi occupation.

The Commemoration Kever Avot will be held on September 17, honoring the Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide in the Czech lands.

In addition to the above acts of remembrance, the Terezín Memorial will also stage a number of art exhibitions. For instance, drawings made in the Mauthausen concentration camp by its former inmate Zbyněka Sekal, or works of art by contemporary artists Václav Špale, Patrik Hábl and Francine Mayran will be also presented. The Terezín Memorial is also planning a number of its own exhibitions, whether a display of posters from the years 1947-2017, new acquisitions of the Terezín Memorial’s collections, or an exhibition of works by pupils and students who took part in an art competition, annually held by the Terezín Memorial’s Department of Education.

This year will see the 23rd literary contest and the 21st art competition, this time under the motto Is the Past Still Alive? Pupils and students can send in their entries by April 18 at the latest. The ceremonial presentation of the winning entries will be held in the cinema in the Ghetto Museum on June 7.

When looking ahead to the events to be staged by the Memorial, or rather by its Department of Education, this year we should not omit seminars for schoolteachers, either. Once again, seminars of all four levels of the project “How To Teach About the Holocaust” will be staged in 2017. These will be held on two occasions: between March 17 and 19, and from March 31 to April 2, both in Terezín. The second, follow-up seminar called “Holocaust in Education” will also take place in Terezín in the autumn; the third-tier workshop will be hosted by the State Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, while the fourth-tier event will be held in the Israeli Memorial Yad Vashem. Furthermore, those schoolteachers, who attended all four levels of the project, may also take part in the fifth-tier seminar in Poland and in Terezín. We are happy to note that schoolteachers from Denmark, Britain and Poland again showed their interest in the issues of the Holocaust and the Terezín Ghetto, and we will gladly welcome them again to the Memorial, one year later, for our educational seminars.

More detailed information on most of these events will be found in each new issue of the Terezín Memorial’s Newsletter.

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