SK, Sereď: Holocaust Museum - VIDEO
Our tip for today's summer outing is an unusual museum that will send shivers down your spine. Here you will see contemporary documents, photographs and objects related to the persecution of Jews in Slovakia, a memento of a horrific tragedy that should never happen again. Join us on a visit to the Holocaust Museum, which is part of the Slovak National Museum - Museum of Jewish Culture.
To begin, we will introduce you to the museum's exhibitions. They are located in five restored barracks. The first building presents the resolution of the Jewish question in Slovakia from the declaration of autonomy in 1938 until the end of the Second World War. The exposition here focuses on propaganda, persecution and persecution of Jews in Slovakia. You will see large-scale photographs showing the gradual process of exclusion of the Jewish minority from all spheres of life. There are glass plaques with lists of names of deported people from four transports that left Slovakia in 1942 during the first wave of deportations.
Then the second building will introduce you to the work camps. It documents the unpreserved camps in Nováky, Vyhny and hundreds of small forced labour centres, camps and ghettos for Jews in Slovakia. It also focuses on the Jews in the so-called 6th Labor Battalion and on the persecutions that took place on our territory during the Holocaust, such as in Kremnica and Nemecka.
The third building traces the transition from labour camp to concentration camp. In a scenic form, it presents life in a closed space and work in sweatshops. It also presents the conditions in which the Jews interned there lived during the Second World War. The area with straw mattresses, where people waited for their transports, also has a very strong atmosphere.
The penultimate fourth building depicts the anti-Semitic regulations in Slovakia, deportations, including examples of contemporary lists of applicants for exemption from deportation. It also tells the story of the escape of Alfred Wetzler and Rudolf Vrba. Take a look at the main concentration and extermination camps to which Jews were deported, especially those located in Nazi-occupied Poland (Auschwitz, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Majdanek, Sobibor, Belzec, Treblinka) and in the territory of the Third Reich and occupied parts of Europe (Dachau, Buchenwald, Ravensbrück, Mauthausen, Sachsenhausen, Bergen-Belsen, Terezin).
The last fifth building is multipurpose. It is used for temporary exhibitions, cultural events, educational seminars and discussions with survivors. It is also used as a classroom, inasmuch as the museum also serves as an educational center. The educational themes are based on period materials and on survivors' testimonies, which are projected in audiovisual form. The aim of the educational programmes is to prevent all forms and manifestations of intolerance in society.
The museum also includes a Memorial Memorial Room and an authentic deportation carriage, which was twice part of the transports whose final destination was the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp. In the wagon intended for cattle, 100 Jews were also placed, and they had only 1 bucket for water and 1 bucket for supplies. The weak and sick in the wagons were dying, and fellow passengers had to look at their dead bodies - including children - for days.
In the Sereď camp there was a carpenter's, toy, concrete, and ready-made workshop, a locksmith's, plumber's, turnery, upholsterer's, hatter's, and furrier's shop, as well as the production of suitcases, nets, breeding of Angora rabbits, Angora wool processing, cordage making, chemistry, watchmaking, and various other jobs. The needs of the camp and the camp administration also included a provision store, a kitchen, a canteen, a bakery, a tailor's shop, a shoemaker's shop, police, orderly service, dispensary, doctors and dentists, laundry, school, nursery, children's day care, stable service, wood store and last but not least offices.
The Holocaust Museum in Sereď, through its individual exhibitions and educational activities, tries to reach out to all age categories of the general professional and lay public in order to prevent any forms of discrimination, racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and other manifestations of intolerance, which the current era is becoming oversaturated with. This museum should therefore be a mandatory stop on your travels through Slovakia.
GPS: 48°17'18.7"N 17°43'24.5"E
Text, photo and video: Pavol Jemala, Slovensko zdola
Music: Pixabay.com; Battle of the Dragons - 8037
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