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October 20, 2018
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Traditional commemorative ceremony for the Romani victims of the Holocaust 13 May at Lety will launch new award

19.4.2018 9:56
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On Sunday, 13 May 2018, the traditional commemorative ceremony to honor the memory of the Romani victims of the Holocaust will take place at the Lety u Písku Memorial. The ceremony is annually organized by the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust (VPORH).

For those interested in attending there will be charter buses available free of charge departing from both Brno and Prague. The commemorative ceremony is held annually at Lety on 13 May and this year will mark 23 years since the memorial to the victims was unveiled near the former site of the Protectorate-era "Gypsy Camp" on 13 May 1995 by then-President Václav Havel.

VPORH has decided to annually give an "Award for Humanity" at the site of the former concentration camp at Lety on the occasion of this ceremony to figures who have contributed in a significant way to humanizing the relationships between Czech and Romani people. The first award will be given to members of the previous cabinet for their brave decision to agree with removing the pig farm that stood on the site of the former concentration camp.

"As you certainly are aware, the previous Government of Prime Minister Sobotka decided to remove the pig farm from the site of the Lety u Písku concentration camp. We appreciate this statesmanlike deed all the more because it was undertaken during an election year. Representatives of the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust in the Czech Republic have therefore decided to give the members of the previous cabinet who were responsible, to a decisive degree, for these reparations at Lety an award for their display of humanity," the invitation reads.

VPORH is organizing charter buses from Prague to Lety and back for those who wish to attend as follows: "The bus will be parked as usual in front of the main gate to the Praha-Florenc bus station, underneath the overpass, by the final stop for municipal bus number 133, and it will be marked with a sign reading 'Lety'. Departure is at 9:45."

It is possible to reserve a seat on the bus from Prague by sending an email to or an SMS to +420 603 247 617. The Museum of Romani Culture is also organizing a charter bus from Brno and it is possible to reserve seats on that bus by e-mailing

Program of the 13 May commemorative ceremony

12:00 Czech national anthem, followed by the hymn of the Romani prisoners of the Nazi concentration camps

12:10 Welcoming of participants

12:15 Laying of floral offerings at the memorial

13:10 Spiritual reflection

13:25 Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust "Award for Humanity", given to those figures who advocated on behalf of the Czech Government for making the site of the former concentration camp at Lety u Písku a more dignified place of remembrance

13:45 Cultural program performed by Carlos Vlasák (Sinto)

13:55 Speeches

14:40 Closing of the official part of the ceremony, tour of the alterations to the former concentration camp site, optional visit to the cemetery in Mirovice (2 km) to lay flowers at the mass grave of the child victims of the camp.

voj, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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