Op 27 januari is het International Holocaust Remembrance Day, de dag waarop internationaal de Holocaust wordt herdacht. In het kader van Theater Na de Dam zijn er door heel Europa voorstellingen te zien, zo ook in Praag. Tsjechische Theatermaker Tamara Pomoriški vertelt.
On 15th December we had a meeting with the witnesses in Prague, Lucerna Palace. The twelve youngsters spent their morning by listening to the life stories, which were strongly impacted by WWII. Three of the witnesses came from the Hagibor Social Care Facility and were accompanied by the Hagibor workers. The three others came on their own. In the beginning everyone introduced themselves and said a few words, so that everybody knows, who was present. Youngsters worked in groups of two, each pair talked to one witness.
Mikuláš Bröder (1928), born in a Jewish family in Slovakia spoke about his partisan activities and about his later life in Kibbutz. Zdena Freundová (1931) survived, because she was hiding during WWII. Her father worked as a mechanic for RAF. She remembered a big help for her family from the abbot of a near monastery, who offered her family food.
Dora Pešková (1921) came from a Jewish family in Karlovy Vary. In 1942 she was brought to Terezín, one year later to Auschwitz. She and her sister survived.
Alice Grusová (1941) was born in a Jewish family in Prague. In 1942 her parents decided to leave the protectorate. Were arrested in Pardubice. To save the life of their one-year old daughter, they left her alone on a bank near the station. She came together with her husband, who has been for 57 years her life partner.
Jan Volavka (1934) was born in Prague to a half Jewish couple. Together with his father they were arrested during the attempt to escape and he, as a ten years old, was hold three weeks in a Nazi prison. This impacted his later life. As a psychiatrist he studied the topic of violence.
Eduard Marek (1917) was also imprisoned during the WWII, because of meeting the Jews. His whole life he honors the scout way of thinking, every day he does at least one good deed.
The meeting was very moving. It was going on a very friendly way. The witnesses appreciated the possibility to talk to youngsters and the youngsters were touched by the stories. When the witnesses left, youngsters worked very nice with the gained memories and tried to determine the topic of the performance. The common topic are important books, which affected their readers (youngsters, as well as witnesses).
Youngsters had also the possibility to meet Ridina Ahmed, who is going to do a voice and sound supervision in the performance.
Impressions of children from meeting witnesses:“I feel like I have seen the story as if it was in front of my eyes and I couldn’t do anything about it.”
“I feel enriched and at the same time startled.”
“It is almost unbelievable that we have spoken to people who have experienced war and listen to their stories. I’m so glad I was a part of that. Now I have a bite of sadness but also joy.”