‘Jáchymov’s Hell’: Trekking in the Memoryscape of Czechoslovakia’s Communist Forced Labour Camps

Thijs B. Bouwknegt, Barbora Holá

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

This article treks through the timeworn remnants of Czechoslovakia’s Communist forced and correctional labour uranium camps in the Ore Mountains in the northwest Bohemian region of Jáchymov. These camps held tens of thousands of detainees, largely political prisoners convicted in sham trials or individuals sent there for re-education. Conditions were deplorable. Throughout the 1950s, the young Czechoslovak Communist regime compelled detainees to hard, life threatening labour and subjected them to maltreatment and arbitrary violence. This article traces some of the visible, invisible or overgrown artefacts of the former camps, as well as public as private memories about what happened there. It reflects on the current memoryscape of these forgotten places of human suffering and describes the aesthetics of these aging sites of atrocity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-346
JournalInternational Criminal Law Review
Volume22
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • transitional justice

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