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Two days linked to WW2 likely to gain significant day status

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Prague, April 25 (CTK) – The list of significant days of the Czech Republic might be extended to include another two, June 18 as the Day of anti-Nazi resistance heroes and March 9, the anniversary of the extermination of the “Theresienstadt family camp” in 1944, according to a bill the Chamber of Deputies passed yesterday.

The bill, submitted by a group of deputies across the political spectrum, will now be discussed by the Senate, the upper house of parliament.

In a resolution accompanying the bill, the lawmakers condemned the crimes against humanity which the Nazis inflicted upon the Jewish, Slavic and Romany populations, and also the Armenian genocide in the former Ottoman Empire 102 years ago.

They called on the international community to prevent human rights violations and use diplomacy to settle disputes.

The significant day status is symbolical. Unlike the national and other holidays, significant days are working days unless they fall on Saturday or Sunday.

There are 11 significant days in the Czech calendar now, three of which are linked to WW2.

The Day of second (anti-Nazi) resistance heroes is to be June 18, the anniversary of the last battle of the seven Czechoslovak paratroopers who hid in Prague’s Orthodox Cyril and Methodius church after killing high-ranking Nazi official Reinhard Heydrich in the spring of 1942. Tracked down by the Germans, they resisted Waffen-SS and Gestapo troops, who outnumbered them hundred times, for seven hours.

The deputies who initiated the bill described the paratroopers’ battle as a symbol of resistance, heroism and patriotism of not only the paratroopers but also thousands of Czech patriots who unselfishly helped them fulfil their tasks, for which hundreds of them paid with their own lives.

The Theresiendstadt family camp was a special section in the Oswiecim-Brzezinka (Auschwitz-Birkenau) wartime extermination camp to which some 17,500 prisoners were gradually transported from the Terezin (Theresiendstadt, north Bohemia) ghetto in 1943 and 1944. The Nazis killed all former 3,791 Theresienstadt prisoners in the camp, mostly Czechoslovak Jews including women and children, in the night to March 9, 1944.

At present, the significant days in the Czech Republic are the Day of commemoration of Jan Palach (January 16), the Day of Holocaust Remembrance day (January 27), the International Women’s Day (March 8), the anniversary of Czech entry into NATO (March 12), Comenius’s birthday anniversary (March 28), Education Day (April 7), the anniversary of May 1945 Czech anti-Nazi uprising (May 5), Day of Family (May 15), the Day of commemoration of Lidice village obliteration (June 10), the Day of commemoration of the communist regime’s victims (June 27) and the War Veterans’ Day (November 11).

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