Czech pig farm should be moved from Romany Holocaust site
The pig farm on the site of the wartime camp for Romanies in Lety, south Bohemia, should be removed, Jiri Leschtina writes in the daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) today in connection with the promise of new Czech Human Rights and Minorities Minister Michael Kocab to pull the farm down.
The bad smell from the pig farm filling the air during commemorative events organised at the memorial of the internment camp's victims recalls the unwillingness to admit that it is not only Nazi Germans but also Czech guards who contributed to the death of more than 300 Romanies in Lety, Leschtina writes.
He says the Czech commander of the camp and several pathological guards killed tens of the inmates by beating them up and making them starve and freeze to death even before many of the others died of epidemic typhus.
Out of the 1,308 Romanies who were gradually interned in the camp in the early 1940s, 327 died there and more than 500 were transferred to the extermination camp in Oswiecim (Auschwitz).
The Czechoslovak communist regime decided to bury the memories of the genocide by building a large pig farm instead of the camp, Leschtina writes.
The pig farm is a symbol of the deformed view of the Romany Holocaust: unless the farm is removed, the Czechs continue to show that they have less respect to Romany victims of World War Two than to Jewish victims, Leschtina says.
The problem is similar to that of the postwar deportation of Germans from the country's border regions where they had lived for many generations. The Czechs try to ignore that they have part of the responsibility for the injustice done and crimes committed during the deportation, Leschtina writes.
He says the indefinite discussion on whether the sum demanded by the present owners of the farm as compensation for the removal is acceptable is pointless.
The farm should be removed at any cost because the Romany survivors and the descendants of those who died in the camp wish it, Leschtina points out.
Kocab should remember his excellent mixture of diplomatic skills and firmness thanks to which he pushed through that Soviet troops left Czech territory in the early 1990s, Leschtina writes.
He says Kocab has a hard nut to crack, recalling that Kocab's predecessor Dzamila Stehlikova and all government human rights commissioners, including Petr Uhl and Svatopluk Karasek, have so far failed to get rid of the pig farm despite their efforts.
- Czech Human Rights Minister wants Lety concentration camp memorial administered by Museum of Romani Culture, relative of victims disagrees
- Czech state chooses firm to appraise pig farm on concentration camp site
- Czech Human Rights Minister to focus on buying pig farm on Romani Holocaust site and employment of ghetto residents in 2017
- Analysis: The Lety Romani Holocaust site as a "Gestapo concentration camp"
- Outgoing Czech Human Rights Minister claims successes
- Czech Gov't approves plan to close pig farm at Lety, wants estimate of land value
- Czech Government approves closure of pig farm on site of former concentration camp for Roma
- Renata Berkyová: Who were the guards at Lety by Písek?
- Czech Govt Roma Council reviews Romani Holocaust sites, victim database, and compensation for involuntary sterilizations
- 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
- Czech historian responds to tabloid disinformation about Romani Holocaust site
Tags:Czech republic, Lety u Písku
Jana Šedivcová: Are all Czech children cat killers and all Romani children flamingo killers? Collective blame is unacceptable17.3.2017 15:03
Patrik Banga: I'm for collecting ethnic data in all areas, but the majority can't tell who is Romani17.3.2017 10:17
discussion about whether estimating the numbers of Romani people should even happen and if so, what the appropriate method is to use.
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