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Czech Republic: Commemoration of Romani victims of the Holocaust on 13 May at Lety Memorial

19.4.2017 6:44
Wreaths laid at the memorial at Lety by Písek, Czech Republic, on 10 May 2014 during the ceremony annually held by the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust, which is regularly attended by diplomatic representatives and survivors. (Photo:  František Kostlán)
Wreaths laid at the memorial at Lety by Písek, Czech Republic, on 10 May 2014 during the ceremony annually held by the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust, which is regularly attended by diplomatic representatives and survivors. (Photo: František Kostlán)

On Saturday, 13 May 2017, at the site of the Lety Memorial, the traditional commemorative ceremony honoring the Romani victims of the Holocaust will take place. The event is organized by the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust (Výbor pro odškodnění romského holokaustu - VPORH), which brings together former prisoners of Nazi camps and the relatives of victims who perished in them.

The commemorative ceremony at Lety has happened annually in mid-May for 22 years, ever since the memorial was unveiled by Czech President Václav Havel in the vicinity of the former Protectorate "gypsy camp" on 13 May 1995. "Allow us to invite you to the commemorative ceremony we are holding as usual at the site connected with the tragic fate of the indigenous Czech Roma and Sinti who fell victim to Nazism, during which we recall the immeasurable suffering of millions of human beings," the invitation reads.

VPORH is organizing a free round trip charter bus from Prague to Lety for those attending the ceremony:  "The bus will be, as usual, parked in front of the main gate to the Florenc bus station in Prague, beneath the highway overpass, at the final stop for city bus 133, and will have a sign on it that says 'Lety'. Departure is at 10 AM."

It is possible to reserve a place on the bus by sending an e-mail to ruzicka.vporh@seznam.cz or an SMS to phone number 603 247 617. The program of the day will be:

12:00 – Czech national anthem and the hymn of the Romani concentration camp prisoners

12:10 – Welcoming of participants

12:15 – Laying of wreaths at the memorial

13:10 – Prayer and sermon celebrated by Father Vojtěch Vágai

13:30 – Cultural program - Carlos Vlasak, member of the Sinti community

13:50 – Speeches

14:30 – Close of the official part of the ceremony, tour of the memorial. Those who would like to do so may accompany us to the village of Mirovice two kilometers away to lay flowers at the graves of the child victims of the concentration camp buried in the parish cemetery.

Die, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Lety u Písku, memorial, Pietní akce, Holocaust



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