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June 27, 2022



Czech Republic: Memorial tree planted to honor the Czechoslovak Romani "Black Partisan", Josef Serinek

31.7.2017 9:19
Zdeněk Serinek, grandson of the
Zdeněk Serinek, grandson of the "Black Partisan", Josef Serinek, and other well-wishers planted a seedling from the heirloom Saint Wenceslas Oak in honor of his grandfather on 30 July 2017. (PHOTO: Brian Kenety,

More than 40 people from all over the Czech Republic met yesterday in the village of Spělkov in the Vysočina Region to attend a memorial assembly dedicated to the memory of the partisan Josef Serinek, his colleagues and companions, and all of the brave local residents of the area who aided his group in their efforts to survive and fight. A tree grown from a seedling of the heirloom St Wenceslas Oak was planted in honor of this extraordinary man near the location of the first place he found safe haven after escaping the Lety concentration camp for Romani people in South Bohemia.

Serinek went on to become a leader in the partisan fight against fascism during the Second World War. The tree planting is one part of an initiative aiming to create a network of hiking trails to commemorate and connect the actual sites and stories about the actions of Serinek, resistance groups at that time, and those who supported them in that region.

The event was organized by Pavlína Hořejšová, Alice Hradilová and Ondřej Liška. Those attending included Josef Serinek's grandson, Zdeněk Serinek, and the author of the book "Bohemian Gypsy Rhapsody" (Česká cikánská rapsodie), Jan Tesař, which includes the memoirs of the man who was nicknamed the "Black Partisan".


ken, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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