Introduction \ Exhibition premises \ The Second World War National Memorial Hrabyně \ Exhibition \ ‘A Time of Destruction and Hope’ exhibition

The World War II Memorial Hrabyně

‘A Time of Destruction and Hope’ exhibition

The A Time of Destruction and Hope exhibition gives a chronological account of the most important military and political events of the Second World War, while not forgetting the experiences of the civilian population, culture or the economy. It also tells the story of the participation of Czechoslovak fighters on all fronts during the Second World War and of civilians involved in the home resistance movement. The exhibition is divided into several themed units – the creation and activities of Czechoslovak units on the territory of the Soviet Union, battles of Czechoslovak soldiers and pilots in Poland, France, the Middle East and Great Britain, battles for liberation on the territory of Czechoslovakia, the Holocaust and concentration camps and the everyday life of the populace. The aim of the exhibition is not only to provide basic information for visitors in the Second World War period, but also to convey, through the medium of the personal stories of participants and emphasised by the authentic items donated to the exhibition by direct participants in the battles.


The exhibition also includes multimedia elements. Eleven infokiosks allow visitors to search period photographs and documents. The text and pictorial material, as well as film documentaries, are screened on thirty plasma screens. One of these documentaries is a by filmmaker Evald Schorm, and was screened at the original exhibition. The centrepiece of the exhibition are the dioramas of military hardware and a house destroyed during fighting. The house was constructed on the basis of period photographs of the village of Hrabyně, which was destroyed during fighting and features authentic items donated by the village’s inhabitants.         

The entrance to the exhibition takes the form of a memorial hall focussed its central object, a glass sarcophagus containing samples of earth from Second World War battlefields, concentration camps and other places that were witness to suffering. The memorial building includes a symbolic cemetery containing 13,000 plaques with the names of fallen Red Army soldiers, members of the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps who fell during the Ostrava-Opava Offensive and the names of civilians from North Moravia and Silesia who fell during home resistance or perished in concentration camps. Beside the memorial are displayed several examples of historic military hardware. The smaller exhibition building contains space for seasonal exhibitions, a conference room, reading-room and restaurant.

Article last updated: 30.07.2012

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