Exhibition: From Stalingrad to Prague
Unique documents and pictures featuring the Battle of Stalingrad and the liberation of European cities between 1943 and 1945 will be at the centrepiece of an international historical exhibition “The Way to the Joint Victory over Nazism: From Stalingrad to Prague”. The exhibition will be held in the North Gallery of the European Parliament in Strasbourg between 27th and 30 April 2015 with an opening ceremony on 28th April. The aim of the project is to commemorate the tragedies and heroisms of World War II and our collective victory over Nazism when people from different nations stood together in their struggle against the “brown plague”. The exhibition encourages a dialogue about the high value of this unique experience in today’s world, 70 years after the Great Victory.
The exhibition, initiated by the municipality of Volgograd (Russia) and held in the European Parliament under the Patronage of Czech GUE/NGL MEP Jiří Maštálka, is dedicated to the anniversary of the Victory of the Allies of the Anti-Hitler coalition over Nazism in Europe during World War II. It is a project of public diplomacy that united Volgograd’s twin-cities from the United Kingdom, Poland, France and the Czech Republic, Members of the European Parliament, NGOs and academia.
The victory of the Red Army in Stalingrad in February 1943 marked a turning point in World War II and set the hearts of millions of people alight with hope. It was the Battle of Stalingrad that provided the Allies with confidence in their future victory. Even when the city was reduced to rubble it never surrendered, and its heroic resistance was a start of a long way to Berlin and Prague that culminated in the liberation of Europe from Nazism. The friendship between Soviet Stalingrad, British Coventry and Czechoslovakian Ostrava during the war gave birth to the international twinning movement which is currently uniting thousands of cities in their desire for peace and cooperation.
The project’s title underlines the historic course of events: even after the Act of Unconditional Surrender was signed by the Nazi Germany in Berlin, some quarters in Prague were still ablaze with shootings that only ended on 12th May 1945.
This project encourages us to look at the history of the most terrible catastrophe of the 20th century through the eyes of its participants. Regressive ideologies opposed to the human spirit remain a tangible threat even in the 21st century. Under these circumstances, the words of Julius Fučík, an antifascist Czechoslovakian journalist murdered in Gestapo’s torture chambers, sound as a warning to us: “People, I loved you all. Be vigilant!” This is the final sentence in his last piece “Notes from the Gallows” whose pages are used as the background for the exhibition posters.