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Třebíč, Czech Republic commemorates anniversary of Holocaust transports from there

31.5.2018 6:38
Třebíč-Zámostí and Vnitřní Město, Třebíč District, Vysočina Region, Czech Republic (seen from Hrádek, 2016). (PHOTO:  ŠJů, Wikimedia Commons)
Třebíč-Zámostí and Vnitřní Město, Třebíč District, Vysočina Region, Czech Republic (seen from Hrádek, 2016). (PHOTO: ŠJů, Wikimedia Commons)

A prayer procession past seven recently-installed Stones to the Disappeared (also called stolpersteine) was how the Holocaust memorial event in Třebíč, Czech Republic began on 28 May. Those attending remembered the Holocaust and its victims and the transport of Jewish residents from Třebíč in May 1942.

The event was attended by several dozen people. Organizers said the traditional assembly is symbolic because it is a demonstration of the fact that Christians and Jewish people live together in peace here today.

Jaromíra Hanáčková, director of the local cultural center that organizes the commemoration, informed the Czech News Agency of the event. "I am of the opinion that this subject is still topical. We are convinced it is still worth remembering this time in the coexistence of Christians and Jewish people," she said.

In addition to the prayer procession, the two hour long commemoration offered an accompanying program of other events. Two wartime transports of Jews, labeled "Av" and "Aw", were sent from Třebíč on 18 May and 22 May, 1942.

A total of 1 371 Jewish residents from the town and its surroundings were deported to the concentration camp at Terezín. Just 63 of them lived to see the end of the Second World War.

Some survivors returned to their homes, while others traveled the world looking for other surviving family members. "The commemoration in Třebíč is regularly attended by the relatives of those affected by the Holocaust," Hanáčková said.

The Jewish settlement in Třebíč is considered one of the most ancient and significant in Moravia. Jewish people settled there probably after the market was created near the Benedictine monastery at the beginning of the 12th century, more than 200 years before Třebíč was granted the status of a town.

The first reliable historical mention of the presence of Jewish people there dates to 1338. The number of Jewish inhabitants of the ghetto apparently never significantly exceeded 1 500 people.

In the year 1900 just about 400 Jewish people were still living in that neighborhood. In 2003 the Jewish quarter in Třebíč, called Zámostí, was placed on the prestigious list of UNESCO heritage sites for its unique architectural and urban planning value.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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