Czech exhibit on International Holocaust Remembrance Day asks "Do you think it's behind us?"
The following is a press release from the organizers of an exhibition entitled "Do You Think It's Behind Us?". The exhibition at the Oblástní Galerie Vysočiny in Jihlava will run until 4 February.
For the most part, Czech society links the issue of fascism and Nazism with the period of the Second World War. This is a time period which most of us no longer remember and which has therefore become something that does not touch us personally.
However, our experience tells us differently, and this exhibit is the sad proof of that. Fascist and Nazi ideology did not die out with the end of WWII, even though most people wished it would. While this ideology no longer dominates governments, its promoters have definitely not disappeared and have not changed their main ideological line, which is based in promoting authoritarianism, hate, and racism. As in the 1930s, their main practice is violence, a violence motivated by neo-Nazi ideology and their own aggression.
We want to commemorate the victims of this violence. At the same, time, we also want to commemorate the stance our society took toward the victims in the past. Closing our eyes, downplaying the importance of these problems and sweeping them under rug has never been unusual here, and unfortunately, we sometimes still do this.
Let's not forget that the people we are commemorating did not die just because they had the "wrong skin color" or because they were "in the wrong place at the wrong time." In reality, many of them died while defending their families, friends or opinions. They deserve our esteem and respect.
For us, these people are not JUST victims. For us, they are those who have fallen in a war that has lasted since the 1930s until today. The fact that others do not realize this, or don't want to realize it, unfortunately does not mean that it doesn't exist. "Nazism did not start with the concentration camps, but it definitely will end with them...."
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