Commemoration at WWII-era concentration camp for Roma in Czech Republic to give Award for Humanity to Gwendolyn Albert
On Sunday, 2 August, Roma Holocaust Memorial Day will be commemorated at Lety u Písku, Czech Republic. The ceremony will begin at noon with the Czech national anthem and a hymn composed by the Romani prisoners of the Nazi concentration camps.
After floral offerings are laid at the memorial there will be a spiritual reflection, followed by a cultural program. The relatives of the concentration camp victims will give their annual Award for Humanity to Gwendolyn Albert for her activity in the area of defending human rights, especially those of the Romani women who have been forcibly sterilized in the former Czechoslovakia and present-day Czech Republic.
"As a consequence of these exceptional times we were forced this year to move our annual commemorative ceremony at the Lety Cultural Heritage Memorial, which is usually held on 13 May, to 2 August. We have also chosen this date because we will be remembering what happened at Auschwitz-Birkenau in what was called the Zigeunerlager there. During the night of 2 August and morning of 3 August, 76 years ago, German Nazis murdered as many as 3 000 Romani men, women and children in the gas chambers there," said Čeněk Růžička, the chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Romani Holocaust in the Czech Republic (VPORH).
The event is being organized by VPORH, an association of the relatives of the Romani victims of Nazism, with the support of the Czech Culture Ministry, the Endowment Fund for Holocaust Victims, and the Museum of Romani Culture. It will be held at the Lety Cultural Heritage Memorial, where some of the victims of the concentration camp were buried in unmarked graves during the war.
Those interested in attending can take advantage of charter buses to Lety that will be available free of charge. Those traveling from Prague can catch the charter bus beneath the overpass on Na Florenci Street (near the Florenc bus station).
The bus from Prague will depart at 9:45 on 2 August. To reserve a place, call or text 603 247 617 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those traveling from Brno can catch the charter bus at 7:30 from the Museum of Romani Culture (Bratislavská 67). It is necessary to reserve a place in advance by calling 545 581 206 or e-mailing email@example.com by Monday, 20 July.
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