Czech Republic and "gypsies" - 1938 vs. 2012
1 December 1938 - District Governor in Poděbrady, speaking to the governing body of the provincial authority in Prague: "Every day I am continually challenged, at work, in society and by various individuals, with getting the Government to correct this evil, and the most reliable way to do this is unequivocally the establishment of concentration camps for gypsies and vagrants. The incoming new Government would immediately gain the general sympathy and thanks of all classes of society were it to introduce such measures."
24 August 2011 - Czech Senator Jaroslav Doubrava (Severočeši.cz - "North Bohemians.cz"): "In my opinion, the Army should be prepared in any event, because what is starting to happen here exceeds all tolerable limits... The Government and the responsible bodies of the state administration are overlooking the racism coming from the side of the Gypsies… Recent events are proof of what I am saying. There is an unequivocal need for tougher punishments, to not be afraid to give these thugs the maximum possible sentences. We should make the law more strict and increase the maximum sentences possible. The fun has to stop here now. The situation is very serious. Do we want the Gypsies to burn down our towns like they do in England? … I am getting ready to ask the appropriate bodies to thoroughly address this situation and I will try to submit bills in the Senate to make our legislation more strict. In any event, I will speak with my colleagues and do my best to get us to stop closing our eyes to this aggression and terror. It's time to take action."
19 April 2012 Czech Senator Vladimír Dryml (a member of the Czech Social Democratic Party when he made this statement, today a member of the Zeman Supporters' Citizens' Rights Party - SPOZ): "The high criminality of Romani people and the feeling that they enjoy impunity because of the implementation of positive racism by the Czech justice system and the empty, false opinions of the weird human rights defenders in the EU and in our country are now bearing fruit... Laws should apply the same to everyone and the law must be enforced rapidly and, in the case of racism, also harshly, and that applies to everyone, in particular Romani people."
5 February 1939 - The village council in Svatobořice, writing to the Prime Minister of the Czech-Slovak Government, Rudolf Beran: "If until now a bad policy of humanism has been in place, it is time to take another path. We should not be criticized for wanting to cleanse the tribe of our small nation of parasites like the gypsies."
17 January 2012 - Czech MP Poslanec Otto Chaloupka (Public Affairs -Věci veřejné): "Romani leaders should first and foremost start making their livings decently. They are just as much parasites on the Romani community as the Romani community is a parasite on the majority society... Today they don't have to work, they just constantly complain. A wave of physical violence is rising against the majority society and we just keep backing down... I understand this effort to do something about it and to do our best to include them, to re-educate a generation of these inadaptables and give them all the conditions in which to become decent people who won't bother anyone and who won't be despised, but how many years have we been doing our best to somehow include them - without any effect?"
19 April 2012 - Czech Senator Miroslav Krejča (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD): "The public's view of Romani people is completely justified and we are too tolerant toward this inadaptable, parasitical minority."
19 April 2012 - Czech Senator Pavel Lebeda (ČSSD): "Because most Romani people are criminals and loiterers living parasitically on the majority population and refusing to work, the public's position on them is understandable and is amplified by the unacceptable positive discrimination of Romani people, not only in the social welfare area, but even in the justice system. The feeling that they are being defended, that they can commit crime with impunity, means Romani people are committing brutal crimes more and more frequently in addition to their traditional crimes against property. When we add to that the problems with civil coexistence and the widespread drug addiction among Romani people, no one should by surprised by the majority population's aversion toward them."
6 July 1939 - District commander of the gendarmerie in Litomyšl, speaking to the District Authority there: "It must first be clear that the opinions of the 'humanists' who only know the gypsies from poetry or melancholy little songs,... are irrelevant..., and their opinions must not be taken notice of in the least in our future work to subdue the gypsies if we are to achieve our purpose and rid humanity of an evil worse than cancer."
19 April 2012 - Czech Senator Zdeněk Schwarz (Civic Democratic Party - ODS): "The concept of racism in the context of the problems of Romani people is being intentionally abused by those same troubled Romani people and by some politicians who are themselves parasites on this problem and don't know how to solve it. Unfortunately, the media is complicating the situation even further by reporting to the public in a way that is insufficient, not objective, or is unequivocally pro-Romani. A typical example of this is the recent case of the severely injured 15-year-old boy from Břeclav who has become an invalid for life. Why aren't the media following this case with the same intensity and to the same extent as they followed the case of the Romani burn victim Natálka?"
(Editor's note: The case in Břeclav was covered just as profusely by the Czech media as was the case of young Natálka. Moreover, it was later proven that the 15-year-old boy in the Břeclav case had completely fabricated the allegations that his injuries were caused by "Romani" assailants and that no attack ever took place. The number of such fabricated cases alleging that Romani people have perpetrated violence is rising sharply here.)
30 November 1939 - Circular released by the Interior Ministry of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia to the provincial authorities in Brno and Prague: "The bodies and offices under your direction shall be tasked with calling on all gypsies to settle permanently by the end of January 1940 and to cease their itinerant ways. Their nomad documents will also be confiscated. Whoever does not obey will be assigned to the disciplinary labor camps."
