Illustrative photo – Ceremonial assembly on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the founding meeting of the Senate, March 24, 2022, Prague. Former President of the Senate Petr Pithart (KDU-ČSL).
Prague – A discussion on the fight against disinformation was prepared by the Memorial of Silence on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the 75th anniversary of the communist coup in Czechoslovakia. His opinion forum, called Dark February, will be held on Thursday, February 23, at the residence of the Prague mayor on Mariánské náměstí. It will be attended by politician and writer Petr Pithart, priest and pedagogue Tomáš Halík, philosopher Alice Koubová and political geographer Michael Romancov. Klára Bobková informed ČTK about this on behalf of the organizer.
Experts will sit in the audience, the event is also open to the public and will be streamed on iVyslínia Czech Television. To comment on the topic of parallels between the two historical events, the organizers addressed the Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová, the newly elected President of the Czech Republic Petr Pavel and the Chairman of the Senate Miloš Vystrčilo. Petra Procházková, known for reporting on war conflicts, Lída Rakušanová, who went into exile and worked as an editor at Radio Free Europe in Munich, and lawyer and sociologist Jiří Přibáň will also contribute their opinions to the discussion.
The monument to silence, which focuses primarily on the commemoration of the Holocaust, points out that today's society is once again becoming a witness and a target of theories that a nation is or is not independent or that a sovereign state is or is not entitled to its own borders.
“Even the recent negative presidential campaign worked with war as a concept suitable for purposeful manipulations, threats and finger-pointing. Current ideologies rely on new concepts, but they work with the same layers of the subconscious that were targeted by the totalitarians of the last century. Stereotypes are the triggering mechanism of mass manipulations, which are often followed by misinformation. That's why we used the phenomenon of stereotyping as a topic for discussion,” said Pavel Štingl, director of the Silence Memorial.
Dark February is organized by the Memorial of Silence in cooperation with Czech Television, the Ministry of Culture, the Prague Municipality, the City District of Prague 7 and the Center for Contemporary Art DOX.
The non-profit society Memorial of Silence has been in the building of the former Prague Bubny railway station under the same name for several years drew attention to Jewish transports. Pavel Štingl came up with the idea of redeveloping the disused railway station into a Monument of Silence. Pavel Štingl, a documentary filmmaker and director of the non-profit society Památník Šoa Praha.
In 2021, the Monument of Silence became a subsidized organization of the Ministry of Culture. The main goal of this memorial institution will be education and the fight against xenophobia, anti-Semitism and other current extremist manifestations in society. In the coming years, the dispatch building of Prague – Bubny railway station should be reconstructed for the institution, which will serve as a Holocaust memorial.
The Ministry of Culture has approved 300 million crowns for the Monument of Silence. Minister Martin Baxa (ODS) said this week that the documentation for the construction is being finalized and he would like to announce a tender for contractors this year.