Introduction


A Project of the Zapomenutí Civic Association


introStudents and pupils from Czech schools, aged 10–19, participating in the Traces of Totalitarianism project, search for contemporary witnesses of the period between 1945 and 1965, whose memories have not yet been published, together with documents and photographs related to their stories. The focus of the project lies in the students' own research and work. Will they find someone in their closest surroundings willing to tell them about their life and refresh the memories of this historical period? The students and pupils search for witnesses in their closest environment and interview them for their raw testimonies about a recent part of Czech history. They are often the only ones to record these experiences and pass them on to their peers.

Their interviews, research in archives, the acquired memories, documents and photographs all form this exhibition and documentaries. The individual works are eventually combined into one motivational project.


The exhibiton is installed in all types of Czech schools as a part of this educational and motivational project. It is also an appeal to meet the last generation of witnesses and to rescue further authentic pictures, documents and memories. The search in their nearest surroundings not only allows the students to interview their own grandparents and sparks interest in history, but also brings a deeper realisation of one's own identity, as well as the identity of the area they live in.


We would like to express our deep gratitude to all the witnesses who were willing to shre their memories.


We would also like to thank the Političtí Vězni.cz Initiative, the information server Česká škola, the Czech Oral History Association, the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, the Confederation of Political Prisoners of the Czech Republic, the international anti-totalitarian project Mene Tekel and the Anticomplex civic association. A special thanks goes to all the teachers and lecturers who participated in the project.

Realiser of the exhibition: Zapomenutí Civic Association
Initiator of the project: Marta Vančurová
Authors of the panels: individual school groups
Curator: Dana Gabaľová
Graphics and DTP: Radim Stuchlík and the authors of the panels
Print: AK-atelier, spol. s r.o.
Coordinator: Marta Vančurová, martavan@gmail.com


The Project is under the auspices of Peter Duhan, Director General of Czech Radio


The Traces of Totalitarianism project is realised by the Zapomenutí Civic Association through the Education for Competitiveness Operational Programme of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The project is financed by the European Social Fund (85%) and the state budget of the Czech Republic (15%).