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Honouring the memory of the inhabitants of the Vařák Strip

Datum: 21. September 2019

Forgotten Fates

Article title

on Saturday, 21 September 2019, a memorial stone was unveiled at the site of the tragic event in the Spíval valley

On Saturday morning, 21 September, the sun-drenched Spíval valley on the border of Ratibor and Hošťálková witnessed a dignified commemorative act that recalled the tragedy of the last days of World War II. In these places the retreating German army executed four hostages from the Vařák Pale.

The first impulse to commemorate this event and to place a memorial stone came from history enthusiasts and, thanks to the understanding of the mayors of Ratibor and Hošťálková, resulted in mutual cooperation to make this almost forgotten place accessible.

The very surroundings and the site of the event had been so overgrown with bushes and trees for several decades since the war that it was almost inaccessible. Therefore, with the help of dozens of volunteer workers and the staff of the Ratiboř municipality, it was necessary to improve the area - to clear the overgrown trees, to bring a memorial stone and to install an information panel. It was necessary to make accessible the places where the victims were executed, buried and subsequently exhumed after the war, to place four symbolic crosses in the forest, to install wooden railings, to prepare a scenario for the commemoration, posters and invitations.

Saturday's commemoration was opened by the mayor of the village Martin Žabčík. The participants of the gathering then spontaneously sang the national anthem, during which the guard of honour of the members of the Czech Armed Forces, Warrant Officer Petr Vacek and Corporal Milan Vacek, together with the Ratiboř Scouts, saluted at the memorial stone. This was followed by speeches of the mayors of the municipalities, Martin Žabčík from Ratibor, Petr Laštovica from Hošťálková, Oldřich Pechal from Lačnov, Jaroslav Sláčík from Pozděchov, vice-mayor Jan Kozubík from Valašská Polanka, Mrs. Ing. Blanka Andělová from ČSBS Vsetín. The speeches were very emotional, influenced by the overall mood that affected all present. Among the guests were also present the chairman of ČSBS from Valašské Meziříčí Ing. Alois Martínek, chairman of the CSBS from Opava, vice-mayor of Lačnov Ing. Rostislav Zvonek and representatives of the press.

The speeches were followed by a song by the male choir Kosáci and the unveiling of the memorial stone. Representatives of the municipalities laid wreaths and bouquets not only at the memorial stone, but also at the places where the victims were executed and buried. In the end, Mgr. Zdeněk Pomkla from the OA Vsetín spoke about the last days of the occupation during World War II in our region. He emphasized in particular the immense dedication, bravery and courage of many of our citizens who joined the resistance movement in Wallachia.

The representatives of the municipalities of Ratibor and Hošťálková were thanked for the arrangement of the site by the direct survivors who participated in the commemoration. A pleasant surprise was the great participation of our fellow citizens.

The Spíval valley was included as another possible stop on the "Forgotten Fates" nature trail.

The mayors of Pozděchov and Lačnov invited those interested in the history of the fate of the Vařák strips to visit this place. The Vařák Pastures nature trail starts at the train station in Horní Lidč, heads to the village of Lačnov, from there it goes around the Lačnov rocks to the ridge of the Vizovice Hills, then continues to the Vařák Pastures. Mgr. Stanislav Haša

Plakát Honouring the memory of the inhabitants of the Vařák Strip

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