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Society for the History of 
Czechoslovak Jews

 

SEVENTY FIRST MEMORIAL SERVICE

FOR CZECHOSLOVAK JEWISH VICTIMS

OF NAZISM

March 19, 2017   21 Adar, 5777

 

Since 1946, Czech and Slovak Jews have gathered annually to remember the 3,792 Czech Jews who, after being held for nearly seven months in the “family camp” BIIb at Birkenau, were sent to the gas chambers on the eve of Purim, 1944. Their murder is a horrifying example of the criminal lunacy of Adolph Hitler and his followers, who murdered six million of our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers, our grandparents and great grandparents, our spouses and children, our neighbors and friends. This is the 71st annual memorial service.
We do not forget!

For the past 23 years, the Society has also prepared a Memorial Book, “These We Remember,” listing the names of our families’ Holocaust victims and all the others whose lives we wish to commemorate. Each memorbuch has included a Holocaust memorial in the Czech Lands or Slovakia. This year’s memorial is a monument by the late Czech Jewish sculptor, Aleš Veselý. It stands at the entrance to the cemetery at Terezín. Both the monument and its title, “The Law of Irrefutability” are designed to elicit serious thought about the unprecedented criminal behavior that is called the Shoah or the Holocaust – the mass murder of our people, the importance of memory and the ways that justice can be done.

May we have the strength to use the memories this service evokes to shape a better, more human future for the sake of the victims, the loved ones for whom we mourn and for the generations yet to come.
 
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Decorative border for a page dedicated to the victims of the 1903 Kishinev pogrom, pen and ink drawing by Ephraim Moses Lilien (1874-1925)