Events

Commemorative Stamps Featuring the Terezín Memorial

A postage stamp booklet designed by Jan Ungrád was also issued to mark the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Terezín Memorial. Each of the eight stamps in the booklet features both works of art by leading Czech artists, artifacts kept in the collections of the Terezín Memorial, as well as pictures made by children who took part in the past art competitions annually held by the Terezín Memorial. These are namely works of the following authors: Fascism (Jan Bauch), Eight Soldiers (Jiří Anderle), What the Children in Terezín Dreamt of (Ondřej Kohout), Sussurans Quiete (The Whisper of Silence) (Nikola Sedlářová), Fight (Zdeněk Hošek), War (Emil Filla), Grief (Nikola Kutílková) and Have You Ever Seen It? (Marie Hervertová). Photograph of Jiří Sozanský´s sculpture entitled A Quiet Lament has been selected for the cover of the postage stamp booklet.

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Postage stamp booklet designed by Jan Ungrád

Postage stamp booklet designed by Jan Ungrád


Postage stamp booklet designed by Jan Ungrád

Postage stamp booklet designed by Jan Ungrád

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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Josef Čapek exhibition

Josef Čapek: The study of women, the date probably 1941 – 1942, Buchenwald; PT 2798, Památník Terezín.

Josef Čapek: The study of women, the date probably 1941 – 1942, Buchenwald; PT 2798, Památník Terezín.


A festive preview of the exhibition entitled Josef Čapek – Painter, Poet, Writer was held in the lobby of the cinema in Terezín´s Small Fortress on April 7 this year. The opening ceremony was attended by Mrs. Kristýna Váňová, Directress of the Karel Čapek Memorial, and the Czech actress Zdeňka Procházková, who recited several poems from Josef Čapek´s works written in prison.

During the war Čapek himself was imprisoned in the concentration camps Dachau, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and Bergen-Belsen respectively. He died of typhoid shortly before the end of the war in the last mentioned camp.

Josef Čapek: Spain 1936 (Corrida madrileña), 1936; PT 10603, Památník Terezín.

Josef Čapek: Spain 1936 (Corrida madrileña), 1936; PT 10603, Památník Terezín.


During his incarceration Čapek drafted many sketches, some of which are now found in the collections of the Terezín Memorial. Because of his artistic talents he was often assigned to and employed in painting workshops in the concentration camps, where he was involved, for instance, in creating pedigrees of the local SS-officers. In addition to that, he also wrote poetry and translated English and Spanish verse.

After its successful staging in the Terezín Memorial this touring exhibition closed on May 31, 2016.

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Prison Laundry Room (Wäscherei) – a new permanent exposition in the former Gestapo Police Prison in Terezín

The building of the former laundry in the Small Fortress, photo: Jana Havlínová, Památník Terezín.

The building of the former laundry in the Small Fortress, photo: Jana Havlínová, Památník Terezín.

The exhibition of the former prison laundry of the former Gestapo Police Prison in the Small Fortress, Terezín, expanded in autumn 2015 after the reconstruction of the prison laundry room in courtyard III. Visitors so get a unique opportunity to get acquainted with one of the many job descriptions of so-called Interior Commandos, responsible for the normal operation of the prison in the Small Fortress.

This steam laundry, set in operation in 1944, was equipped with a large boiler, sliding carts, a high-capacity washing machine and a powerful spin-dryer. Yet, the prisoners’ clothes continued to be exchanged only once or twice a month. To work in the laundry brought certain advantages for prisoners: They had enough hot water for their own use, a roof protecting them from weather ailments, and relative peace from guards.

Exposition of  the former laundry in the Small Fortress, photo: Jana Havlínová, Památník Terezín.

Exposition of the former laundry in the Small Fortress, photo: Jana Havlínová, Památník Terezín.

A women’s washroom, built near the laundry room, together with women’s prison cells enabled women prisoners to maintain contact with the men working in the laundry room.
The authenticity and atmosphere of this environment is at first glance enhanced by the displayed collection items, as well as excerpts from the memoirs of former prisoners commenting on their daily hard work. Panels with contemporary documents reveal the fact that the laundry room did not serve only to prisoners, but was used to do the laundry of guards and their families.

This exposition, the scenario of which was prepared by Miroslava Langhamerová from the History Department of the Terezín Memorial, is open to visitors all year round.

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New “Art Exhibition of the Terezín Memorial”, Permanent exhibition in the Museum of the Small Fortress

Blanka Stehlíková (right), the author of the exhibition script, during the opening ceremony, May 2015, photo: Radim Nytl, Památník Terezín

Blanka Stehlíková (right), the author of the exhibition script, during the opening ceremony, May 2015, photo: Radim Nytl, Památník Terezín


In May 2015, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the repressive facilities in Terezín and Litoměřice, the Museum in the Small Fortress of the Terezín Memorial opened a new permanent exhibition of works selected from the Terezin Memorial art collections.

The exhibition presents works by Czech artists devoted to the topic of the fight against Nazism and war, and pays a tribute to artists who were among the first ones in the 1930s to recognize the danger of the emerging Nazi regime and joined the local resistance in their work. Many of them were active abroad too, and many paid for their activities with their lives.

