Czech Center to Honor NASA Commander Andrew Feustel as Part of 'VEDEM' Exhibit

Czech Center to Honor NASA Commander Andrew Feustel as Part of 'VEDEM' Exhibit

On November 6, the Czech Center Museum Houston and Vedem Underground, which celebrates the longest-running underground magazine inside a Nazi camp, presented NASA commander Andrew Feustel with an illustration from the magazine that the astronaut will bring into space next year.

The ceremony is part of the Czech Center's programming for Vedem Underground's exhibit VEDEM: THE UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE OF THE TEREZIN GHETTO, which will be on display until November 30.

As part of the ceremony, Feustel, who has flown on two Space Shuttle missions and will launch to the International Space Station in March 2018, will speak about his decision to honor the magazine's teenage creators, who were prisoners of Czechoslovakia's Terezin Ghetto between 1942 and 1944. In addition to a cover illustration from the magazine Vedem depicting a rocket shooting out of a scroll towards Earth. Houston-based Feustel will also bring a drawing by Vedem editor Petr Ginz in tribute to both Ginz and to late Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon.

"These children came together in the most dire circumstances, and continued to hope for the future of all humankind," said Feustel, who has long felt a bond with Czechculture through his Czech wife. "Our missions are carried out for the betterment of humankind through space research and exploration."

Called "the Dead Poets Society of Terezin" by Los Angeles's Jewish Journal,VEDEM: THE UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE OF THE TEREZIN GHETTOis an art installation that deconstructs and reinterprets the literary work of the teenage Jewish creators of the longestrunning underground magazine in a Nazi camp. Using a combination of pop-art graphics, archival photographs and cartoons, and the prose and poetry created by the magazine's contributors, VEDEM: THE UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE OF THE TEREZIN GHETTO celebrates the artistic and cultural legacy of Vedem by breaking down its 83 weekly issues totaling the 800 pages, then reconstructing them in the form of a contemporary magazine.

The exhibit premiered at the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles in 2016, and has since been presented at museums in El Paso, Austin and Sacramento. It is scheduled to travel to at least ten additional U.S. locations, including San Antonio, Amarillo, Dallas, Milwaukee, Portland, Oregon, and St. Petersburg, Florida by 2019.

VEDEM: THE UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE OF THE TEREZIN GHETTO was produced and curated by Rina King, whose grandfather led the resistance at Lithuania's Kovno Ghetto and who is also co-writing the companion book Vedem Underground: Pages of Resistance and producing the Vedem Underground documentary film with an Oscar- and Emmy- award winning team; Los Angeles-based art director Michael Murphy, who conceptualized the exhibit as a merging of punk subculture-inspired art and the 1940s-era 'zine aesthetic; and Los Angeles-based writer and journalist Danny King, who is producing and cowriting the companion book.

The Czech Center Museum Houston and Vedem Underground Ceremony, featuring NASA astronaut Andrew Feustel, will take place at the Czech Center Museum Houston, 4920 SAN JACINTO St., Houston, TX 77004 on Saturday, November 6, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. Call 713.528.2060 or visit for more information.

Vedem Underground is a multimedia project that celebrates the courageous, heartbreaking and ultimately victorious legacy of Vedem ("In the Lead" in Czech), the longest-running underground magazine to be regularly produced by prisoners inside a Nazi concentration camp. The project teaches tolerance and encourages artistic activism through Vedem's historic and cultural lessons, and includes a museum exhibit, a documentary feature film, a companion book and a cutting edge educational program. The exhibit premiered in May 2016, the book will be completed in early 2018 and the film is slated for release by the end of 2018. The exhibit has been supported by the 2016 WORD Grant: The Bruce Geller Memorial Prize, a project of American Jewish University's Institute for Jewish Creativity. The exhibit has also been generously supported by the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles. Other support for the project comes from Steven Spielberg's Righteous Persons Foundation and The Ziering Foundation.


The granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Rina King has produced films since 2000 and is the founder of Blue Lemon Productions, which is dedicated to creating socially conscious documentaries and exhibitions. In 2016, King produced and directed a feature documentary and curated a museum exhibit about the magazine Vedem ("In the Lead"), a teen-authored magazine that was the only underground publication to be regularly produced by Nazi concentration camp prisoners. King has also created and produced programs for the Discovery Channel, History Channel, Style Network, Travel Channel and Fox Kids. King worked on the Oscar-nominated Holocaust documentary "Prisoner of Paradise" and helped create and implement the international educational outreach program for the Oscar-winning film "The Last Days." Her artistic endeavors also include founding an art gallery featuring emerging artists in Los Angeles. Born in Vilnius, Lithuania, King, whose grandfather led a Lithuanian partisan group in the Kovno Ghetto, received an MBA with honors from McGill University, and is fluent in Russian and Hebrew.

Michael Murphy - Creative Director

Michael Murphy has been a design professional in the Los Angeles area since 1997. He is currently an art director for an advertising agency. His work can be seen at

Danny King - Director/Writer

Danny King's journalism career dates back to 1999 and includes work in documentary films, books, wire services, newspapers, weekly consumer and trade publications, websites, news blogs and radio. In addition to his work on Vedem Underground, King has served as hotels editor for Travel Weekly, the West Coast consumer reporter for Bloomberg News and real estate reporter for the Los Angeles Business Journal. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, Daily Variety, Seattle Times and Orlando Sentinel. King has a master's degree from UCLA and an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley.

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