European Jewish representatives have unveiled a new monument in memory of those killed at the Terezin concentration camp in the Czech Republic.
The camp, a fortress otherwise known by its German name Theresienstadt, was located 30 miles north of Prague and was being used as a holiday camp for rich Czechs before the Gestapo took it over in 1940.
In the following years, more than 150,000 Jews were sent to there, including 15,000 children, before being sent on by rail to places like Treblinka, Auschwitz and other smaller camps, where most died. Less than 150 of the children survived. Today the site is preserved as a museum and monument, with guided tours.
This week, the European Jewish Congress (EJC) unveiled the “unique monument” together with Israel’s ambassador, Czech officials and representatives of the country’s Jewish community.
EJC president Moshe Kantor said the monument “symbolises the Jewish experience throughout the ages, a history of violent persecutions, but also one of resilience and responsibility,” adding: “The nature of the stone is meant to capture the eternity of grief, and its immensity the magnitude of the burden of the Jewish people.”
The sculpture was created by prominent Czech artist Aleš Veselý, who normally works with metal, three years after the EJC first announced plans for the monument at an event in Kiev, Ukraine.