History in stories
The MEHRIN Moravian Jewish Museum will present the history of the Jewish presence in Moravia, including the tragic events of the Holocaust and the subsequent silence of the communist era, by making the authentic life stories of Moravian Jews accessible to the public using 21st century technology.
None of the Jewish or other museum institutions in the Czech Republic are using such an approach in their exhibitions. Moreover, the approach to the material in question often promotes stereotypes about Jews and Judaism. In tacit agreement with Nazi theses on racial Jewry, exceptional artists and factory owners are especially identified as Jews, while poor, unsuccessful and needy Jews do not usually figure in the established narrative.
Our project aims to recall the history of the important Jewish settlements in Moravia in all its richness, as well as the history of specific Jewish families, including those who decided to leave Judaism and/or adopted other religions.
We are interested in Alfred Löw-Beer, Baruch Placzek, Fritz Tugendhat or Richard Teltscher, but also in Anna Ticho, Sigmund Freud, Berta Schnablová, Ernst Wiesner, Markéta Nováková, Herbert Felix, Erich Korngold, Ruth Kopečková, the Haas brothers, Bedřiška Felixová, Adolf Stránský, Gustav Mahler, Mariana Becková or Rudolf Jelínek.
The Moravian Jewish Museum will also include a documentation centre of the Holocaust in Moravia. The new building will simultaneously become a lively public space in the wider city centre with a well-equipped library, a multifunctional hall for lectures, screenings and exhibitions, and an educational centre for children and young people. A stylish café. Will also be included. You can find out more here.
An Opportunity for Brno
In early February 2022, after a year of preparations, an international competition for the design of the museum’s main building was announced, with the participation of the architectural studios MVRDV (Netherlands), Kengo Kuma & Associates (Japan), Cino Zucchi Architetti (Italy) and Bjarne Ingels Group (Denmark).
The nine-member jury is headed by Czech architecture legend Ing. arch. Josef Pleskot.
We expect the evaluation of the competition and the presentation of the winning design in early September 2022.
The result should be a convincing answer to the hundred-year-old challenge that Mies van der Rohe gave to all other architects with his Villa Tugendhat.
It is time to give Brno a new iconic building that will become part of the city's brand
The endowment fund was established on 25 February 2020.
The main task and concern is, of course, the construction of the Holocaust Documentation Centre in Moravia. In addition, it will have in its portfolio a number of activities related to this difficult task, such as co-organizing an international conference and international architectural competition, collecting artefacts related to Jewish tradition and culture, cataloguing and providing academic descriptions of collected exhibitions, issuing publications and other printed matter, organizing concerts, performances, public discussions, and screenings of films related to the main activities of the endowment fund, raising funds for the construction of the Documentation Centre, and charitable activities.
The first director of the Endowment Fund is the publisher and writer Martin Reiner.
The members of the Administrative Board are the President of the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic, the former Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice and Senator JUDr. Pavel Rychetský, dr. hc., mayor of the city of Brno, JUDr. Markéta Vaňková, Chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic, Ing. Petr Papoušek, Senator and former Rector of Masaryk University, Doc. PhDr. Mikuláš Bek, Ph.D., and diplomat and former ambassador to Sweden, Ireland, USA, and Russia, PhDr. Petr Kolář.