PRAGUE — The conversion of an abandoned railway station in Prague into a memorial for the Jews who were put on trains there to Nazi concentration camps has been launched in the Czech capital.

Activists have spent five years working to create the Memorial of Silence, which is meant to preserve the historical memory of the tens of thousands of Jews who departed from Bubny station during World War II.

With financing approved by City Hall, the run-down property's transformation is expected to take about two years.

Before the war, nearly 120,000 Jews lived in the country known as Czechoslovakia. More than 80,000 died in the Holocaust.

An outdoor screening of an Oscar-winning 1965 Czech film set during the era, "The Shop on Main Street," with a live orchestra marked the memorial's launch on Friday.