Former Czech Nazi concentration camps inmates mark Holocaust Day
About one hundred former Czech Nazi concentration camps prisoners and some 50 guests paid tribute to Holocaust victims on the Holocaust Remembrance Day today, honouring the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust in World War Two.
The world marks Yom Hashoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, the day of the liberation of the Oswiecim (Auschwitz) Nazi extermination camp.
In the Czech Republic, Holocaust Remembrance Day started to be commemorated five years ago.
"It is very important to commemorate Yom Hashoah. To forget about what had happened will mean to increase the risk of the things to be repeated. This can never be ruled out," Czech Federation of Jewish Communities head Jiri Danicek told journalists today.
He said for him the Holocaust meant the dark side of human nature.
"If it gets out of control it is capable of doing everything. If you look around and listen to news you will see that such things happen on a smaller scale very often," Danicek said.
Brno's Museum of Romany Culture director Jana Horvathova who as a Romany historian has been studying the topic of Romanies' extermination during World War Two said that the "Holocaust was not a historical anomaly but the result of dark corners in human thinking."
One hundred men and women who came through the Terezin ghetto and survived the internment in the extermination camp attended today's meeting.
The guests included Czech Chief Rabbi Karol Sidon, Prague Archbishop Miloslav Vlk and newly appointed Minister for ethnic minorities and human rights Michael Kocab (for the junior government Green Party, SZ).
Senate chairman Premysl Sobotka (senior ruling Civic Democrats, ODS) spoke about the current situation in the Gaza Strip where Israel and the radical Islamist Hamas movement waged war recently.
He said it was necessary to fight against "carriers of evil."
"We should not allow the passivity to backfire on Europeans," Sobotka said.
Six million Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps. In the Terezin ghetto alone 155,000 Jews from the entire of Europe were interned and 117,000 of them did not survive the war. Further thousands of Jews perished in extermination camps in which thousands of Romanies also died.
According to estimates, the Nazis exterminated 90 percent of the Czech Romany population.
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