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Minister makes deal on plot for Czech Romany Holocaust Centre

Brno, 4.2.2009 19:57, (ROMEA)

The Romany Holocaust educational centre can be established on the site of the former wartime internment camp for Romanies in Hodonin u Kunstatu, south Moravia, as Czech minister Michael Kocab agreed on the purchase of the plot with its owners today, his secretary told CTK.

However, Kocab, minister for human rights and ethnic minorities, and the plot owners have not yet signed a contract. They are first to make agreement on other details, such as the compensation level, Kocab's secretary Petr Koubek told CTK.

He said the talks were hopeful though the contract of purchase had not been signed. "Both parties want the same," he added.

Kocab's predecessor in the ministerial post, Dzamila Stehlikova (Greens, SZ), who also planned to purchase the plot, estimated the costs at 20 million crowns last year.

At present a recreational facility is on the site.

The state would purchase it along with the plot and rebuild the facility into a documentation and educational centre of the Romany Holocaust.

Almost 1400 Romanies went through the Hodonin internment camp during World War Two. Over 200 died there and more than 800 were sent to the extermination camp in Oswiecim (Auschwitz).

Only a small memorial commemorates the wartime atrocities today.

Two original camp barracks are still preserved in Hodonin u Kunstatu.

The new Romany Holocaust centre would be administered by the Brno-based Museum of Roma Culture which Kocab visited today.

The museum has a lot of valuable historical items and documents in its depository that could be displayed in the centre.

Another interment wartime camp for Romanies in the Czech Lands was built in Lety, south Bohemia.

At present a pig farm is on the site, which has been repeatedly criticised by Romanies and human rights activists. The European Parliament has also called on the Czech Republic to remove the pig farm.

Kocab said previously the removal of the pig farm from Lety would be one of his priorities.

CTK
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Czech republic, Holocaust



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