Drumming for Bubny marks 80 years since first WWII transport of Jews from Prague

Survivors and their families gathered at Prague's Bubny Railway Station yesterday on the anniversary of the first Jewish transport from the Czech capital.


Written by ČTK Published on 17.10.2021 09:30:00 (updated on 17.10.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

The annual Drumming for Bubny event at Prague's former Bubny railway station on Saturday marked the 80th anniversary of the departure of the first Jews from Prague during the Holocaust. The event took place for seventh time, and was attended by survivors of WWII events and their families.

Like every year, the aim of the event was to subvert the silence with which many passively watch the suppression of human rights and genocide.

Silence was and is an accomplice of the mass murder than can be repeated, Pavel Štingl, one of the organizers of the event, stated.

Performers on Saturday were led by six drummers from the Tam Tam Batucada band, accompanied by some wind instruments. The crowd of spectators joined in by drumming their own hand-made paper drums. Several hundred people arrived, fewer than the thousand who turned up at the first Drumming for Bubny event in 2015.

The drumming was followed by an invitation to visit an exhibition of photos from the late Pavel Diaz that showcases the pain and memories of Holocaust survivors and recently opened in the House of the Black Madonna in the center of Prague.

At the end of the event, a concert in the former railway station hall was held. Secondary school students performed songs based on poems that boys interned in the Theresienstadt Jewish ghetto wrote in their magazine, Vedem. The concert continued with a Prague-related composition for piano and flute, followed by Different Trains, a composition by U.S. composer Steve Reich with Jewish deportations as its theme.

The first transport of Prague Jews left the Bubny station for Łódź on October 16, 1941. It carried 1,000 men, women and children; only 24 of them survived the war.

In total, about 50,000 Jews were deported from Prague through the Bubny station.

In 2015, the first step in turning the former railway station into a Silence Memorial was the unveiling of Aleš Veselý's sculpture of rails leading upwards to heaven.

In future, a street named after Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 mostly Jewish children from the Czech Republic by organizing their transport to Britain, will run alongside Prague's Bubny station.

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