Over 800 politicians, cultural figures, war veterans and members of the public attended a commemorative gathering at Terezin, the former Nazi concentration camp for Jews. Of the 140, 000 people who were interned at Terezin between 1940 and 1945, 33,000 died and 87,000 were transported to Nazi death camps elsewhere. Of those 15,000 were children. They came from Czechoslovakia, Germany, Austria, Holland and Denmark. Speakers at the commemorative gathering recalled the horrors of Terezin and stressed that everything must be done to ensure that history would not repeat itself.
Bavaria's state premier Edmund Stoiber has criticized the so called Benes decrees which formed a legal basis for the expulsion of over 2.5 million Sudeten Germans from post war Czechoslovakia. Speaking at a meeting of the Sudeten German Landsmanshaft, an association of expellees, Mr. Stoiber said the wrongs of the expulsion had not been righted and that Europe had missed a unique chance to resolve the sensitive issue on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII. The Czech Republic has refused to revoke the Benes decrees on the grounds that they are part of a larger post-war settlement package adopted as a result of the outcome of the war.
The Czech Dentists association says that patients should have a greater share in covering the cost of treatment. At present patients pay for only 20 percent of treatment directly, the rest is covered by health insurance companies. Czech dentists would like patients to cover at least 40 percent of the cost, arguing that in most EU states up to 60 percent of dental care is covered directly by the patient. This would require a change of legislation which the present government, in particular health minister Milada Emmerova is not inclined to support.
A very special ceremony took place on Prague's Charles Bridge over the weekend. The deputy mayor of Prague Jan Burgermeister inserted a casket containing a message to future generations into the ninth pillar of Charles Bridge. The casket contains basic information about the Czech capital, its history and its inhabitants in the year 2005. There is a map, a film about Prague on DVD, a copy of the Constitution, the Czech currency in coins and banknotes and other memorabilia. "I cannot help wondering who will find this, in how many centuries from now and what the world will be like then," Mr. Burgermeister told journalists. Many Prague churches, spires and pillars allegedly contain "messages to future generations".
Monday is expected to be partly cloudy, with scattered showers and day temperatures between 17 and 21 degrees Celsius.
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