CTK Czech News Agency – June 12, 2002 / Austrians serving civilian service in Czech Republic

Project Description

Austrians serving civilian service in Czech Republic PRAGUE, June 12 (CTK) – For ten years young Austrians have been able to serve their alternative military service in the Czech Republic – they can work in the Terezin Memorial, in the Terezin Initiative and as housekeepers for Jewish families who survived the Holocaust. Political scientist Andreas Maislinger is the founder of the civilian service in places which had suffered from Nazi terror during World War Two and at memorials reminding these events. Maislinger believes that by this Austria was assuming, among other things, the responsibility of history and for the Holocaust. Thirty one Austrians have served an alternative service in the Czech Republic and the former Czechoslovakia since 1992. “We want to remind about the extermination of Jews and cooperate with Jewish organisations in the social area and in the preservation of monuments,” Maislinger told CTK, adding that the goal of the Austrian civilian services was also the future and peace. Georg Jocham, 28, has been helping in Prague for already 11 months to ten people who came through concentration camps during the war, were on the run or in hiding. All of them are at least 80 and the oldest has 101 years. “I visit them, clean their flats and go shopping. I also accompany them to doctors and hospitals and bring them kocher food,” says Jocham who has also learnt some Czech. “It is also an exceptional opportunity to get acquainted with the neighbouring country, he says. There is a compulsory national service in Austria and the ordinary civilian service is the first alternative to it. Service for the Gedenkdienst organisation dealing with the questions of the Holocaust is the second alternative which is paid by the Austrian Interior Ministry and by sponsors. Apart from the Czech Republic, where a service for Lidice is also being planned, Austrians can serve an alternative service in other 15 countries. The world famous village of Lidice in central Bohemia was burnt down in June 1942 under the pretext of its inhabitants cooperation with the paratroopers who carried out the assassination of Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich. The Nazis razed all its 102 houses to the ground, executed 173 men on the spot and dragged women with the exception of 11 to concentration camps. Eighty-two children ended in gas chambers and nine were taken to German families for re-education. vv/dr/tam

Project Details

  • Client 12.06.2002
  • Date 16. June 2016
  • Tags Pressearchiv 2002

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