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Politicians commemorate Mauthausen liberation

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka recalled Czechoslovak citizens imprisoned in the Mauthausen concentration camp during WWII in his speech at the ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of its liberation held at the site yesterday.

The meeting was attended by Austrian representatives and foreign guests. Along with Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD), the Czech delegation comprised of Culture Minister Daniel Herman (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) and Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksova (CSSD). She laid a wreath to the Czechoslovak national memorial in Mauthausen.

"The nightmarish reality of one hell ended here 70 years ago. People were dying here because of their origin, religious or political conviction... Among hundreds of thousands of the victims of the Nazi extermination wheels, there were about 4,500 Czechoslovak citizens, including a number of significant intellectuals - resistance fighters, artists, scientists and teachers," Sobotka said in his speech.

He stressed that the names like "Mauthausen, Oswiecim (Auschwitz), Majdanek, Treblinka, Buchenwald and others must remain a permanent memento of the evil." Sobotka finished his speech with a call for peacekeeping.

"Let us be proud of the 70 years of European peace and the democratic Europe where we are living. Our generation should act in the way to prevent the evil, wartime terror and organised murdering in the name of any ideology. We all share the responsibility to strive for the preservation of peace, democracy and freedom and and do our utmost to prevent the world from honing mad in such a cruel and in human manner again," Sobotka said.

Austrian President Heinz Fischer and Chancellor Werner Faymann participated in the official ceremony in Mauthausen.

More then 199,000 people were sent to Mauthausen, while 119,000 of them died.

Many Czechoslovak citizens were imprisoned there since the camp was situated near the Czech border. Legendary Czech songwriter Karel Hasler died there, along with relatives of the paratroopers, Josef Valcik and Jan Kubis, who assisted in the mortal attack on high-ranking Nazi officer Reinhard Heydrich in Prague in 1942 were executed there.

The U.S. army liberated Mauthausen on May 5, 1945 as the last of the Nazi concentration camps.

[Source: Prague Daily Monitor, Mauthausen, Aut, 10May15]

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small logoThis document has been published on 12May15 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.