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Meeting commemorates Carpathian Germans killed by Czechoslovaks

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Prerov, North Moravia, June 20 (CTK) – Several dozens of people met Saturday on a site near Prerov where Czechoslovak soldiers massacred over 260 Carpathian Germans shortly after World War Two, and a new plaque commemorating the victims was unveiled.
The event 70 years ago was one of the worst massacres that occurred after the war.
In mid-June, 1945, repatriated Carpathian Germans, Slovaks and Slovak Hungarians were returning to Slovakia via the Prerov area.
Their train standing in the Prerov railway station was noticed by soldiers from the 17th infantry unit who were returning to their base in Petrzalka, near Bratislava, from a military parade in Prague.
They had 120 women, 71 men and 75 children dragged out from the train.
Officer Karol Pazur, who initiated the action, told his fellow soldiers that the deportees included collaborators of Nazis and also SS members who were to blame for war atrocities. Pazur also named a firing squad to execute them.
The massacre took place in the Svedske sance locality in the night to June 19, 1945. The victims were buried in a mass grave, some of them still alive.
According to Prerov historian and museum director Frantisek Hybl, Pazur initiated the horrible massacre in order to cover up his own dark past as a member of the Andrej Hlinka Guard, a Slovak pro-Nazi paramilitary unit, and the past of his brother as an SS officer.
The murder was also financially motivated, because it was known that the Carpathian Germans had gold and their bankbooks on themselves. Before being shot dead, they had to take off their clothes and hand everything to the soldiers.
The case eventually ended before a court. Pazur was first sentenced to 7.5 years in prison, but in 1949 the Supreme Military Court in Prague raised his sentence to 20 years. However, the then communist president, Klement Gottwald granted amnesty to Pazur in 1951, evidently owing to the latter’s contacts with communist leaders.

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