International Roma flag to fly on buildings throughout Czech Republic tomorrow for Roma Holocaust Remembrance Day
Buildings in Brno, Ostrava, Prague and Ústí nad Labem will fly the international Roma flag tomorrow at noon to commemorate the tragic night of 2 August 1944 and early morning of 3 August 1944 when the Nazis murdered the last prisoners in the so-called Gypsy Family Camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in the gas chambers. During the 17 months of the camp's existence from February 1943 to July 1944 there were a total of 23 000 Romani children, men and women imprisoned in that particular camp.
Approximately 20 000 Romani and Sinti prisoners were murdered either in the gas chambers, or by starvation, or by lack of medical care, or by torture. "We want to commemorate this day by flying Roma flags, coming together, discussing this history and experiencing a cultural program," said Tereza Štěpková, director of the Terezín Initiative Institute, which is convening a commemorative event in Prague tomorrow together with the Evangelical Church of the Czech Brethren and the Konexe organization with the financial support of the Jewish Community Foundation.
ROMA FLAGS FOR 2 AUGUST
- Jewish Community in Prague
- Headquarters of the Evangelical Church of the Czech Brethren, Prague
- Czechoslovak Hussite Church, Prague
- Prague 2 Municipal Department
- Prague 3 Municipal Department
- Prague 4 Municipal Department
- Prague 6 Municipal Department
- Prague 7 Municipal Department
- Prague 8 Municipal Department
- Prague 10 Municipal Department
- Museum of Romani Culture, Brno
- Union of Vlax Roma (Unie Olašských Romů), Ostrava
- Ústí nad Labem – město Municipal Department
Support for the entire event has also been expressed by the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust (Výbor pro odškodnění romského holocaustu - VPORH), which will also be showing its exhibition about the interwar life of Czech Roma and Sinti in Prague 5 tomorrow. The Mayor of the Prague 7 Municipal Department, Jan Čižinský, announced today that the Roma flag will be flown from the municipality's future headquarters because the General Directorate of Finance, which owns the building where the Prague 7 Municipal Department is currently headquartered, would not allow the Roma flag to be flown there tomorrow.
"We will fly the Roma flag on the building of our future headquarters," at U Průhonu 38 (Prague 7), the mayor posted to Facebook. After the noontime raising of the flags, a press conference, and a lecture by Michal Schuster, an historian with the Terezín Initiative Institute, there will be a cultural and educational program at the Community Center in Prague's Žižkov quarter featuring performances by the accordeon player and singer Mario Bihari and the Romano Dživipen group from Králův Dvůr u Berouna.
The date of 2 August was first established in 2011 by Poland as the Genocide Remembrance Day of the Roma and Sinti. In 2013 the date of 2 August was declared by the Council of Europe to be an international day of commemoration at the pan-European level.
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