The unusual exhibition will open to the public on 27th May to commemorate the events that happened seventy years ago. The camp will be surrounded by a tall fence, barbed wire and seven metre tall watchtower and it will have a gate with the Imperial eagle holding a Nazi swastika in its claws. Inside visitors will see period photographs and walk through three houses where various stories from the Heydrich terror period will be introduced.
Memory of less known heroes
“On 24th October 1942, Nazis executed 261 Czechoslovakian citizens in the Mauthausen concentration camp. Out of this number, 126 were men and 135 women. Whole families of parachutists, resistance fighters and their supporters died on that day. This was one of the most terrifying Nazi revenges similar to the assassinations in Lidice, Ležáky and Kobylisy, or tortures that went on in the Small Fortress Terezín, or in Petschkov Palace etc. Everyone knows soldiers Gabčík and Kubiše, who killed Heydrich, but those who paid by their lives for helping them are almost unknown,” said Mikuláš Kroupa, who is the director of Post Bellum.
Stories of victims…
The exhibition will introduce seventy life stories; half of them were collected people from the Post Bellum over eleven years. Some of the recorded memories of survivors can be found also on the website Paměti národa. The other part of the exhibition is composed of the photographs and biographical texts presenting people who did not survive – they were either executed or committed suicide when the Gestapo revealed them.
…and the lives of executors
“A special part of the exhibition is dedicated to the stories of seven Nazis who were responsible for sufferings and deaths of thousands people, be it R. Heydrich, K. H. Frank, Gestapo member H. U. Geschke, or K. von Treunfeld,” says Michal Šmíd from the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, which participates on the event.
Unique photographs from Germany
Unique photographs come from Bundesarchiv Koblenz and from the collection of the researcher Jaroslava Čvančary. Authentic recordings from 1942 were provided by Czech Radio. They will be played on period loudspeakers. In three houses, visitors can listen to short authentic recordings of survivors’ memories and a radio documentary series Stories of the 20th Century that were broadcast by ČRo – Radio Czech. The third concentration camp house will host the documentary movies and film screening. In the course of the exhibition, the accompanying programme will offer talks with the survivors and experts, commented screenings. Other than that a requiem for those tortured to death will be held in the St. Ignacius Church and there will also be a concert, any profit from which will be donated to the renovation of Kubiš’s house in Dolní Vilémovice. The exhibition will be held until 18th June to commemorate the day when parachutists died during the fight in Saints Cyril and Methodius Church.