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Czech Republic: Traditional commemoration of the Romani victims of Nazism next week at Lety by Písek

6.5.2016 14:11
The annual commemorative ceremony honoring the victims of the Roma Holocaust at Lety by Písek took place on 13 May 2015. (PHOTO:  Jan Čonka, Romea.cz)
The annual commemorative ceremony honoring the victims of the Roma Holocaust at Lety by Písek took place on 13 May 2015. (PHOTO: Jan Čonka, Romea.cz)

The traditional commemorative ceremony honoring the Romani victims of Nazism at the site of the Lety Memorial will take place this year on Friday, 13 May. The ceremony is being held, as it has been every year, by the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust in the Czech Republic (VPORH), which brings together the former Romani prisoners of the Nazi concentration camps and the surviving relatives of the victims of those camps.

During the commemorative ceremony in mid-May, the surviving prisoners of this camp for Roma, as well as the surviving relatives of the victims, meet every year with figures from Czech political and religious life. Many diplomats, journalists, and nonprofit sector representatives usually attend as well.

This year marks 21 years since the memorial was first opened. Czech President Václav Havel unveiled it on 13 May 1995.

"Please allow us to invite you to the commemorative ceremony that we are holding, as usual, at the site associated with the tragic fate of the indigenous Czech Roma and Sinti who fell victim to Nazism, during which we will commemorate the immeasurable suffering of millions of human beings that happened at that time," the invitation to the commemorative ceremony reads. VPORH is chartering a bus free of charge from Prague for those who would like to participate.

"The bus will be parked, as usual, in front of the main entrance to the bus station at Florenc in Prague, beneath the highway overpass, at the final bus stop for the no. 133 municipal bus line, and will have a sign that says Lety on it," Čeněk Růžička of VPORH told news server Romea.cz. Departure from that location will be at 10 AM.

Those interested in reserving a place on the bus should write to ruzicka.vporh@seznam.cz or send a text message to 603 247 617 (Czech communication only). English speakers are requested to contact Gwendolyn Albert at gwendolyn.albert@romea.cz to reserve a place or for further information. 

Program

12:00 – Singing of the Czech national anthem and a song by Romani prisoners of the Nazi concentration camps

12:10 – Welcoming of participants

12:15 – Laying of wreaths at the memorial 

13:10 – Spiritual words and prayer celebrated by priest Vojtěch Vágai

13:30 - Cultural program

13:50 - Speeches  

14:30 – Official ending of the ceremony, tour of the memorial, optional visit to the parish cemetery in the village of Mirovice (2 km away), laying of wreaths at the graves of the child victims.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Lety u Písku, Pietní akce, pietní akt, pietní místo



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