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More Czech towns and villages announce they are flying the Romani flag to honor European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day

31.7.2020 16:10
On 31 July 2020 the Prague 7 Municipal Department's town hall flew the Romani flag ahead of European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, 2 August.
On 31 July 2020 the Prague 7 Municipal Department's town hall flew the Romani flag ahead of European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, 2 August.

More towns and villages in the Czech Republic are announcing that they are flying the Romani flag on their official buildings to honor European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day including the town of Jihlava and the municipal departments of Prague 6 and Prague 10.  The Romani flag is already flying in Nová ves u Mělníka and on the building of the Prague 7 town hall.

"The Municipal Department is joining the honoring of the memory of the Holocaust and its Romani victims by flying the Romani flag on the building of the Prague 6 authority," Prague 6 posted to its website. Representatives of the city of Jihlava announced that:  "As part of the international actions for Roma Holocaust Memorial Day the Romani flag will be flown on Sunday, 2 August on the main building of the municipal authority of the statutory city of Jihlava."

The Prague 7 Municipal Department also made the following announcement: "Prague 7 has joined the commemorative event honoring the Romani population murdered in the Nazi extermination camps. On the occasion of Romani Holocaust Day - 2 August - the seventh Municipal Department has hung the Romani flag on the new building of its town hall in U Průhonu Street."

Activists from the Dikhas group called on mayors of towns and villages throughout the country to fly the Romani flag on 2 August this year, and the reactions of some mayors startled the activists because they bordered on racism. Other mayors promised to join the action, though.

Prague 10 was one of them. "I believe that by taking this step, we are, as the town hall for what is the sixth-largest municipality in the Czech Republic, making it clear that our thinking is free of the prejudices and stereotypes that have been experienced here for years, and also that as the Prague 10 Municipal Department we are heading toward being an interconnected, modern, relevant society of people of any and all origins, orientations and religions," wrote Martin Bahenský, head of the secretariat of the Office of the Mayor of the Prague 10 Municipal Department.

Plans to fly the Romani flag on 2 August to commemorate the Holocaust and its Romani victims have been announced by representatives of Český Krumlov and the Prague Municipal Department of Řeporyje as well as by other towns. A traditional commemorative ceremony is happening at Auschwitz and this year a featured guest speaker will be, for example, the President of the Slovak Republic, Zuzana Čaputová.

Romani figures and others will also gather for 2 August at Lety u Písku in the Czech Republic, the site of one of the concentration camps in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia from which prisoners were transported to Auschwitz. On 2 August in the evening, an event called "Leperiben: My nezapomínáme" (We Do Not Forget) will be held on náměstí Míru (Peace Square) in Prague.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Druhá světová válka, Fascism, Nazism, Památný den romského holocaustu



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