The spring wave of the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected also the list of events prepared by the Terezín Memorial. Some of them had to be canceled, other events – whenever possible – were moved forward to the fall of this year. These included the seminar for schoolteachers How to Teach about the Holocaust, the ceremony of announcing the results of the Memorial´s art competitions – The Hana Greenfield Memorial and the Terezín Commemoration.
Seminar How to Teach about the Holocaust Held in the Fall
The seminars How to Teach about the Holocaust, marking the first level of a multi-tiered structure of workshops for schoolteachers on the topic of the Holocaust, are traditionally held in the spring. They are co-organized by the Terezín Memorial, the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the Jewish Museum in Prague and the Brno-based Museum of Romani Culture. Due to the above-mentioned adverse public health situation in March 2020 the organizers decided to move the scheduled seminar forward to the fall. Two terms were announced for September and October and both were filled to capacity by applicants but in the end only one seminar was held between September 11 and 13, 2020 because of the spreading COVID-19 infection in the country.
The seminar´s Friday program opened in the Jewish Museum in Prague; in the evening its participants moved to the Terezín Memorial where it continued with lectures, workshops and sightseeing in the former Ghetto in the town of Terezín and in the former Gestapo Police Prison in the Small Fortress. For the first time in the history of these training courses, the Terezín Memorial organized an online debate, this time with Mrs. Helga Hošková-Weissová, a Holocaust survivor and former Terezín Ghetto inmate.
Announcing the Results of the Terezín Memorial´s Art Competitions – Hana Greenfield Memorial
The prize-award ceremony of the 26th literary competition and the 24th art competition – the Hana Greenfield Memorial, organized by the Terezín Memorial, was held in the attic theater in the Magdeburg Barracks on September 23, 2020.
The competitions bear the name of Hana Greenfield, a former Terezín Ghetto inmate, who was a co-founder of the competitions in the 1990s and – together with her family – also a co-sponsor of the events for young artists.
The 2020 competitions were held under the common motto War Ended, Can We Forget? This theme was selected to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and to invite participants to contemplate whether it is humanly possible to get rid of the traumatic experiences caused by wartime imprisonment in Terezín. As many as 379 entries from 72 schools all over the Czech Republic came to the competitions in the school year 2019/2020.
The prize-awarding ceremony was opened by a short speech delivered by Mr. Petr Šmíd, the then Deputy Regional Commissioner (for schools, youth and sport) of the Ústí Region, and Dr. Jan Roubínek, Director of the Terezín Memorial. In addition to many other guests, attending the ceremony in the role of prize presenter was Mr. Jiří Polák, son of the historian and former Terezín Ghetto inmate Erik Polák. The latter´s name is closely connected with a special prize financed by an association of former Terezín inmates, the Terezín Initiative. Prizes to the other competition winners were awarded by Dr. Jan Roubínek, the Memorial´s Director.
The artistic segment of the program featured Aida Mujačič, a pianist and singer and a native of the town of Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a young girl, Aida had witnessed the civil war in former Yugoslavia and now shared her authentic wartime experiences with the public. She sang songs of Bosnian Jews in the Ladino language, followed by Slavonic songs from the collections of the Czech ethnographer and painter Ludvík Kuba who lived in Bosnia at the end of the 19th century.
The prize-winning literary and art works may be viewed on the Terezín Memorial´s website.