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Visiting season opens at memorial to Roma Holocaust in Lety by Písek, Czech Republic

Lety u Písku, 21.3.2011 16:40, (ROMEA)

The memorial at Lety has opened its imaginary gates for the visiting season today - "imaginary" because this memorial is a freely accessible space dedicated to the memory of the victims of the former WWII-era concentration camp for Roma people there. Those visiting the memorial will discover the addition of an exact replica of the wooden prisoners' quarters, reconstructed on the basis of photographs taken when the camp was in operation, as well as the testimonies of several prisoners and witnesses from the village of Lety.

"This completely new prisoners' quarters is a replica of how the Roma lived during their confinement at the Lety camp. We are depicting the time between 1942 and 1943," explains Milouš Červencl, director of the Lidice Monument, which has managed the Lety memorial since 2009. Since taking over management, the memorial has undergone significant changes. A natural amphitheater, benches, a walking trail signposted with information about the former camp, better access roads and a parking lot have now been added to the original monument erected in 1995.

Even though the memorial now has a much more dignified appearance than it previously did, the nearby pig farm which stands directly on the original site of the camp will evidently continue to be a bone of contention. The years of effort by Roma activists to get the state to purchase the farm and tear it down have had no result.

Gwendolyn Albert, Czech Radio (Český rozhlas), translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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