Czech Human Rights Minister wants Lety concentration camp memorial administered by Museum of Romani Culture, relative of victims disagrees
Czech Minister for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation Jan Chvojka declared on the occasion of a ceremony to commemorate the victims of the Romani Holocaust held on Tuesday, 7 March at the Museum of Romani Culture in Brno that he intends for that particular Museum to administer the memorial to the victims of the Romani Holocaust at Lety u Písku instead of the current administrator, the Lidice Memorial. "The minister will advocate for administration of the memorial at Lety to fall under the Museum of Romani Culture," the minister's press spokesperson, Michal Kačírek, confirmed to news server Romea.cz on 9 March.
"The minister is convinced that a Romani remembrance site should be administered by organizations that focus on Romani history. The Czech Culture Ministry is of the same opinion and has promised maximum assistance," the spokesperson said.
Previously the Government had decided to transfer the administration of the Romani Holocaust Memorial at Hodonín u Kunštátu to the Museum of Romani Culture as well. "Agreement has been reached about that, so the minister will submit to the Government, by the end of May, material proposing transferring administration of the Romani Holocaust Memorial at Hodonín u Kunštátu to the Museum of Romani Culture," Kačírek said.
The memorial at Lety u Písku will be handled the same way. "The ministry will take all the necessary steps to facilitate the building of a dignified memorial there that will then be administered by the Museum of Romani Culture," the spokesperson said.
Since it was first established in 1991, the Museum of Romani Culture, which is now a state-funded organization, has been involved in documenting and researching the concentration camps. Jana Horváthová, the director, said she did not have any more information about the Government's intentions.
"Our establisher, the Culture Ministry, sent us a brief written report at the end of last year about the planned transfer of the Lety Cultural Monument to our institution during this year. We have not yet been informed that any actual steps have been taken to transfer it," she told news server Romea.cz.
Čeněk Růžička disagrees with the transfer of the administration of the memorial at Lety to the museum
The chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Romani Holocaust (VPORH), Čeněk Růžička, disagrees with the administration of the Lety Memorial being transferred from its current administrator, the Lidice Memorial, to the Museum of Romani Culture. "I disagree in principle with how the Culture Ministry has decided to facilitate the transfer of the memorial at Lety for administration by the Museum of Romani Culture," he told news server Romea.cz.
"Naturally I have known about that decision for quite some time and I have personally appealed, more than once, for the administration of the memorial to be assigned elsewhere," Růžička said. One reason he is opposed to the transfer is a statement made by Horváthová in which she expressed the idea that the money it would cost to buy the industrial pig farm currently located on the site of the former camp at Lety in order to close it down and remove it would be better spent on educating Romani children.
Růžička observed to news server Romea.cz that when the director of the Museum of Romani Culture expressed that opinion, it negatively influenced politicians' attitudes about taking action to remove the industrial pig farm from the genocide site. He also told Romea.cz that he is (and always has been) convinced that "both the problem of educating Romani children and the removal of the pig farm from Lety deserve the state's utmost attention and should be addressed independently of each other, which, thank God, is already tentatively underway."
The camp at Lety was originally established as a disciplinary labor camp. It was transformed by the Nazi Protectorate administration in August 1942 into a "Gypsy" camp.
As of May 1943 a total of 1 308 Romani people had passed through the camp at Lety, 327 of whom perished there, and more than 500 of whom were sent to Auschwitz, where most were murdered. Less than 600 Romani prisoners from the territory of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia survived the concentration camps to return after the war.
The Nazis murdered an estimated 90 % of the Romani people living in Bohemia and Moravia. The current remembrance site at Lety is located adjacent to the industrial pig farm that still stands on the site of the former camp.
- Analysis: The Lety Romani Holocaust site as a "Gestapo concentration camp"
- Czech Gov't approves plan to close pig farm at Lety, wants estimate of land value
- Renata Berkyová: Who were the guards at Lety by Písek?
- Members of the European Parliament urge European Commission to move EU-subsidized pig farm from Lety site
- International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance met with Czech Government about removing the pig farm at Lety concentration camp site
- Commentary: The pigs at Lety and Babiš shooting himself in the foot
- Czech Vice PM pays his respects at the Lety memorial to Romani Holocaust victims - but no Roma are invited
- Commentary: How to demolish the pig farm at Lety?
- VIDEO: Commemorative ceremony at Lety by Písek
- Czech Republic: "Romani Resistance Days" to involve symbolic blockade of Lety pig farm, protest in Prague
- Václav Havel's 1995 speech at the unveiling of the Lety memorial
- Czech Republic: Visiting season opens at Lety memorial
- Karel Holomek: Who "discovered" the Romani camp at Lety?
- Czech wartime superhero "returns" to criticize Lety pig farm
- Czech Republic: Lety pig farm remembered at entrance to Terezín
- Former Czech Foreign Minister does not believe his father was involved with the Lety camp
- Cenek Ruzicka: Czech state participates in the illegal segregation of Romani children
- Documentary film LETY to screen in Czech capital on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day
- Czech Republic's Museum of Romani Culture to educate students at memorial site of former concentration camp at Lety
- Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes honors Romani activist's work to remove pig farm from Holocaust remembrance site
- Documentary film LETY captures the despair and the hopes of those who fought to remove the industrial pig farm from the site of the former concentration camp for Roma
- Czech Republic's Museum of Romani Culture announces competition to design the memorial at the site of the former concentration camp for Romani people at Lety
- Czech court postpones hearing in case of anti-Romani signs posted at site of former concentration camp to hear explanation of mobile phone data
- ROMEA TV: Irrefutable evidence found that industrial pig farm was built on top of former concentration camp for Roma
- Museum of Romani Culture to open Roma and Sinti Center in the Czech capital four years from now
- Czech archaeologists discover two graves of Romani concentration camp victims at Lety u Písku
- Czech archaeological survey confirms human remains are located in the vicinity of current memorial to WWII-era concentration camp for Roma
- Memorial to Holocaust of the Roma and Sinti opens in Hodonín u Kunštátu, Czech Republic
- Archaeological survey continues at site of former concentration camp for Roma in Czech Republic