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The Traces of Totality Project Seminar in Jáchymov

Members of the Civic Association Političtí vězni.cz joined their forces again with colleagues from the Civic Association Zapomenutí to prepare the second multiple-day Traces of Totality project seminar in Jáchymov.

 

In early June 2013, the weather in the Ore Mountains was grim – days were rainy, windy and the temperature reminded rather the turn of winter and spring. However, thirty students of various primary and grammar schools from the Czech Republic went with their teachers to Nové Město above the Jáchymov valley to present the outputs of their school projects and to get in touch with sharp contrasts of modern history of Jáchymov Region.

 

On the first day, the group visited the so-called "Red Tower of Death", a former uranium ore sorting facility where prisoners from the labour camp Vykmanov II had worked under very difficult conditions in the 1950s. Here they heard memories of the former political prisoner Mr. Zdeněk Mandrholec. Then they visited the former labour camps Rovnost, Eliáš, Nikolaj and the Eduard shaft used to mine uranium. They were accompanied by guides from the Civic Asociation Političtí vězni.cz. Due to prevailing bad weather conditions it was an admirable effort of the young researchers.

 

The program of the second day included a presentation of new panels of the Traces of Totality exhibition, which took place in the historical building of Royal Mint. Thereafter, the group was rejoined by Mr. Mandrholec and he continued to recount his life story. He also introduced  unique excerpts of prisoners´ poetry and patiently answered numerous questions posed by the young scholars. In remaining time, there was a creative story dramatization workshop based on some of the life-stories introduced by the exhibition.

 

Last stop was made at Carlsbad Museum, where students visited another exhibition "Ještě jsme ve válce" (We are not at war yet), based on the successful comics book of the same name.

 
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