From Stalingrad to Prague: international historical exhibition to be held in Strasbourg
Unique documents and pictures featuring the Battle of Stalingrad and the liberation of European cities in 1943-1945 will be at the centrepiece of the international historical exhibition “The Way to the Joint Victory over Nazism: From Stalingrad to Prague” to be inaugurated on the premises of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on April 28, 2015. The project aims to remind of the humanitarian catastrophe of World War II and our joint Victory over Nazism when peoples of different countries stood together in their struggle against the “brown plague”. The exhibition invites for a dialogue on the high value of this unique experience in the today’s world, 70 years after the Great Victory.
The exhibition, initiated by the municipality of Volgograd (Russia), is dedicated to the anniversary of the Victory of Allies of the Anti-Hitler coalition over Nazism in Europe during World War II. This is a project of people’s diplomacy which united Volgograd’s twin-cities from the United Kingdom, Poland, France and the Czech Republic, Members of the European Parliament, NGOs and academia.
The victory of the Red Army in Stalingrad in February 1943 marked a turning point in World War II and set the hearts of millions of people alight with hope and admiration. It was the Battle of Stalingrad that inspired the Allies with confidence in their future victory. Even as the city was reduced to rubble it would never submit, and its heroic resistance was a start of a long way to Berlin and Prague which culminated in the liberation of Europe from Nazism. The friendship between Soviet Stalingrad, British Coventry and Czechoslovak Ostrava during the war gave birth to the international twinning movement which is currently uniting thousands of cities in their desire for peace and cooperation.
The project’s title underlines the historic course of events: even after the act of unconditional surrender was signed by Nazi Germany in Berlin, the outskirts of Prague were still ablaze with shots, and military actions ended only on May 12, 1945.
This project invites us to look at the history of the most terrible catastrophe of the 20th century through the eyes of its participants. Regressive ideologies opposed to the human spirit remain a tangible threat even in the 21st century. Under these circumstances, the words of Julius Fučík, antifascist Czechoslovak journalist murdered in Gestapo’s torture chambers, sound as a warning to us: “People, I loved you all. Be vigilant!” This is the final sentence in his last “Notes from the Gallows”, the pages of which are used as a background for the 29 posters of the exhibition.