Czech Republic: Pig farm at Lety will apparently remain on Romani Holocaust site, talks are going nowhere
The pig farm currently occupying the site of the former concentration camp for Romani people at Lety by Písek will apparently remain there. Czech Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD), who has led several negotiations with the owner, says no concrete conclusion has arisen from the dialogue.
At the sites occupied by the pig farm today there was a camp during the Second World War in which more than 300 Romani people perished. The victims today were remembered at the nearby memorial by the surviving relatives and the public during a commemorative ceremony at Lety, which was attended by Dienstbier and by Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikán (ANO).
"We are acting on this matter, but at this moment there is no fundamental change to discuss. We want a dignified sacred site here. It is understandable that for the surviving relatives of the victims it is unacceptable that a pig farm is standing at such a place. Try to imagine something of the sort, for example, at Auschwitz," Dienstbier said.
The costs of buying the farm are estimated in the hundreds of millions of Czech crowns. The camp at Lety was opened in August 1940, first as a disciplinary labor camp.
The same sort of facility also existed in Hodonín by Kunštát. In January 1942 both camps were changed into transit camps, and in August, "Gypsy camps" were established at both locations.
From then until May 1943 a total of 1 308 Romani children, men and women passed through the Lety camp, 327 of whom perished there and more than 500 of whom were transported to Auschwitz. Less than 600 Romani prisoners ever returned to the territory of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia from the concentration camps.
According to estimates, 90 % of Czech Roma were murdered by the Nazis. Today the commemorative site at Lety is administered by the Lidice Memorial.
Čeněk Růžička, chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Romani Holocaust (VPORH), which holds the commemorative ceremony every year, said he would welcome the appointment of a different entity to take care of the site. Last autumn he sent a letter to the Czech Government to that effect, stating that he would prefer the commemorative site be administered by the VPORH itself.
"It is probably appropriate to respect the wishes of the relatives of the victims. I personally would consider it most logical if the administration of such a site were performed by the Museum of Romani Culture," Dienstbier said.
- VIDEO: Commemorative ceremony at Lety by Písek
- Speech by Miroslav Brož at Lety by Písek
- Czech Republic: "Romani Resistance Days" to involve symbolic blockade of Lety pig farm, protest in Prague
- Closed commemoration of the Roma victims of the Holocaust at Lety u Písku cultural heritage site
- Slovak Government program declaration says it counts on improving the position of Romani people
- Čeněk Růžička: Traditional commemoration for Romani victims of the Holocaust is postponed due to COVID-19
- Czech Government measures to prevent coronavirus close museums and theaters, including Museum of Romani Culture
- Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights: I hope the law to compensate victims of forced sterilization will soon be adopted
- International competition for new memorial to the Holocaust and its Romani and Sinti victims in Czech Republic has seven finalists
- Civil society members of Czech Govt Council on Roma Minority Affairs call on new ombudsman to meet
- Grandson of Holocaust survivor says he experiences racism on a daily basis in the Czech Republic
- Jan Balog: Romani nonprofits in Prague will meet to discuss dissatisfaction with Czech Govt Council for Roma Minority Affairs
- UK Holocaust commemoration features Romani activist Daniela Abraham, who met with royals
- Czech state's demolition of industrial pig farm on former concentration camp site for Roma to begin in June
- Director of Museum of Romani Culture addresses Czech Senate on International Holocaust Remembrance Day: We must safeguard our own humanity