Commemorating the Holocaust, hundreds in Prague marched against the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and in support of Israel.
Hundreds of people, including some 100 young Germans, joined the 12th March of Good Will against anti-Semitism and in commemoration of the Holocaust in the center of Prague on Sunday, the Prague Post reports.
The march, which included participants of all ages, started at Franz Kafka Square in the former Jewish quarter and ended with a cultural program in the Wallenstein Garden that surrounds the senate building. The event ended with a concert given by two Israeli jazz bands.
Carrying Czech, Israeli and German flags and placards denouncing anti-Semitism, the crowd sang, blew trumpets and chanted slogans in support of Israel and the Israelis, the Post reports. Students carried portraits of “disappeared neighbors” – Jews from their towns who were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
At Jan Palach Square, they stopped to commemorate the Holocaust victims. Both the Czech and the Israeli national anthems were played as well as the Terezín March composition. Terezín (Theresienstadt) was a Nazi concentration camp in the former Czechoslovakia.
In the Wallenstein Garden, the rally was addressed by Holocaust survivors and by Israeli Ambassador Gary Koren, Prague Councillor Jan Wolf, Senate Deputy Chairman Přemysl Sobotka and Culture Minister Daniel Herman.
“Anti-Semitism is one of the most horrible forms of intolerance,” Herman declared.
The objective of the event, organized by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), was to mobilize the people who are not indifferent to the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, the organizers said.
Europe has experienced a surge in anti-Semitism in recent years. However, the Czech Republic has one of the lowest levels of anti-Semitism in Europe, in tandem with its small 3,900-member Jewish community, which consists of only 0.04 percent of the population.