The project with the 'Girls of Room 28' began with two women and their precious documents. The women are: Anna Hanusová, née Flachová, whom her friends call 'Flaška', and Helga Kinsky, née Pollak. The documents are: Flaška's scrapbook and Helga's Theresienstadt diary.
It was the desire of Helga and Flaška to create something to remember their friends and all beloved who lost their lives in the Holocaust. In 1996 we first met, and, hearing from their desire, I promised to help to make their wish come true.
Helga's authentic Theresienstadt diary written between 1943 and 1944 conveys an outstanding insight into the life and inner world of a young 12-13-year old girl deported to the ghetto Theresienstadt. And it gives a detailed picture of the everyday-lifte of the children of Room 28, Girls Home L 410 in Theresienstadt, also of extraordinary events in the ghetto, such as the transports to the East.
Flaška`s scrap-book contains words and pictures of children of Room 28, of girls who were once her good friends, girls who lived with her until they were deported to the East. Some of the entrances - like this one from Eva Fischl - are the last signs of life of children, who were killed in the gas-ovens of Auschwitz.
The projects began also with the children's opera Brundibár by Hans Krása and Adolf Hoffmeister. In 1996, peparing a radio documentary about the opera's history, I started to look for survivors, visited Ela Weissberger in the USA and soon after, in September 1996, met with some her friends from Room 28 in Prague. This encounter marks the beginning of the Room 28 Projects.
The radio documentary, first produced by 'Sender Freies Berlin' in 1997, then by the Austrian Radio in Vienna was published by the Label EDA and is still available. It is the Austrian production and in the German language. More information via EDA here
In 1996 Helga and Flaška and I made common cause. Survivors of Room 28 joined in: Judith, Handa, Hanka, Ela, Vera, Evelina, Marta. In 1998 we all met for the first
time in Spindleruv Mlyn/Czech Mountains - to be together and to work together in order to create something to commemorate their friends and beloved who were murdered by the
In 2004 a book, a theatre-play and an exhibition were ready to tell their story. To organize the exhibition Room 28 Projects was set up. Ever since the story and the project are unfolding their astounding lives.
“Our friends from Theresienstadt and all those we loved and lost in the Holocaust have no grave where we can leave a stone in remembrance. That’s why we wanted the book, and that’s why we wanted this exhibition - as our ‘stones of remembrance’. We also wanted to help promote those human values that were then - and still are - so important to us: tolerance, empathy, education, culture, friendship and love.”
Anna Hanusová and Helga Pollak-Kinsky,
in the name of the survivors of Room 28
NEUERSCHEINUNG 17. März 2017
President Alexander Van der Bellen was our honory guest of the Matinée in Vienna, 29 January 2017. More on:
Room 28 e.V.
DE12 1004 0000
0128 2821 00
Website of the NPO Room 28 e.V.:
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since October 9, 2014