On March 25 Slovakia commemorated the 67th anniversary of the departure of the first Jewish girls from Poprad to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, the TASR newswire wrote.
Pavol Mešťan, Director of Slovak National Museum - Museum of Jewish Culture in Bratislava, made a speech at a conference in Poprad to mark the day. From among the thousands of single women and girls, aged 16-30, that were transported to Auschwitz only about 70 survived to the end of WWII and currently only eight of them are still alive. None of the women, however, took part in the commemoration ceremony in Poprad mainly due to health reasons.
The ceremony started at 15:30 with the opening of a reconstructed part of Poprad's Jewish cemetery and continued with wreaths being laid at the local train station. Mešťan noted that students from Poprad schools participated in the cemetery's reconstruction.
Mešťan said that it is mainly the young generation which must be reminded of the holocaust because as the years pass the number of contemporary witnesses diminishes and the number of those who doubt such historical facts increases. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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26. Mar 2009 at 10:00