79th commemoration of the liberation of Theresienstadt camp

With the participation of the President of the Czech Republic Petr Pavel, Prime Minister Petr Fiala and President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic Petr Papoušek, the commemoration of the liberation of Theresienstadt camp took place to honour the memory of those who perished under Nazi occupation.

The commemorative event was organised by the Terezín Memorial together with the Czech Ministry of Culture, the Ústí Region, the city of Terezín, the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic, and the Terezín Initiative.

The ceremony commenced with the laying of wreaths and bouquets in front of the Little Fort at the Terezin National Cemetery.

At the outset, the Czech national anthem was played by Petr Matuszko, then Jaroslav Roubínek, the director of the Terezín Monuments, welcomed the guests present.

The keynote speech of this year’s commemorative event was delivered by the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Markéta Pekarová Adamová.

“It is our moral duty to consistently fight against those who, for whatever reason, wish to forget, distort history, or relativise the horrors of the Holocaust, or even deny them entirely. If we were to allow this, we would become indirect accomplices of the former cruel tormentors and betrayers of the memory of all those tortured and murdered here,” said Markéta Pekarová Adamová in her speech.

“I understand, of course, that eradicating a thousand-year-old current of opinion such as antisemitism is difficult, almost impossible. But it would be worth attempting. We could, for example, introduce a new subject in schools called tolerance,” stated Dita Krausová, a survivor of the Terezín ghetto, in her speech.

The speeches were followed by prayers. The Jewish prayer for the dead was led by the chief regional rabbi, Karol Efraim Sidon, and the Christian vicar of the Litoměřice diocese, Radek Jurnečka. The commemorative program concluded with a musical performance by the Puellae Cantates girls’ choir from Litomerice.

On behalf of the Ústí Region, Governor Jan Schiller, Councilor for Property and Investments Tomáš Rieger, and Chairman of the Committee for National Minorities of the Ústí Region’s Representative Office, Karolína Žákovská, paid homage to the memorial to the victims of Nazi persecution.


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