New Czech website focuses on the Romani Holocaust
On Wednesday, 27 January, the world will honor the memory of the millions of victims of the Holocaust. On this occasion the In IUSTITIA public benefit corporation, the only group in the Czech Republic comprehensively dedicated to the issue of hate violence, is launching an educational website focused on the topic of the Romani Holocaust, sometimes referred to as the Porajmos.
"In recent years we have noted remarks made on the Czech political scene doubting the existence of the camp at Lety by Písek or otherwise belittling those who fell victim to the genocide of Romani people during the Second World War," attorney Martina Houžvová said when describing what prompted the group to create the information portal. The website, www.nepopirej.cz ("www.don'tdenyit.cz") is focused on outreach and raising awareness about the issue of denying the Romani Holocaust in the Czech Republic and is intended for both the broader public and for experts.
The website is divided into four thematic areas: History, Society, Law and Memory. "We have produced legal analyses about Holocaust denial," Houžvová said.
Those analyses are published on the website in the form of questions and answers. The "Memory" section includes a short film telling the story of the camps that have been preserved at Lety by Písek and Auschwitz.
"Ever since, when I close my eyes, I see him with his outstretched arm and that cap with the skull and crossbones," Holocaust survivor Arnošt Vintr has said of his memories of Adolf Hitler. "I can't watch films where there is a war... I have never watched a war film, not since I was a child."
The number of victims of the Nazi persecution of Romani people in Europe is currently estimated at between 200 000 and 500 000. After the end of the war only approximately 600 children, men and women from the original Czech Romani population returned from the concentration camps and from other internment or labor facilities after the war ended.
The genocide of the Bohemian and Moravian Romani people was, therefore, probably one of the most thoroughly-performed genocides of the Second World War. The Romani population there was almost completely murdered off at that time.
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