Czech gathering commemorates 72 years since Roma prisoners transported from Hodonín to Auschwitz
On Sunday, 23 August 2015, people gathered in Hodonín by Kunštát to commemorate 72 years since Romani inmates were transported from the concentration camp there to the death camp at Auschwitz. On that day 72 years ago the Nazis sent the largest transport of Romani prisoners from the so-called "Gypsy camp" to Auschwitz.
A mass to honor the Holocaust victims was held by at the mass grave of former inmates in the forest and was attended by Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman, Czech Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation Minister Jiří Dienstbier, and the Deputy Public Defender of Rights, Stanislav Křeček. "Hodonín by Kunštát, just like Lety by Písek, is one of the sites we must never forget and one our society has not yet managed to come to terms with. It is a part of our history, and we have an obligation and responsibility to express honor, respect and reverence both for the people who perished here and for the fraction of the Bohemian and Moravian Roma and Sinti who survived the consequences of the Romani Holocaust, which in the Romanes languages is referred to by the word Porajmos. It is important to know that such parts of history actually are not forgotten. That is also why the term Mabisteren - Never Forget - is inextricably linked to the memory of the Romani victims," Dienstbier said.
Those attending the ceremony then laid wreaths at the cemetery in Černovice, where a place of reverence has been built to honor those who were buried there during the war. The so-called "Gypsy camp" was located in the forest near Hodonín and was called "Žalov" (which roughly translated means "place of sadness").
The camp was first a disciplinary labor camp for unemployed people and was changed into the so-called "Gypsy camp" in 1942. During the Second World War a total of 1 300 Bohemian and Moravian Romani people were concentrated there, and several were then transported to the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau; 207 Romani people did not survive their imprisonment at Hodonín.
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