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Leipzig Recalls Last Transport to Ghetto of Theresienstadt

The last transport of some 300 Jews 50 years ago to the Theresienstadt ghetto in the former Czechoslovakia was commemorated this week in Leipzig, Germany.

The ceremony Tuesday of candle lighting, speeches and prayer, was organized by the Evangelical Church in Leipzig. The ceremony was held at the Leipzig main rail station, the site of deportations of Jews to death camps and ghettos in Eastern Europe.

Between November 24, 1941, and April 20, 1945, 140,937 Jews were deported to Theresienstadt, which served as transit point to concentration camps in the East. From there, a total of 88,196 were then transported to the death camps and 33,529 died in the Theresienstadt ghetto.

The Germans continued the transport until the very last stages of the war. The last transport from Leipzig occurred a day after the bombing of the nearby city of Dresden, when the entire Third Reich was on the verge of collapse.

As Jews and Christians in Leipzig commemorated the victims of Nazi crimes, police uncovered neo-Nazi propaganda, flags and other material in a number of eastern German cities.

Police searched 66 residences in an extensive operation aimed at the neo-Nazi Free German Workers Party.

The operation took place as a result of material obtained from the interrogation of 57 neo-Nazis standing trial for having raised flags with swastikas and having used the Nazi hand greeting, illegal in Germany.

The Free German Workers Party is considered one of the most militant neo-Nazi organizations in Germany. The federal constitutional court in Karlsruhe is considering a request by the government to declare the organization illegal.

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