A new Fine art exhibition in the Small Fortress Museum, photo: Radim Nytl, Památník Terezín

A new Fine art exhibition in the Small Fortress Museum, photo: Radim Nytl, Památník Terezín


The exhibition starts with cartoons of the 1930s, which, in an impressive and straightforward manner, depict the aforementioned historical events. Another hot topic of that era was the civil war in Spain. Among others, the events also influenced the production of Emil Filla and Josef Capek, whose works are also represented in the exhibition. The end of an uneasy decade brought a new stage to the history of our state, the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in 1939. Through displayed paintings visitors get familiar with the oppressive atmosphere of the Protectorate and, at the same time, with the way the art reflected the new political situation, changes which occurred in terms of applied painting techniques, themes, etc. Subsequently, we plunge into the imaginary environment of the Terezín repressive facilities, into jails and concentration camps where many excellent artists, painters and amateurs were imprisoned and where, in spite of inhuman conditions, they created a number of works illustrating the prisoner’s life, psyche, and the atmosphere of the environment. The final exhibition halls focus on the work of the postwar generation, which began to get formed in the normalization times. This generation deals as well, in its own way, with the motives of violence, threats of technological civilization, etc.

The author of the exhibition script, which is unique in the Czech Republic as to its content, is an art historian, journalist, and a member of the Scientific Council of the Terezín Memorial Dr. Blanka Stehlíková.

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Seminar for Polish teachers in the Terezín Memorial

Seminar for Polish teachers, May 2015, photo: Jolanta Wójcik, ABSM

Seminar for Polish teachers, May 2015, photo: Jolanta Wójcik, ABSM


In late May 2015, 30 Polish teachers visited the Terezín Memorial to take part in the third year of the seminar for Polish teachers, organized by the Terezín Memorial in collaboration with the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau and IPN (Instytut Pamięci Narodowej).

The three-day seminar was opened with a lecture of Tomáš Fedorovič on the position of the Terezín ghetto in the Nazi plans to exterminate the Jewish population. Participants were offered an insight on this issue through documents preserved from the time before the establishment of the ghetto as well as during its existence. The following presentation by Jan Roubínek brought students into the post-war period, an era when the society was dealing with the persecution of the Jews during WW2. In a very comprehensive manner, he introduced different developmental stages which most countries went through in connection with this problem. The following day was devoted to tours of the former ghetto and the police prison in the Small Fortress. The highlight of the day was a meeting with Mrs. Dagmar Lieblová, the former prisoner and surviver of the Terezín ghetto and the extermination camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Finally, the seminar participants were informed about the educational activities of the Terezín Memorial and Doc. Vojtěch Blodig presented Terezín as a place of memory, talking about the history and development of the Terezín Memorial. Se

 

“Sophie’s Choice – The Czech Way“ in the Terezín Memorial

Poster for the exhibition Sophie's Choice – The Czech Way, author: Miroslav Veselý

Poster for the exhibition Sophie’s Choice – The Czech Way, author: Miroslav Veselý


In the first quarter of 2015, the Terezín Memorial hosted an exhibition of Judita Matyášová “Sophie’s Choice – The Czech Way”. The exhibition presents the fate of 80 Jewish children who in 1939 attended preparatory courses for life in Palestine, which brought them to Denmark and saved them from the for Jewish population increasingly burdensome situation in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. However, this “liberation” was redeemed by separation from their families; on their departure to Denmark, 14- to 16-year-old boys and girls saw their parents for the last time, because most of their parents and closest relatives were later deported to the Terezín ghetto and subsequently died in the East.

70 years after these events, Judita Matyášová managed to uncover a forgotten war story and piece it together; she wrote a book about it and prepared an exhibition. Its panels depict the fate of young Jewish people, their life in Danish foster families, dramatic escape to Sweden in 1943 and the post-war life, which brought these young people to different corners of the world.

The Education Department of the Terezín Memorial used the information potential of the exhibition and created a workshop which, in February and March, offered to several school groups as a part of their educational seminars in the Memorial. Through worksheets and other specific tasks, young people learnt about the life of their peers from the time of 70 years ago. Lecturers helped to put the events into a broader context associated with the possibilities and difficulties of emigration of the Jewish population at the time of persecution. “Personal Cards” of several heroes of our story then raised the topics for discussion about issues being on the front burner at the time of the Nazi occupation just like today: Where is my ´home´? What does ´home´ mean to me? Who is ´a patriot´? How difficult is to decide for emigration? What are the pros and cons of such emigration? What status does an immigrant hold? To what extent should immigrants assimilate? … Part of the workshop was also a follow-up meeting of school groups directly with the exhibition author Judita Matyášová, who, in a most gripping way, talked about her way to track down the story and to search for “traces” of individual children.

Currently, the Education Department is working to develop a workshop which would be based precisely on the theme of the exhibition, and which would be regularly offered to school groups as part of their educational stays in Terezín starting autumn 2015.

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