Saturday, 18 November 2017

Seven new Stolpersteine commemorate Czech Shoah victims

ČTK |
21 September 2017

Chotebor, East Bohemia, Sept 20 (CTK) - German artists Gunter Demnig installed seven new Stolpersteine (stumbling blocks) commemorating the Jewish Bergmann family, some of whose members died in the Holocaust and others had to flee it abroad, in Chotebor on Wednesday.

One of the children of the Bergmann family was saved by leaving the former Czechoslovakia for Britain in the Nicholas Winton train just before the war.

In all, the tragic fate of the Jewish community in the town is commemorated by ten Stolpersteine now. Three of them were installed last year, to pay respects to the Schenkel family murdered in Auschwitz.

Businessman Vilem Bergmann had four daughters and one son. Three of the daughters were killed in extermination camps.

The fourth, Olga Bergmannova, was taken to the Winton train by her aunt who herself served there as a nurse. Olga Bergmannova was about ten at that time. Now she lives in the USA.

The Stolpersteine tradition was started by Demnig in 1992. Tens of thousands of blocks with names and dates of birth and death and facts about the people's deportations to Nazi-operated camps have been placed in pavements all over Europe since then.

Winton (1909-2015), a British humanitarian worker in Prague, saved 669 Jewish children who would have otherwise probably perished in the Nazi-controlled Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The families of the children mostly did not survive the war.

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