Friday, January 26, 2007

Czech Town Set To Rebury Nazi Remains

You'd think few if any in the Czech Republic would want to memorialize anything to do with the Nazi regime. After rolling into the country in 1938, Nazi soldiers killed, maimed, and deported thousands as well as razed villages before the nightmare ended (at least for a brief time before the Communists unleashed their own brand of terror) in 1945.

Not so. Tucked away in the northeast of the country, not far from Poland, where coal and heavy industry is king lies the town of Hlučin. The town is testament to a time when a mishmash of nationalities lived in Czechoslovakia. Many in Hlucin were Germans. And during World War II, several hundred served not as partisans with their fellow countrymen the Czechs, but with the invading Wehrmacht.

Today, many in this town of 14,000 are proud of their German heritage. In fact, hundreds hold German passports. Now, some think its time to honor their forebears who picked up a gun to fight for Adolf Hitler's Germany. They want to rebury the remains of 3,900 Wehrmacht soldiers in the town cemetery.

"It won't offend anyone. Afterall, lots of Hluciners fought in German uniforms," explains Mojmir Sonnek, the leading organizer to rebury the fallen Nazi soldiers.

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