This year we will welcome into the Small Hall of the National Gallery in Prague mezzosoprano Dagmar Pecková, who will perform the Biblical Songs of Antonín Dvořák.
She comments on her programme choice:
“It is our duty to constantly recall the fate of people who, simply because of their origins, became victims of the so-called Final Solution. This collective guilt is inexcusable and eternal. We must never forget the victims of Nazism, but also the post-war expulsion of Germans – a bloody revenge on people often as innocent as the war victims. Similarly, we must prevent the spread of any form of nationalism today. We are finally living in a free country and we must do everything we can to keep it that way.
Let the Biblical Songs of Antonín Dvořák be heard today. A humble plea and call to God. One of the most fascinating gifts of Dvořák’s artistic inspiration. Because only God and our faith in him give us hope for things to come.”
In past years, we have reminisced with our guests – witnesses – about the events associated with the largest single mass murder of Czechoslovak citizens. We have heard the stories of hope and false illusions of the families living in the BIIb concentration camp barracks in 1944.
A lot has changed with the new year.
A war has broken out that we are part of. Europe’s borders are changing; there is fighting in areas which Timothy Snyder called “the bloodlands”. The Memorial of Silence is organizing public discussions in its Bubny Station broadcasting on the parallels of wars and their traits.
In view of recent events, we have decided to offer for this year’s contemplative Remembrance of BIIb a brief reminiscence from the Bubny Station broadcasts on the themes that were heard at the place of memory during the spring of this year. A year that increasingly proves that history and the present are one common dialogue.