Terezín Memorial marks Holocaust Remembrance Day

A candlelit procession passed through Terezín and to the site of the former WWII ghetto to remember victims of the Holocaust on the evening of January 27.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 28.01.2024 09:45:00 (updated on 28.01.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

A solemn procession marked by the flickering glow of candles passed through the historic town of Terezín and to the site of its former WWII ghetto, now the Terezín Memorial, to honor the victims of the Holocaust on International Holocaust Remembrance Day yesterday evening.

The procession paid homage to those who suffered and lost their lives during that dark period in European history. A memorial event unfolded at the Terezín Jewish Cemetery, featuring a poignant speech by Jan Roubínek, director of the Terezín Memorial.

Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission, also addressed the gathering, underscoring the imperative to remember Holocaust victims while highlighting the increased attacks on Jewish people, specifically the October terrorist assault by the Palestinian Hamas movement on Israeli civilians.

"After the attack by Hamas on innocent Israeli victims, an attack by some people on other people because they are Jews, for me personally, this is, in a way, a continuation of the Holocaust," Jourová stated.

Jourová expressed a personal connection to the recent surge in attacks, emphasizing the collective responsibility to ensure the safety of Jewish communities that face an alarming rise in targeted assaults.

Reflecting on the historical context, Roubínek recounted the struggle Czech society faced in acknowledging the Holocaust before the Velvet Revolution in 1989. He highlighted the delayed acknowledgment of survivors' stories until the early 1990s, lamenting the societal neglect that prevented the proper anchoring of Holocaust remembrance in people's minds.

The event attracted representatives from various religious backgrounds, including the Catholic and Hussite churches, promoting unity in remembering the suffering of over six million Jews, Roma, and other victims of World War II.

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day occur each year on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, where 1.1 million people, predominantly Jews, were killed during the Holocaust.

Terezín served largely as a waystation to extermination camps, and Nazis transported around 155,000 Jews from the location. An estimated 35,000 people perished in the Terezín ghetto, with many more meeting their fate in extermination camps.

Today, the Terezín Memorial stands as a poignant symbol of the grim realities faced by Holocaust victims. Yesterday's event served as a poignant reminder of the atrocities committed during World War II, urging continued efforts to prevent crimes against humanity.

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