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Anti-totalitarian festival opens in Prague

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Prague, Feb 26 (CTK) – The sixth Mene Tekel anti-totalitarianism festival started with the opening of several exhibitions and by a public meeting in a church in Prague on Monday.

On the anniversary of the 1948 Communist coup, it wants to commemorate historical milestones of the Czech Republic and other European countries and bring a testimony of the arbitrariness of totalitarian regimes.

The festival in Prague will last until March 4. The exhibitions under the common name Roads to Freedom in the St Mary of the Snows Church will be held until March 8.

Organiser Jan Rericha said warning of totalitarianism and evoking its cruelty was necessary also at the time of freedom.

“I firmly believe that democracy is not yet threatened, but we must keep fighting for it. This is why we mainly commemorate the heroes, the people who were to be forgotten,” he added.

Rericha warns of the danger of populism.

“It is very dangerous. It may happen that totalitarian forces come to power in the so-called democratic way. This is exemplified by Hitler in Germany and Communists in Czechoslovakia,” he added.

“By a well-targeted propaganda, they dominated the mob they then let rule. We regretted this for 40 years,” Rericha said.

One of the exhibitions is devoted to Polish Captain Witold Pilecki (1901-1948) who fought both Soviets and Germany and decided to be sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp in his own right to tell the tale.

He was only killed by Polish Communists.

Another exhibition describes the persecution of non-Communist soldiers in Czechoslovakia between 1945 and 1955, including the judicial murder of General Heliodor Pika.

The exhibition T. G. M. – Myths and Fact depicts the way first Czechoslovak President Tomas Garrigue Masaryk was seen in various stages of modern history by means of contemporary media, press, radio and film shots.

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