Exhibition - Active Citizenship in the History and the present. The role of personality in written and oral texts.
EEA Iceland-Liechtenstein-Norway GRANTS
Duration: 1. 8. 2019 – 31. 8. 2020
Our project (Mobility project, EHP-CZ-MOP-1-015) started already in the autumn semester of 2019 and the final work was to take place in May of this year, more precisely during May 2020. The official duration of the project is August 1, 2019 - August 31, 2020, and it is true that throughout the year we tried to put as many ideas, energy and research into the project as possible.
Already in the autumn of 2019, we attended a seminar Representation of War and the Holocaust in Norwegian Literature, where the materials and content of lessons helped active project participants to choose a personality to work on within the project. The key for our project was for each participant to choose a personality (eg portraits of Holocaust victims and survivors, portraits of volunteers who were associated with the Odd Nansen Foundation 1938-1940, etc.) in order to contribute to the awareness of "active citizenship" during the 2nd World War and to point out the values of democracy, the bravery of individuals, respect for national and religious minorities in society. This mobility project was built as a bridge between historical themes and today's issues, same as a bridge between Norway and the Czech Republic, and also as a bridge between the individual participants in both countries.
We also held regular meetings after these seminars, where we agreed on further steps and shared ideas for the project.
In the photo (from left): Dagmar Říhová, Zuzana Blahová, Jitka Peloušková, Dagmar Maroušková, Tomáš Archmann and Michaela Tučková
Even before the trip to Norway, events took place in the Czech Republic as part of the project. The first event was Project workshop, which took place on 9-11 October 2019. Two professors and three students from Agder University came to visit the project. Czech students could listen to the presentations of their Norwegian colleagues, and the professors also had very engaging and important presentations prepared. From among our students (Jitka, Tomáš, Klára) we were also able to listen to a summary about our project, as well as about our field of study and its content.
Among other things, there was a visit to the synagogue on Skořepka Street and we all spent a pleasant evening with doc. Miluše Juříčková full of conversation between Czech and Norwegian participants.
Another important event is the Humanities Week at the Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University (November 20, 2019). We had the opportunity to introduce our project. The content of our project was summarized by a presentation and one of the participants (Anna) presented to all present, including the fact that all active participants introduced their personalities, presented the reasons for interest and their expectations from the project.
In the photo: Lukáš Prusák
There were 7 of us bachelor's students who went to Oslo from 5 to 30 January 2020 (together with doc. PhDr. Miluše Juříčková) for a study stay with projects' partner The Jewish Museum in Oslo. Our goal was to gather information + work on written outputs, work in the library and archive. We also had the opportunity to visit various institutions and meet experts, participate in various events such as Holocaust Remembrance Day January 27, etc.
A more detailed information about our activities, photos and diary entries can also be found on our website, which we created throughout the project as part of the outputs.
Not only did we have the opportunity to go to Norway to research and work with Norwegian materials, but our outputs are also seminar papers about our personalities. From the beginning of the project and the target output was a photographic exhibition about the personalities of the project, which was already planned and arranged in the Moravian Regional Library in Brno. Unfortunately, pandemic Covid-19 also changed these long-planned events, and with an uncertain vision of when the library or Masaryk University, for example, would reopen, we had to come up with another idea, so a website was created as an adequate replacement for the library exhibition.
Of course, we are very sorry for this change, as a vernissage was planned for the exhibition on 5 May 2020 under the auspices of Norwegian Ambassador Robert Kvile and in the presence of Czech and Norwegian guests.
However, we hope that at least in this way we will be able to pass on our experiences to the public, bring our work closer to Norway and the Czech Republic and show how much we are grateful to those who allowed us to travel, but also to those who, with their involvement, willingness helped us with our stay, to them who have given us their valuable time, to all who helped us to get the most out of this experience.
