AntonínKalina"Every time I met such a torn, dirty, hungry and skinny little child, I wrote down his number and had him transferred to me…"
…saviour of children
Children of Antonín Kalina
A native of Třebíč, Antonín Kalina saved more than nine hundred young, mostly Jewish boys in the Buchenwald concentration camp during World War II. Many of them became world famous people, successful in many fields. The exhibition focuses on the life stories of photographer and historian Naftali Fürst, writer Imre Kertézs, poet, writer and playwright Pavel Kohn, Jewish activist Israel Laszlo Lazar, filmmaker Alex Moskovic, physicist Felix Weinberg and writer Elie Wiesel. Deserved attention is also paid to Kalina's lifelong friend, doctor and humanist Jindřich Flusser, who actively and significantly participated in rescuing the boys in Buchenwald.
"I met my father and my brother Zoltán in the crowd. I was happy I wasn't alone. I survived the march thanks to that. We reached Buchenwald, where my father and Zoltán fell ill. First my brother died and later also my father. The camp was liberated in three days."
"In my writing, the Holocaust can never be mentioned in the past tense. In the Holocaust, I recognized a certain state of man, the final station of a great adventure reached by a European man with his two thousand years of ethical and moral culture built behind his back."
Naftali Ďuro Fürst
Naftali Ďuro Fürst
"I was desperate. While I was experiencing the first hours and days of freedom, Peter was suffering in open wagons, completely without food, cross-country through Germany. It was not until May 9 that he got to Terezín. And there he was freed. Only three prisoners survived from his carriage."
Antonín Kalina Memorial Hall was inaugurated in the Jewish quarter near the Rear Synagogue on 17 February 2017, on the 115th anniversary of Kalina's birth.
Two years later, on February 21, 2019, it was expanded by a section called The Children of Antonín Kalina.
News & press
On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Czechs are marking the memory of Antonín Kalina, a Czechoslovak Communist who risked his own life to save at least 900, mostly Jewish children from the Holocaust. A documentary about the unsung hero of the Holocaust was premiered on Czech Television this week while his hometown of Třebíč announced plans to open a memorial hall dedicated to their famous son.
Antonin Kalina was a communist imprisoned by the Nazis in Buchenwald. There, he kept the youngsters of his Block 66 alive. He never discussed this after the war, and died 20 years ago. Only now has his heroism been recognized.