Czech Foreign Minister: Our Government is Committed to Continue to Support Beit Theresienstadt
The convoy of limousines of the entourage of the Foreign Minister Mr. Jan Kohout, accompanied by the Czech ambassador in Israel Mr. Tomáš Pojár and the Israeli ambassador in Prague Mr. Jaakov Levy arrived at kibbutz Givat Hayim-Ihud for a visit to Beit Theresienstadt.
The minister, who visited Yad Vashem last year, chose to come this time to Beit Theresienstadt to learn about its activities connected to the history of his country.
He laid a wreath in memory of the ghetto’s victims and received explanations about the place from the director of Beit Theresienstadt Mr. Oded Breda, who presented the minister with the new album “Working in a Trap” that describes the first year of the ghetto.
Mr. Jan Kohout, who is Minister of Foreign Affairs and also Deputy Prime Minister, expressed his appreciation for the activities of Beit Theresiensradt and announced that the government of the Czech Republic will continue its support of the place. The minister handed to Mr. Oded Breda, the director of Beit Theresienstadt, a check for one million Czech Crowns (about NIS 193.000) towards the upgrading of the museum’s archives.
Ruth Bondy and Mordechai (Maxi) Livni, among the founders of the association, related to the guest the story of Beit Theresienstadt and its importance, in his own language. Rani Idan, head of the District Council Emek Hefer, son of ghetto survivors, said that in these difficult times for Israel, threatened with annihilation by Holocaust deniers, it is encouraging to know that there is a country supporting us precisely in this aspect. Yizhar Landau, the kibutz treasurer, thanked the minister for the honor he bestowed on the kibbutz by his visit and related that his family roots go back to Rabbi Landau of the “Altneu” synagogue in Prague.
The Czech delegation visited the various exhibitions at Beit Theresienstadt and received explanations from members of the first generation, survivors of the ghetto.
After taking their leave from them, the delegation toured the kibbutz with Yizhar Landau expounding on the kibbutz movement that celebrated these days its 100th
anniversary and on kibbutz Givat Hayim before and after its split into two separate communities.
At the conclusion of the tour the minister looked out over the Emek Hefer valley and the Shomron hills beyond the “green line”; then the visitors left for Tel Aviv to engage in their diplomatic assignment.
CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER JAN KOHOUT
VISITS BEIT THERESIENSTADT
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Beit Theresienstadt is hosting on Tuesday, May 4, 2010, at 2:30 p.m. the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jan Kohout, who arrives this week for a formal visit in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority.
The minister showed much interest in the museum that displays an important part of his country’s history and he will be accompanied by the new ambassador of the Czech Republic in Israel Mr. Tomáš Pojár and by senior officials of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The minister will visit the museum, meet with ghetto survivors hailing from his country and will also receive explanations about Kibbutz Givat Hayim-Ihud, the home of the museum for nearly 40 years.
The minister will be welcomed by survivors of ghetto Theresienstadt, among them Ruth Bondy and Mordechai Livni, Mr. Rani Idan, head of the District Council Emek Hefer, himself of the second generation of ghetto survivors and by Mr. Oded Breda, director of Beit Terezin.
The Czech government wants to support the museum in a meaningful way and help to preserve important artifacts from WWII and the minister intends to announce this on the occasion of his visit.