European Jewish Congress
Moving ceremony at former Nazi concentration camp of Theresienstadt to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day
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Moving ceremony at former Nazi concentration camp of Theresienstadt to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day

A unique and touching ceremony took place at former Nazi concentration camp of Theresienstadt in the Czech Republic on January 27th as part of the two-day ‘Let My People Live!’ Forum organized by the European Jewish Congress. 

Hundreds of participants heard passionate and moving testimonies from Holocaust survivors including  Prof. Felix Kolmer and Rabbi Yisrael Lau, also a survivor of the Shoah and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council.

Another moving address came from Tomáš Kraus, EJC Vice-President and Executive Director of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the Czech Republic, who recounted the harrowing stories of his parents fleeing the Nazis and enduring the unspeakable horrors of the Nazi camps. 

Kraus, the son of Czech journalist František R. Kraus, a friend to Franz Kafka and Max Brod, described “two types of survivors“. One type is keeping it silent, these people do not want to mention anything which is even distantly related to their history. And then there are the others, who want to share everything, they want to scream out, they’re witnesses, and they want to warn the world. Never again was their mantra.”

Musical intervention was provided by the Pavel Zalud Trio and by the world famous Chief Cantor Joseph Malovany with a choir. 

The British actor Sir Ben Kingsley read an extract from the famous book “I never saw another butterfly” written in Terezin, while there was a special tribute to the victims from a choir composed of children of Prague and Terezín who performed an extract from Hans Krása’s “Brundibár”. 142 children then lit candles forming a Star of David at the site in front of the Menorah. From  the thousands of children deported from Terezin to Nazi death camps, only 142 survived.

Friday, January 30, 2015
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