Terezín wartime memorial hit by theft
More than 300 bronze plates with the names of wartime victims were stolen last week from the National Cemetery in Terezín, north of Prague, which served as a ghetto for Czech and European Jews and housed a Gestapo-run prison during the Second World War. Commemorative plaques have been stolen in the past but never on such a large scale. Now it seems unlikely that they could be restored by May 18, a day commemorating the victims of Nazi persecution at Terezín. Ruth Fraňková reports.
“We have only estimation of the future costs. Out estimation is more than one million crowns.”
How much will it take to repair the damages and also how long will it take?
The reason I am asking is that on May 18 there is a traditional ceremony in memory of the victims of Nazi persecution.
“No. It can’t be solved in such a short time.”
What do you think was the motivation?
“The motivation was to sell it.”
So there was no racial or political reason?
“No. It was simply this economical reason.”
“The problem is that this is not only one area. We have four such areas and they are too large for us to have a camera-monitoring system and guarding is too expensive.”
The Terezín Memorial has now decided to replace the stolen metal and eventually all of the bronze plates with a cheaper version made of resin – as a means of discouraging thieves.
The Minister of Culture Václav Jehlička said on Wednesday that the ministry will do all it can to help restore the cemetery as soon as possible and help the police to capture the perpetrators.