In the photo (from left): Petra Vrbová, Anna Šilhanová, Zuzana Parthonová, Miluše Juříčková, Jaroslav Knot, Jitka Peloušková, Zuzana Blahová, Lukáš Prusák, Bronislava Garčárová, Klára Tučková
Nansenhjelpen or the Nansen Relief was an organization that was helping refugees during the Second World War. It was founded in 1937 by architect Odd Nansen, who began to engage in humanitarian activities following the example of his father. The Nansen Relief helped refugees to seek asylum in Norway. It was mostly refugees from Czechoslovakia. Among them was for example doctor Leo Eitinger or Edgar Brichta. Tove Filseth became the secretary of the organization. She settled in Prague where the office was established of the Nansen Relief in the hotel Esplanade. After the invasion to Czechoslovakia they managed to take 40 children from Prague and Bratislava. In the end there was a transport with 38 young refugees. Sigrid Helliesen Lund was in charge of them and she accompanied them to the North during October 1939. As the archive was destroyed during the Norwegian occupation, we do not know how many people were rescued. Some children were sent back home and others were taken during the occupation of Norway. Some of those who were rescued crossed the border into Sweden, but most remained in Norway.
Jødisk Museum, Oslo
Thanks to The Jewish Museum, our project was possible. The museum has become our host institution and partner organization. During our stay in Oslo on 15 - 30 January 2020, we could use the museum's library, archive, and gather information. On the first day, the staff gave us a tour, including lectures on the current exhibition and the history of the museum.
In the photo (from left): Lukáš Prusák, Zuzana Parthonová, Bronislava Garčárová, Klára Tučková, Zuzana Blahová, Anna Šilhanová, Petra Vrbová, Jitka Peloušková a Dag Kopperud
Memory institutions are a very important part of the history and culture of the nation and individual countries. They do not only carry out their activities by collecting and preserving memories and testimonies and subsequent outputs for the public, but they are also important because of their location. Because very often these places have something to remind us. An example is the former synagogue on Calmeyers gate 15 B, where the Jewish Museum is now located.
After World War II, this building was the least damaged, so it was used for various purposes, the offices in the building served mainly for the Jewish Social Committee. Gradually, Calmeyers gate 15 lost its connection with Jewish life in Norway and in 1981 it was sold to a private owner - over time, the building was used as a school, ambulance, nightclub, ...
In the photo: Kjetil Braut Simonsen
Photo by: Petra Vrbová
However, Det Mosaiske Trossamfund founded the Jewish Museum in Oslo foundation with the realization of the idea of the Jewish Museum in Oslo, so in 2005 the Jewish Museum rented the first floor of the former synagogue, which is currently the museum's exhibition and educational space.
Very important for the museum was to save as much of the original synagogue as possible. The synagogue was very important for the Jewish community in pre-war Norway. In 2010, the museum transformed the basement into offices, a library, archives and meeting rooms.
Photo by: Petra Vrbová
The activity of the Jewish Museum is really diverse and lively, behind the gates of this institution there is an incredible amount of work and activities. During normal opening hours, anyone can come and see the current exhibition.
Photo by: Petra Vrbová
As there has been a compulsory RLE (Religion, livssyn og etiketk) subject in primary and secondary schools in Norway since 1997, with a few variations, where pupils at various levels learn about all the world's major religions, perspectives and ethical issues, the museum offers a school program and kindergartens.
Schools and kindergartens have the opportunity to come to the museum, where they have interactive lessons directly in the exhibition area about Jews, Judaism, the Holocaust and Norwegian-Jewish history. The content of teaching is of course adapted to the age of the pupils and the museum offers various teaching programs for every age category from kindergarten to high school. Pupils have the opportunity to learn everything about this material directly and from museum employees. The museum also offers the opportunity to teach at schools. There is also a large amount of materials for teachers and students on the website of museum.
photo by: Petra Vrbová
Research, publications and collections are less visible, but the largest part of the activities of the Jewish Museum. In addition to the research that precedes each preparation of the exhibition and the exhibition itself, the museum also carries out a number of other and long-term researches, and participates in other projects in Norway and abroad. Currently, the museum focuses on anti-Semitism and the escape and rescue of Jews during World War II.
The Jewish Museum in Oslo tries to bring the attention and interest in Jewish culture and the fate of Jews in Norway and beyond. The museum's collection includes objects of everyday life, ceremonial objects, as well as written and pictorial material. In addition to its archives, the Jewish Museum also maintains the private archives of many Jewish organizations and individuals. The idea and main goal is to preserve history and memories.
Photo by: Petra Vrbová