PRAGUE (May. 21)
A permanent exhibit on Jewish children in Czechoslovakia during the Nazi occupation has opened at the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague’s Jewish Quarter.
The exhibit, “Children’s Drawings of Terezin,” includes 200 drawings along with photographs, diaries and toys from the years 1939 to 1944.
“This is a story that needs to be told, and must not be remembered only in terms of abstract symbols,” said exhibit curator Michaela Hajkova. “The children’s work is very direct and open. It is the best way to depict the horrors of the Holocaust.”
Some 140,000 people were held at Terezin, a 19th century military fortress which the Nazis turned into a transit camp. Thousands of Jews died at Terezin, and thousands of others were deported from there to concentration camps further East.
While at Terezin, children participated in performances, recitals and attended classes, some of them were taught by Viennese painter Friedl Dicker Brandeis.
Part of the exhibit is dedicated to the artist, who was deported to Terezin at the end of 1942, and died at Auschwitz two years later.
The exhibit was moved to the Pinkas Synagogue from a temporary location next to the Old Jewish Cemetery in part because curators felt the synagogue was a fitting site. It contains a monument with the names of 80,000 Holocaust victims inscribed on it.
The exhibit was financed by the Jewish Museum in Prague, a Czech television station, the Czech Ministry of Culture and individuals here and abroad.