19 April 2012 - Czech Senator Petr Pakosta (BEZPP): "The Gypsies themselves are to blame for the Czech public's negative attitudes towards them. Their avoidance of work, their growing aggression, their lifestyle at the expense of the majority population is entirely the result of their own decisions."
17 January 1940 - Police directorate in Brno, speaking to the Provincial Authority there: "Because of the nature of the gypsies' race and their Semitic origins, their strong clannish instinct and inborn tendency to wander the world must be subjected to the strictest legal measures ever to be issued for the control of gypsy malfeasance."
24 August 2011 - Czech Senator Jaroslav Doubrava (Severočeši.cz - "North Bohemians.cz"): "I heard a gypsy teenager say to his friend: 'I don't want to fuck my mother anymore, man, I would rather fuck my sister, but only Dad gets to fuck her and he would beat me up.' I felt like fainting... Unfortunately, it is still the case that most gypsies consider work to be the worst possible way to make a living... We don't want to watch them destroy our region, and we're going to do something about it irrespective of all this disingenuous bullshit about human rights and tolerance - before it's too late. That community is illiterate. Who is preventing their access to education? Only they themselves, because they explicitly do not want to learn."
9 March 1942 - Government Edict No. 89 on the preventive control of crime: "For the purpose of protecting society from wrongdoers, police preventive custody is enacted. This police preventive custody is being performed in special internment camps. The length of such police preventive custody is not subject to restriction."
22 September 2011 - Ivana Řápková, Czech MP for ODS, when she was still Mayor of Chomutov, speaking after a demonstration by human rights defenders and Romani people in her town was attacked by ultra-rightists while municipal officials and police stood by: "We want calm in Chomutov. That is why we will not permit any more such demonstrations, whether they are convened by Romani people or by left or right-wing extremists."
5 February 1943 - General Commander of the undercover Protectorate Police in Bohemia, speaking to government counsel Dr Schneider (in German): "It has been established that the quarantine of the gypsies in Hodonín could be cancelled before the end of this month because we have not yet discovered any cases of spotted typhus, so the gypsies can be transported to Auschwitz after thorough delousing and disinfecting of their clothing... The transport of the gypsies will be accomplished on the basis of the SS Reichskommandant's order of 16 December 1942.“
15 August 2006 - Liana Janáčková, (then and now) Mayor of the Municipal Department of Mariánské Hory and Hulváky of the town of Ostrava, speaking at a public meeting of the housing department: "I understand it's unfair to you all, but I really don't have anywhere else to put these gypsies unless I take some dynamite and blow them to bits... Unfortunately, I am a racist, I disagree with integrating the gypsies so that they will live all over the municipality. We chose the Bedřiška area, so that's where they will be, with a high fence, an electrified one, it's all the same to me... and I'll shout that to the whole world.
24 August 1943 - Criminal Police Directorate of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in Brno, to the General Commander of the undercover Criminal Police in Prague (in German): "... on 21 August and 22 August 1943 a transport of 767 gypsies to Auschwitz was performed. ...on 22 August 1943 at 5:30 the transport was handed over to the German gendarmerie in Moravská Ostrava for further transport to Auschwitz. The transport and handover of the gypsies took place without a single flaw. After the gypsies were transported away, there remain 32 persons at this time in gypsy camp II in Hodonín by Kunštát... ."
15 August 2006 - Jiří Jezerský (running for TOP 09), (then and now) Vice-Mayor of the Municipal Department of Mariánské Hory and Hulváky of the town of Ostrava, speaking at a public meeting of the housing department, during the debate over the Romani residents of the Bedřiška settlement: "Give me a gun license and permission to shoot my weapon and I'll go do it."
1 February 1944 - Criminal Police Directorate of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in Brno to the Criminal Police there: "With respect to the final solution of the gypsy question, i.e., the expatriation of gypsies from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, this was fulfilled and thereby the following decrees are no longer necessary: Interior Ministry Decrees from 13 February and 30 May 1941… ."
The quotes from the dignitaries of the Second Republic era and from the time of the Nazi occupation (1938 - 1944) were taken from a speech made by historian Michal Schuster at the commemorative ceremony at Hodonín by Kunštát on 19 August 2012. In that speech, Schuster also said:
"The Nazi genocide of Romani people concurred with the prevailing prejudices against this minority in Europe prior to the Nazis' rise to power. Measures taken by the authorities in those days grew out of the xenophobic position of society back then. For people living in Europe during the 1930s, it was not necessarily curious or disturbing - and in most cases it was not curious or disturbing - for there to be a gradually radicalizing tendency heading toward suppressing the rights of various groups and eventually leading to the so-called 'Final Solution'."
The quotes from present-day politicians dated 19 April 2012 are from an article published on news server euportál.cz, part of the group of websites run by Parlamentní listy, an online periodical known for its anti-Romani tendencies. The headline for that article also influenced this one.
Czech MP Ivana Řápková (ODS) is fighting a remorseless battle in this regard and we will soon be reviewing it. Racist Czech Senator Doubrava is green with envy over her ongoing legislative anti-Romani crusade.
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