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Czech Republic: Conference begins in Prague today about historical experience of Romani people as Holocaust victims

11.5.2017 9:12
The international conference on
The international conference on "European Roma Identity in the 20th Century in Light of Documenting Holocaust Victims", 11-13 May 2017, Prague and Lety, Czech Republic.

The Terezín Initiative, the ROMEA organization and the Antikomplex movement are opening a three-day international conference today on the identity of European Roma in the 20th century in light of efforts to document Romani victims of the Holocaust, the aim of which is to look at the history of the 20th century through the historical experience of the Roma as one of the minorities affected by the Holocaust. The conference will open in Prague and close with a visit to the former concentration camp for Romani people at Lety u Písku on Saturday, 13 May, as part of the annual commemoration there.

The event is part of a project on European Roma Identity in the 20th Century and the development of a database on Romani victims of the Holocaust. The conference will involve an expert discussion of the importance of disseminating education and information about the phenomenon of the racial persecution of Romani people during the Second World War and commemoration of that today, opportunities for developing the documentation of the Romani victims of the Holocaust, and the state of current research into this subject.

The shared experiences and insight into this common history, which will reflect the perspectives of the members of different social groups, of ethnic and religious communities, and of the inhabitants of other states, can contribute to transforming the relationships between minorities and "national majorities" in Europe. Today's conference session is intended for invited experts who focus especially on documenting Holocaust victims and on research.

The aim of the conference today is to discuss their experiences and opportunities in this area in detail. The outcomes and recommendations coming from today's discussion will then be presented to those attending the second day of the conference tomorrow (Friday, 12 May) for further discussion.

On 12 May there will also be an accompanying cultural program - those attending can choose between attending a documentary film screening, a live theater performance, or the presentation of a book. The final day of the conference (Saturday, 13 May) is reserved for visiting the memorial at Lety u Písku, and those interested will travel there by chartered bus.

A more detailed program is available on the website of the Institute of the Terezín Initiative HERE. The conference is being held at Kaiserštejnský palác, Malostranské náměstí 23/37, Praha 1.

The conference is being held in Czech with interpretation into English. Registration is now closed; for more information, please write to the director by email at or call telephone number +420 776 743 554.

voj, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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