The act of reverence to honor the victims of Nazi persecution at the Terezín National Cemetery will not take place for the first time since 1946 this year. The reason is the epidemic situation and the government’s order, the spokesman of the Terezín Memorial, Tomáš Rieger, informed on Friday.
The Terezín ordeal takes place every year on the third Sunday in May, with up to five thousand people taking part in the memories. This year, the organizers moved the event due to the coronavirus epidemic to October 18. In the summer, they decided that it would take place without public participation in order to comply with the limit of thousands of people per event.
Due to the current unfavorable epidemic situation and the government’s crisis measure of 30 September banning, among other things, outdoor events with the expected participation of more than 20 people, the organizers decided to definitively lift the ordeal.
“I am sincerely very sorry for many reasons, but the circumstances do not allow us other solutions. However, the memory of the victims of Nazi repressive facilities will be honored, albeit in a very intimate form. A maximum of two representatives for each organizer memory, “said the director of the Terezín Memorial, Jan Roubínek.
The event is co-organized by the Ústí nad Labem Region, the city of Terezín, the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic and the Terezín Initiative.
The first ordeal with the participation of Masaryk and Horáková
The ordeal took place for the first time less than a year after the so-called National Funeral, when the remains of 601 victims exhumed from mass graves were buried in the area in front of the Small Fortress. At the time, the funeral was attended by a number of important personalities, such as Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Masaryk and Milada Horáková, who spoke on behalf of the imprisoned women. This ordeal laid the foundation for the establishment of the National Cemetery.
Between 1940 and 1945, the Nazis dragged over 200,000 prisoners from a number of European countries to the Prague Gestapo police prison in Terezín’s Small Fortress, the Terezín Ghetto and the Litoměřice concentration camp. There are 2386 individual graves and several pylons in the national mushroom, under which thousands more men, women and children are buried.