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
- Jana Horváthová: Hodonín and Lety functioned as concentration camps
- Demolition of pig farm on Romani genocide site in Czech Republic to take place in 2019, new memorial to open in 2023
- Czech Police must re-investigate one MP for Holocaust denial, but head of ultranationalist party will not be prosecuted
- Lety after the Romani genocide, Part One: Local authorities wanted to build another camp there for Roma after the war
- Czech Police: Anti-Romani signs at Romani genocide memorial in Lety were approval of genocide, perpetrators face three years in prison
- Čeněk Růžička: Is it so hard to grasp that we Roma want to witness the opening of our people's burial sites?
- VIDEO: Chair of Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust in the Czech Republic on the archaeological findings there
- Czech prosecutor to review police decision not to charge politicians over remarks about Romani genocide site
- Czech archaeological samples yet to find exact location of victims' mass grave at Romani genocide site
- Czech Police hiring 1 000 police officers for basic services, cybercrime and extremism
- Holocaust memorial in Czech town will bloom with yellow crocuses in the spring
- Czech Police do not find politicians' remarks about Romani genocide site to have been criminal
- Czech PM chairs Govt Council on Roma, civil society members demand more Romani involvement, less paternalism