Dobroutov - A memorial to 66,000 Romanian soldiers who were killed, injured or declared missing in former Czechoslovakia in the fighting during World War Two was unveiled today.
V Dobroutově na Jihlavsku 7. června odhalili pomník věnovaný památce 66.000 rumunských vojáků, kteří položili život, byli raněni nebo prohlášeni za nezvěstné v Československu v bojích během 2. světové války. Má podobu třímetrového, ručně vyřezávaného pravoslavného kříže, pod ním je mramorová deska s textem v rumunštině a češtině. ČTK Pavlíček Luboš
Dobroutov Mayor Vaclav Vavrousek said no Romanian soldier died in the village, but a large group of Romanian troops lived there towards the end of the war.
Several Romanian troops died in the area and they were buried in the nearby small town of Polna, Vavrousek said.
Romanian military units stayed about one month in the surrounding area. Before they left Dobroutov on June 13, 1945, the soldiers erected a wooden cross in the centre of the village as a commemoration of their dead.
In 1973, the old wooden cross was replaced with a metal one.
The present renewal of the cross was initiated by Romania in connection with the building of a chapel in Dobroutov. The new memorial is a three metre high wooden cross and a marble plaque with an inscription in the Romanian and Czech languages.
The Dobroutov memorial has been the only one to Romania´s WW2 troops in the Czech Republic.
The Romanian soldiers followed the Red Army and they were to rid the area of the remainders of the German armed forces.
Archival sources show that the locals did not trust the Romanian soldiers very much because Romania was an ally of Nazi Germany still in 1944. The soldiers caused great property damage in the area, especially to the crops.
In Dobroutov the soldiers caused no problems, however, according to the chronicles.
"There were no conflicts, nobody was killed," Vavrousek said.
Romanian soldiers fought on Czechoslovak territory from December 18, 1944. In total, 248,430 of them operated in the country. They liberated 31 Czechoslovak towns and 1691 municipalities.