Strategies for Survival in WW2: Terezin Memorial Camp with Katerina Prusova - Context Travel

Strategies for Survival in WW2: Terezin Memorial Camp with Katerina Prusova


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This seminar discusses the psychology of survival as formulated by an Austrian holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, who was convinced that meaning can be found in each and every condition of life. The role of culture in finding meaning is documented in stories of Bohemian music composers and cabaret makers that made life in Theresienstadt (or Terezin) former concentration camp more livable, as well as painters that brought a unique testimony of a human condition. The seminar also considers children’s creativity and curiosity of present day children to actively connect with kids from the camp, including Katerina’s own son Natanael.

Theresienstadt or Terezin, formerly an Austrian fortress was chosen in 1941 by the SS Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, or “the butcher from Prague” as a Jewish ghetto and a concentration camp because of its strategic location on the way from Prague to Berlin. It has been referred to as the “waiting room for Auschwitz”. Despite the fact that there were no gas chambers, every 4th person perished in Terezin from starvation, hard labor and poor hygienic conditions, including a large number of children and elderly people. The Terezin camp is unique for its exceptional cultural activities that were curiously enough tolerated by the Nazis and also used in their propaganda.

Led by an expert in Jewish culture, PhDr. Katerina Prusova, this interactive seminar will discuss the strategies for survival in extreme conditions. Participants will come away with an increased understanding of the value of human life and will be able to contextualize the present day situation with the existence in a concentration camp.

Katerina Prusova has been teaching on the Holocaust, Jewish history, and Jewish culture at Charles University in Prague since 2009. A Context expert since 2013, she principally leads walks on Jewish Prague and the Terezin concentration camp. She holds a PhD in art history.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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