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Launching of the new exhibition „Sophie´s choice in the Czech Way“ in Denmark

On 25 April 2013 the new travelling exhibition „Sophie´s Choice In the Czech Way“ prepared by journalist and researcher Judita Matyášová was opened in Næstved Museum.

Sophie´s Choice In the Czech Way refers to the name of the book Sophie´s Choice by William Styron which tells the story about a Jewish mother who had to chose to save one of her two children. Just before the breakout of WW2 some Czech Jewish parents found themselves in a similar situation when they had to chose which one of their children would go to the Zionist courses preparing them for life in Palestine. Because of circumstances during the war, these 150 children never reached Palestine as it was planned but were accepted in foster families in Denmark and later fled to Sweden.

The Czech journalist and researcher Judita Matyášová has been searching for these survivors (today almost 90 years old) all around the world. She has documented this unknown chapter of Czech-Danish-Sweedish history, which has been continuing to Israel , where a lot of these survivors are still alive.

Sofie výstava
Exhbition „Sophie´s Choice In the Czech Way“ 

The exhibition was launched by ambassador Zdeněk Lyčka and Mayor of  Næstved Carsten Rasmussen together with the museum´s director Palle Birk Hansen and the exhibition´s author Judita Matyášová.

Sofie zahájení výstavy
The exhibition opening. From the left: The exhibition‘s arranger Maria Santana, exhibition´s author Judita Matyášová, Ambassador Zdeněk Lyčka, Mayor of Næstved Carsten Rasmussen and the museum´s director Palle Birk Hansen. Photo: Jan Jindra

Sofie páska
From the left: Mayor Carsten Rasmussen and ambassador Zdeněk Lyčka are opening the exhibition. Photo: Jan Jindra

Sofie hosté
The exhibition´s guests. Photo: Jan Jindra

The guests also had the opportunity to taste Czech beer during the opening.

Sofie Judita a pěstounka
From the right: author Judita Matyášová, Mrs. Jensine Nygaard, foster parent of the girl on the panel in the background, and her son Leif Nygaard. Photo: Jan Jindra

Sofie přednáška
A lecture by Judita Matyášová. Photo: Jan Jindra

After the opening, the people interested in the topic had the opportunity to learn more about the project at a lecture by Judita Matyášová.

The launching of the exhibiton in Næstved in the south of the island of Sealand wastn´t arranged at random – a big part of the group of Czechoslovakian children was accepted exactly here. Another place was e.g. Thisted in the northwest of Jutland.

The exhibition will be presented in Næstved until 31 May 2013. During the month the Danish organizers will arrange several supporting events.

On Sunday 12 May 2013 pianist Markéta Janáčková and mezzosopranist Pavla Švestková will present songs created in Theresienstadt by Jewish composers.

Sofie Muzeum
Næstved Museum.

The exhibition Sophie´s Choice In the Czech Way will also be a part of the commemorative events on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the flight of Danish Jews to Sweden, which will take place in October 2013 in Gilleleje and Copenhagen.

The exhibition will travel further around Denmark where it will be presented in the former concentration camp in Jutlandic Frøslev, in Thisted and other places.

We would like to thank ŠKODA TRANSPORTATION a.s. who has had a great part in supporting the exhibition.



Næstved-Bladet:  På flugt fra nazisterne: Zuzana reddede livet i Næstved
Næstved-Bladet: Plejebarns amerikanske datter besøgte Jensine
Lidové noviny: Osudy židovskych děti - Cesta do neznama jim zachranila život


Zuzana.pdf 1 MB PDF (Adobe Acrobat document) May 27, 2013

Jensine_Nygaard.pdf 502 KB PDF (Adobe Acrobat document) May 27, 2013

EditaHankaLN.pdf 479 KB PDF (Adobe Acrobat document) May 27, 2013