Poster by Martina Ďurďovičová, courtesy of the Jewish Museum in Prague.
Testimony about the cultural life of the Terezín ghetto circulated publicly in postwar Czechoslovakia in newspaper articles and memoirs, but virtually disappeared during the decade after the Communist rise to power, 1948-1957. How and why did testimony re-emerge in the late 1950s and early 1960s? How were the survivors influenced, not only by the general political thaw, but by works of fiction such as Arnošt Lustig's Night and Hope and Jan Otčenášek's Romeo, Juliet and the Darkness? How did they respond to the reconstruction of an original Terezín play, The Last Cyclist by Karel Švenk, performed at Theater Rokoko in 1961? How did Czech non-Jews' reception of these works affect the survivors' willingness to speak?