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Czech Republic: Owners of pig farm on Roma Holocaust site are open to selling their facility

6.9.2016 9:40
On 13 May 2014, activists began blockading the pig farm at Lety by Písek, which stands on the site of a former forced labor camp for Romani people. (PHOTO:  Czech News Agency).
On 13 May 2014, activists began blockading the pig farm at Lety by Písek, which stands on the site of a former forced labor camp for Romani people. (PHOTO: Czech News Agency).

The owners of a pig farm in Lety (Písek district) do not rule out the possibility that they might sell their facility located at the site of a former WWII-era concentration camp for Romani people. The owners are willing to negotiate about exchanging their facility for another one appropriate for the raising of pigs, Jan Čech, vice-chair of the board of AGPI, which owns the farm, has told the Czech News Agency.

The Czech Government prefers to just buy the farm, according to Czech Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD). At his request the Government has publicized its March resolution confirming its determination to close the industrial pig farm at the remembrance site.

Dienstbier emphasized that he has dedicated himself to the issue of the former camp since taking office. For his part, Čech told the Czech News Agency that "We have been doing our best to find a solution for 18 years. However, for the time being, all of the negotiations have been general."

Čech added that the owners of the farm have been more intensively considering leaving Lety for the past two years. Their opinion was influenced, among other things, by the behavior of activists from the Konexe group.

"When we saw those demonstrations of theirs, and when they chained themselves to our fences and our trucks, we asked ourselves whether the farm was worth constantly screwing up our nerves," Čech said. The Government has never offered the company any specific solutions in the past, he said.

No precise amount of money has been discussed, nor has another facility been considered as a replacement for the current farm. "We haven't even calculated yet how much we imagine the pig farm should cost," Čech said.

The camp at Lety was first created as a labor camp but later served during the Second World War for the internment of Romani people, whom the German Nazi regime considered equivalent to Jewish people. Just like the Jews, the Romani people interned at Lety were sent to the extermination camps at Auschwitz, where several hundred of them died.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Lety u Písku, memorial, pietní místo, Vláda



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