CZ/SK verze

Slovakian president Čaputová pays tribute to the victims of the first death train that left Slovakia 80 years ago

Slovakian president Čaputová pays tribute to the victims of the first death train that left Slovakia 80 years ago
photo: Facebook/Zuzana Čaputová/Slovakian president Čaputová pays tribute to the victims of the first death train that left Slovakia 80 years ago
07 / 04 / 2022

The foundation stone of the future memorial to the victims of the Holocaust was laid on Friday last week on the site of the former munitions factory in Bratislava's Patrónka district. The act was part of a commemoration marking the 80th anniversary of the first wave of deportations of Jews from the Slovak state.

The chairman of the Bratislava Self-Governing Region (BSK), Juraj Droba, informed that the memorial would commemorate the sad history of the place during World War II and the People's regime. "A concentration center for Jews was set up here, 8,000 Jewish inhabitants were transported to the German concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau," he recalled. Baruch Myers, Chief Rabbi of the Jewish Religious Community, also praised the idea of the memorial.

On Friday, Slovakia marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the transports of Slovak Jews to the extermination camps during World War II. Several commemorations are held in Slovakia to mark the occasion. President Zuzana Čaputová will also attend the event in Poprad, from where the first-ever transport departed. At the commemoration in Lamač, Bratislava, they will also present the design of the upcoming memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.

Droba stressed that the tragedy of the Holocaust and its background must be constantly reminded as a memento of what hatred and totalitarian ideology can lead to. "That is why we will build a Holocaust memorial on this site so that neither we nor our children and grandchildren will forget this event," he said of the memorial, the design of which was collaborated by students from the Josef Vydra School of Art Industry.

In his speech, the chairman of the Jewish Religious Community (JRC), Tomáš Stern, stressed that it is impossible not to connect the tragic events of 80 years ago with the awareness of the tragedy that is currently taking place in Ukraine. That is why he is convinced that remembering and commemorating is no longer enough.

"Current events also confirm that evil, hatred or any basic human malice must be stopped immediately and in the bud, by all available means of democracy, the rule of law and international cooperation," he stressed. "Otherwise, we cannot be surprised that humanism and democracy and all that humanity has built up over the eight decades since the end of the global catastrophe, and which forms the basis of our identity, will dissolve and dismantle itself," Stern warned.

The Jews, concentrated on the site of the former Patrónka factory, were taken to the concentration camp from the railway station in what is now the Lamač district of the city. The first transport with over 700 women and girls left on the evening of 27 March 1942, just two days after the first transport of Jewish women left Poprad. Like the Poprad transport, the train from Lamač was bound for the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, in then-occupied Poland.

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