Memorial Day for Victims of Holocaust and Racial Violence

Memorial Day for Victims of Holocaust and Racial Violence

On Saturday, 8 September, it is 82 years since the government of the then Nazi allied Slovak Republic approved the so called Jewish Code. It was inspired by the legislation of Nazi Germany and was one of the most strict ones in the whole of Europe.

Annually, a memorial reading of the names of the 70,000 Jewish citizens of the Slovak Republic that were killed in concentration camps is held in Bratislava. The first transports from the territory of the war-time Slovak State that was a Nazi Germany ally started in March 1942.

President Zuzana Caputova commemorated Memorial Day for Victims of the Holocaust and Racial Violence at the Holocaust Museum in Sered, southern Slovakia, on Thursday. She drew attention to the need to remember the historical circumstances of the Holocaust and its impact on the life of society and individuals.

According to Zuzana Caputova, it is necessary to realise in the current situation that all the Holocaust horrors were preceded by hateful thoughts, then hateful words, and these led to hateful acts and ultimately victims.

"The times we are living in are very difficult and tense, and in the public space one can notice expressions of hatred that were preceded by hateful thoughts. Let us remember that they are dangerous and can lead to hateful acts," added President of the Slovak Republic.

According to the director of the Museum of Jewish Culture, Michal Vaněk, the main purpose of 9 September Memorial Day is to make people aware of how a law issued by the supreme legislative power of a state can lead from the deprivation of human and civil rights to the murder of tens of thousands of its inhabitants. In this regard he pointed out how far the situation can go if a society relativises and ignores signals that lead to the exclusion or criminalisation of groups of the population on the basis of race, religion or sexual orientation.

The Holocaust Museum in Sered was established on the premises of a former labour and concentration camp. The museum serves as a memorial to all murdered Jews from Slovakia. Approximately 16,000 Jews were detained in the facility between 1941 and 1945, with most of them killed.

Source: TASR, RSI

Martina Šimkovičová

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