They Live In Images
Representatives of seven governments join
with Czech people in celebrating the heritage
of the country's Jews.
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
festival of Czech- and
opened in Prague with a
the transport of Czech Jews to Nazi
Representatives of the Czech gov-
ernment and embassy officials from
Slovakia, Austria, Italy, Hungary,
Poland and Germany held a
moment's silence at the June 27 cere-
mony in Prague's Holesovice district.
It was from Holesovice
that more than half the
total of 80,000 Czech
Holocaust victims were
sent to their deaths during
World War II.
The Nine Gates Festival
Culture took place this
summer over seven days in
Prague and other Czech
locations. The festival, the
third to be held in this
eastern European country,
included films, concerts
mostly Jewish themes.
One of the highlights
was a screening of the 1959 movie
The Diary of Anne Frank, much of
which was filmed in Prague.
In a speech in the Czech Senate, •
the festival's president, Arnost Lustig,
said members of Czech, German and
Jewish cultures had lived peacefully
before World War II, and the festival
should remind people of their coexis-
Lustig compared the fate of the
wartime Jewish generation to the
destruction of Atlantis, "lost in the
"Jewish people were lost in a mass
murder, and have no graves," he said.
"Only memory has remained. They
can only live in images."
A Czech-born author who now
lives in Washington, Lustig is a
Holocaust survivor whose work
memorializes the lost world of the
Czech Jews and their destruction in
the fires of Hitler's war.
The festival is an attempt by the
living to pay homage to the dead, he
told the Czech Senate.
"Yet it is with life that we return to
them, as if across an emotional
bridge," he said. 'Through film, the-
ater, singing and dancing. Through
beauty that renews the meaning of
The Czech Republic's culture min-
ister, Pavel Dostal, said the Nine
Gates Festival — named after a book
by Czech author Jiri Mordechai
Langer — reminds citizens of the
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ple in Czech lands, of "its vitality, its
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its significant contribution to Czech
"It also brings a testimony of a past
filled with great personalities, spiritu-
al riches, artistic achievement, but
also with suffering," he said. "It can-
not leave aside the tragedy of the
Holocaust, but- its message turns to
The seven-day event, he told
guests, touches upon contemporary
topics such as life in a multicultural
society, the need for tolerance, the
fight against racism and xenophobia,
and the acute problem of terrorism.
"The ultimate goal of the festival
is, however, to bring joy, and inspire
a love of life and faith in the future,"
he said. E1
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