My native country, Czech Republic, has been slow to honor its citizens who perished in the Holocaust. With the exception of the Pinkas memorial in Prague, few monuments have appeared since the end of World War II. Now, finally, a major step has been taken. Since more than twenty members of my family began their journeys to ultimate death in the camps at the Bubny railway station, I am happy that something significant is being done in their memory. The following is an article from a CityMetric website:
“During World War II, around 50,000 Jews passed through Prague’s Bubny train station on their way to German death and prison camps. On 9 March 1944 alone, over 4,000 Jews from Northern Bavaria passed through on their way to Auschwitz.
Now, 51 years on, the city has taken the decision to turn the train station into a Holocaust memorial site. Named the Memorial of Silence, its centrepiece is ‘Foundation Railway Track,’ a 20m run of train track extended into the air. It was designed and built by Czech sculptor Aleš Veselý.
According to the Bubny memorial’s website, the track isn’t meant purely to reflect the journey that Czech Jews took from the station during World War II; it’s also meant to represent Jacob’s Ladder, a staircase to heaven.
Bubny station is now run-down and used only by local commuter trains, despite being one of the city’s largest. These trains will continue to run even once the memorial site opens in 2016.”