Řetízkárna - (Mind)Changing Room

We are bringing to life a community center in a former prisoners´ changing room that became a last-standing witness of the fading memory of the uranium camp called Rovnost (Equality) near the town of Jáchymov. Help us save it and joint he growing community that cares!

We are saving a ruin of a building, a last standing witness of two historical traumas connected with the Nazi and communist regimes in the Czech-German border region. The past events and a silent local trauma create an ideal reason for turning the collapsing construction to a community center where people can meet, talk, listen, learn and change their minds. We aim at putting together diverse groups of local inhabitants that have failed to accept each other as a community so far.

The whole region was strongly influenced by past events and for a long time there was a lack of a dialogue between locals, dis-rooted Sudeten Germans, persecuted political prisoners, settled newcomers and younger generations who come to Erzgebirge due to popular sport activities. The place of memory, the very ruin of the miners´ Changing Room (Řetízkárna) is nowadays largely forgotten, collapsing in the heart of a vacation resort that is standing on a former uranium forced labor camp. Thousands of people (literally) pass by without noticing. We believe such circumstances are not acceptable anymore. This place is the most striking and yet the most symbolic location in the Jáchymov uranium district. We are confident it will be turned to a mind changing tool for a new community to emerge and learn from each other.

There is a growing interest of the 1/ ex-Sudeten Germans and their families to discover and explore the place of their former settlements, 2/ ex-political prisoners of Czechoslovakia and ex-prisoners of war of German origin and their families to learn more about the mode of operation of the former mine and labor camp Rovnost, 3/ wider public to explore the knowledge trail of “Jachymov Hell” of which the memorial place and ruin of Retizkarna is a part. Youth is a vital target group and we can make these diverse age groups work together through our partner organisations and experience we gained in the past years on the very spot.

Projekt na záchranu Řetízkárny

Help us and get involved!

We have prepared a large crowdfunding campaign to involve public as well as we have prepared a grant application to cover the reconstruction investment. You can help us out by donating via Donio HERE

With the support of the local municipality of Boží Dar (Gottesgab) we will apply for a financial support within the cross border cooperation with the free state Saxony (Germany) allowing us to reconstruct the changing room physically.

While preparing the reconstruction of the Changing Room, we will produce a set of attractive activities allowing us to make the local community involved and re-connected, bring the people on the very spot, on a regular basis, for a reason. We want to build a yurt for the indoor activities and arrange the surrounding natural areas (forest and large garden space) to be able to organize the outdoor events and happenings there. Our experience with volunteering gives us confidence we will manage. 

Our team has a long term interest in a shift of the attitude and people´s oblivion preventing them to understand each other better. We have reconstructed the local knowledge trail there, we organized numerous events for visitors and locals, triggered oral history research and for example organized a concert of popular band composed of disabled young musicians in this handicapped place. For twelve years we were improvising in the area and the very locality of the Changing Room surrounded by no signs of a former slave labor camp (called Rovnost-Equality!). We knew this would be the ideal space. In 2020 we finally managed to open a dialogue with the owner of the ruin. With our partners, we have the opportunity to build a dignified place and launch a real venue for dialogue. Be one of them and become one of us!