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15. 5. 2022 14:12

Prime Minister Petr Fiala pays tribute to Nazi victims in Terezín

Prime Minister Petr Fiala paid tribute to the victims of the Nazi persecution in Terezín, 15 May 2022.
Prime Minister Petr Fiala paid tribute to the victims of the Nazi persecution in Terezín, 15 May 2022.
On 15 May 2022, Prime Minister Petr Fiala attended a commemorative event at the Terezín Memorial. He laid a wreath at the National Cemetery in front of the Small Fortress in Terezín to honour the victims of Nazi persecution. The commemorative act was also attended by the Minister of Culture Martin Baxa, President of the Senate Miloš Vystrčil, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Markéta Pekarová Adamová and other guests.

After the national anthem was performed by soprano singer Jana Červinková, the director of the Terezín Memorial, Jan Roubínek, welcomed everyone present. Hana Sternlichtová, a former prisoner of the Terezín ghetto, also attended the event. Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala stressed that it is important to remember not only the victims and their suffering, but also the evil brought about by totalitarian ideologies.

“Today, we think of the people who suffered here during World War II and the occupation of Czechoslovakia, but we also think of those who are now suffering as a result of the Russian aggression in Ukraine. I think it reminds us that our freedom, our independence, are very fragile things that we have to take care of and fight for every day,” the Prime Minister said.

The remembrance ceremony in Terezín has been held every year since 1947 on the third Sunday in May at the end of the International Memorial Days of Resistance as a legacy of the Buchenwald Oath. The content of this document was the wish of the liberated prisoners of the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945 not to continue to commemorate the events of the war until Nazism had been eradicated with all its roots. The Nazis established a Jewish ghetto in the Terezín military fortress, and the Small Fortress served as a Gestapo prison. From November 1941 until its liberation in May 1945, more than 156 000 people, mostly of seven nationalities – Czechs, Germans, Austrians, Dutch, Danes, Hungarians and Slovaks – passed through the ghetto, which served primarily as a transfer station to one of the extermination camps. Approximately 118 000 of them did not survive the war. More than 32 000 people were imprisoned in the Small Fortress and 2 600 died.

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