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Čeněk Růžička: Traditional commemoration for Romani victims of the Holocaust is postponed due to COVID-19

27.3.2020 7:30
The 13 May 2018 commemorative ceremony at Lety u Písku. (PHOTO:  Richard Samko, Romea.cz)
The 13 May 2018 commemorative ceremony at Lety u Písku. (PHOTO: Richard Samko, Romea.cz)

The annual traditional commemorative ceremony at Lety u Písku, which is always held on 13 May, will be postponed this year to a later date because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Čeněk Růžička, chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Romani Holocaust, announced the change of plans to news server Romea.cz.

"Please allow the relatives of the Romani victims of Nazism to inform you that because of the viral pandemic, the commemorative ceremony traditionally organized by us at the burial site of the victims of the concentration camp at Lety u Písku is being postponed," Růžička's message said. Until recently an industrial pig farm was in operation on the site of the former concentration camp there.

After many years of attempts, the farm was finally bought out by the state recently and the grounds are currently administered by the Museum of Romani Culture in Brno, which is planning to build a new memorial and a visitor center with an exhibition and lecture hall at the site. According to historians, 1 308 Romani people passed through the concentration camp.

Those imprisoned at the camp were children, men and women. At least 327 of them died there, most succumbing to an epidemic of typhus, while more than 500 were deported to Auschwitz.

Tereza Heková, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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COVID-19, Holocaust, Lety u Písku, Pietní akce



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