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Israeli president honours war victims in Terezín

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Terezin, North Bohemia, Oct 22 (CTK) – Israeli President Reuven Rivlin Thursday paid homage to the victims of World War Two along with his Czech counterpart Milos Zeman at the National Cemetery in Terezin where about 10,000 victims of Nazism are buried.

Rivlin and Zeman then left for Prague to take part in a commemorative act at the National Memorial in Vitkov.

Officials from the Jewish community and the Usti Region also took part in the ceremony in Terezin.

A Jewish prayer was said by Czech Chief Rabbi Karol Sidon.

Rivlin and Zeman then spoke briefly with the schoolchildren on an excursion to Terezin and left for Prague.

After the occupation of the Czech Lands by Nazi Germany in March 1939, the Nazis selected the former garrison town Terezin as a ghetto for European Jews during the war, while the nearby Small Fortress turned into the Prague Gestapo prison.

Transports of Jews, first from the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia and then from other countries, such as Slovakia, Germany, Hungary, Austria and Denmark, arrived in the town. Over 155,000 Jews were gradually sent to Terezin in 1941-1945 and 117,000 of them died during the war.

A memorial was established in the Little Fortress in 1947. The Ghetto Museum was opened in the town in 1991 only, after the collapse of the communist regime.

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