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Czech Republic: Commemorative ceremony 13 May at Romani Holocaust site at Lety

26.4.2015 20:07
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 Wednesday, 13 May, a commemorative ceremony honoring the Romani victims of Nazism will take place at the site of the Lety Memorial. The ceremony is traditionally organized by the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust in the Czech Republic (Výbor pro odškodnění romského holocaustu v České republice - VPORH v ČR), which brings together Romani former prisoners of the Nazi concentration camps and relatives of the victims of those camps.

Invitation

Dear Friends,

Please allow us, in the name of the surviving prisoners of the Nazi concentration camps and the relatives of the victims, to invite you to this year's commemorative ceremony at Lety. For the community of indigenous Czech Roma and Sinti, this ceremony is a significant event, an opportunity to honor our predecessors who fell victim to Nazism, as well as to remind the majority society that we exist and have always been a part of the history of this Czech nation of ours for 600 years of the history of the Czech lands.

This commemorative ceremony has established its own tradition and its place on the calendars of state ambassadors to the Czech Republic, leading figures in culture and politics, the victims' relatives, church representatives, representatives of Jewish organizations, representatives of other clubs and organizations, the media, and many other people. This is an occasion on which Romani people also express their desires and wishes.

The ceremony is conducted in the dignified spirit of Romani veneration of the deceased and in a friendly atmosphere. This year's commemoration will be special, as it will feature a performance by the nationally diverse children's orchestra of the Harmony Foundation (Nadační fond Harmonie), which fulfills the El Sistema vision of musical education using the perfection of music to improve the lives of children and society.      

There is a walking trail featuring information signs that leads from the town of Lety to the burial site of the victims where the ceremony will be held, a 1.5 km route that the prisoners themselves walked to reach the Lety Concentration Camp. Parking is available for buses and personal vehicles on the grounds of the memorial and there are restrooms available there.

On behalf of the relatives of the victims,

Čeněk Růžička
Chair, VPORH v ČR 

Transport free of charge from Prague to Lety and back by bus

Departure:  10:00 AM in front of the main entrance to the Praha – Florenc bus station beneath the highway overpass. The charter bus will be parked at the final stop for city bus route no. 133 (behind the building of the Museum of the Capital City of Prague).

The bus has limited capacity, so please reserve your seats by writing to ruzicka.vporh@seznam.cz or calling +420 603 247 617.

Program

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

12:10 – Welcoming and commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp

12:15 – Laying of wreaths at the memorial 

13:00 - Spiritual reflection

13:20 – Brief cultural reflection

13:30 – Speeches

14:10 – End of the official ceremony, tour of the memorial, departure for Mirovice (3 km away) to visit the parish cemetery and lay wreaths at the graves of the children who were victims of the concentration camp.

Jana Baudyšová, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Tags:  

Lety u Písku, Pietní akce, Pocta, Tiskové zprávy



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