Annual drumming session recalls first Jewish transports from Prague

Памятник в Бубнах, Фото: Яна Шустова, Чешское радио

The fifth annual mass drumming session is set to take place on Tuesday afternoon, marking the first Jewish transports from Prague on 16 October, 1941. The event takes place at the former Bubny railway station, from which the Nazis sent around 50,000 people to their deaths.

Bubny railway station | Photo: Jana Šustová,  Czech Radio
I spoke to Klára Bobková from the Memorial of Silence, which organizes the event, and I first asked her about the motto of this year’s drumming, which is Students for Students.

“The aim of this year’s drumming is of course to recall the first Jewish transports which went to Prague from Terezín 77 years ago. The other topic is the change of the place, where the drumming takes place, Nádraží Bubny or Bubny Train Station in the district of Holešovice, which is going to turn into a Holocaust Memorial.

“The motto ‘Students for Students’ means that it is usually students who bring about a change. By taking part in this event, they can absorb some of the ideas, pass them over to their friends, and help initiate changes in the society. This is why the organizers invited students to take part this year.”

As you said, the main aim of the public drum session to remember the first Jewish transports from Prague. But it is not the only reason behind this public drumming session. What else will you be drumming for?

“We are of course recalling the first Jewish transport. But we are also drumming also against the silence of the society and against looking away from the dangerous social phenomena happening all around us, mostly connected with xenophobia and the Nazi ideology.”

One of the events you are going to launch by today’s Drumming for Bubny is a project called ‘Football in a Century of Fouls.’ Can you tell me more about it?

Bubny railway station,  photo: Jan Groh,  CC BY 3.0
“The project connects sports, architecture and history, and discovers some connecting elements related to the transports and to the Nazi ideology. Throughout the fall of 2018 the organizers will be organizing debates focused on the expressions of Neo-Nazi ideology at football stadiums, which is a problem not only in the Czech Republic but all over Europe.”

As you said, the Bubny railway station is set to be turned into a Holocaust Memorial? How far are you with the plans for the reconstruction?

“The plans are ready and everything has been confirmed and approved, so we are now waiting for the actual reconstruction works to begin. We are hoping that it could happen within two or three months.”