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Prague exhibition to present life of original Czech Romanies

Prague, 10.5.2007 18:46, (CTK)

The original Romany culture in Bohemia and Moravia will be for the first time presented to the public during an exhibition opening in September in Prague's Veletrzni palac (Trade Fair Palace), Markus Pape from the Committee for the removal of the Romany Holocaust told CTK today.

The exhibition will include old photographs showing weddings, funerals, wagons and traditional costumes.

Pape said the committee believed the exhibition can convince the public that the Romany Holocaust victims deserved a dignified memorial.

The committee has been campaigning for several years for the removal of a pig farm built on the site of a former wartime internment camp in Lety, south Bohemia. The Czech government has not found the necessary money to move the farm so far.

In the 1920s, some 3000 Romanies lived in Bohemia and Moravia. Some of them lived in settlements, others waged a nomadic life. In 1942, the Nazi-controlled authorities ordered all Romanies to be counted. Some 6500 people were labelled as "Gypsies." Most of them were transported to the Auschwitz concentration camp and only 583 of them returned home after the war.

Last year, the exhibition The Romany Holocaust - the genocide of the Roma and Sints took place in Veletrzni palac, presenting the stories of individual victims.

At present, only a few thousands of Czech Romanies live in the country. However, up to 250,000 Romanies live in the Czech Republic, but most of them arrived from Slovakia.

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