Czech Republic: Roma commemorate 73rd anniversary of prisoner transport from Hodonín u Kunštátu to Auschwitz
The weekend of 20-21 August saw two important anniversaries in the Czech Republic. One was the anniversary of the 1968 occupation of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Army.
The other was the tragic anniversary of the biggest transport of Romani prisoners from the former "Gypsy camp" at Hodonín u Kunštátu to Auschwitz 73 years ago. The transport of children, men and women was the most numerous transfer of Romani prisoners from that camp, almost 800 prisoners, most of whom never returned from Auschwitz.
Approximately 100 attendees commemorated this tragic event at the mass grave in the forest near the site of the former camp this year. The commemorative ceremony was organized by the Museum of Romani Culture.
The ceremony involved speeches, religious worship, and commemorating the victims of the Holocaust. "It is necessary for young people know what happened, to know where their parents were taken and what they experienced, what horrible conditions they lived in here," Jiřina Somsiová, a witness to the conditions at Hodonín u Kunštátu, told Czech Television from the scene of the commemoration.
In the Czech lands approximately just 10 % of the indigenous Romani inhabitants survived the Second World War. "The Genocide of the Bohemian and Moravian Roma and the German Sinti was one of the most thoroughly-enacted genocides of the war," Alica Sigmund Heráková, spokesperson for the Museum of Romani Culture, told the daily Brněnský deník
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