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February 19, 2018
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Former Czech Human Rights Minister says the entire country should campaign against denial of Romani genocide

11.2.2018 7:17
Michael Kocáb (Teplice, 2018). (PHOTO: Jan Mihaliček)
Michael Kocáb (Teplice, 2018). (PHOTO: Jan Mihaliček)

On Wednesday, 7 February, former Czech Human Rights Minister Michael Kocáb commented at a press conference announcing the results of the fundraising drive called "THEY WANT TO GAS THEM, WE WANT TO SEND THEM TO SCHOOL!" about the recent remarks made the chair of the SPD party, who is also the vice-chair of the Chamber of Deputies. He highlighted the responses of politicians who have objected to Czech MP Okamura's remarks, which in his view have crossed a certain line.

Kocáb expressed appreciation for the campaign supporting the primary school on Plynárenská Street in Teplice where first-graders were targeted for hateful racist commentaries after their class photo was published by the daily Teplický deník, saying it was an example of an immediate response to such hate speech. "The campaign chose a rather radial slogan for its name, one that clearly says 'No, that path is long since behind us', we will not play around with the phrase 'to the gas chambers' - what is that, in the 21st century? The most horrible event, maybe, that humanity has ever experienced, decidedly the most horrible event of the last millenium, the Holocaust, and somebody dares to say such a thing at all? We must immediately object to such speech. It's like Tomio Okamura,  if he's interested - yesterday on television he asked somebody to explain to him what the camp at Lety was about. I have written to him here about how it actually was," said the former Czech Human Rights Minister as he gestured to materials about the history of the Lety camp he had with him.

"It was a concentration camp with a direct connection to Auschwitz, the death camp, it prepared the annihilation there, and the question of whether there were fences there is absolutely inappropriate for him to raise at all, after all, we know what happened in connection with the Holocaust. If he is complaining that a campaign is being waged against him now, well yes, nobody should refute that, the entire country should be campaigning against such opinions, constantly, from all corners of our country there should be protests heard against such speech," Kocáb said.

bau, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Michael Kocáb, Racism, Teplice, Tomio Okamura


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Czech survey finds youth are more prejudiced against minorities than their elders

8.2.2018 7:46
A survey performed by experts from the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (ÚSTR) in collaboration with the Institute of Sociology has ascertained that while the subjects of the Holocaust, minorities and tolerance are being taught in the Czech schools, the instruction is having no influence on some widespread prejudices. ÚSTR has long focused on instruction about these sensitive historical subjects in the schools and more than 600 teachers take its courses annually.
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Outgoing Czech PM backs MP who doubted Romani Holocaust, says he has apologized and his words have been "misinterpreted"

7.2.2018 16:32
Outgoing Czech PM Andrej Babiš (ANO) says that he believes the chair of the SPD movement, Tomio Okamura, has already apologized for his remarks about the Protectorate-era
concentration camp at Lety u Písku, a site of the genocide of the Roma during the Second World War. When asked today whether he supports removing Okamura from his post as vice-chair of the lower house, as the Christian Democrats propose, the PM said he considers Okamura's apology to have been sufficient.
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Czech Republic: Unique "Memory of the Roma" project keeps historical memory alive through video

7.2.2018 7:33
Over a cup of coffee in her apartment in Rokycany, Czech Republic, 67-year-old Květa Tůmová Tomášová recalls the stories of her family, whose roots are in the Šariš region of eastern Slovakia. She talks about labor camps, partisans, the Second World War, the postwar migration to the Czech Republic, her childhood in Rokycany, and the classroom where she and her brother Mírák were the only Romani children.
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