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October 17, 2018
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European Grassroots Antiracist Movement calls for creation of a European Foundation for the Memory of the Roma Holocaust

25.1.2018 8:35
The pig farm at Lety by Písek, Czech Republic, on the site of a former concentration camp for Romani prisoners. (PHOTO:  Archive Romea.cz)
The pig farm at Lety by Písek, Czech Republic, on the site of a former concentration camp for Romani prisoners. (PHOTO: Archive Romea.cz)

The European Grassroots Antiracist Movement has published a call for the creation of a European Foundation for the Memory of the Roma Holocaust. Currently the idea is supported by both non-Roma and Romani figures as well as by 249 MPs from 28 countries.

The call begins by stating that "Soon, the pig farm built on the site of the former concentration camp will be destroyed. The fetid smell that inevitably envelops visitors will have disappeared. The stele placed on the mass graves will be moved. A memorial will be built. More than 70 years after the end of the Second World War, the site of the former camp for Roma people at Lety, in the Czech Republic, will finally be treated with the dignity it deserves. The 'locucide' – the crime against the place – of Lety will finally be stopped. It was anything but easy to achieve: only thanks to an exceptional mobilization of European civil society, Roma and non- Roma together, have the Czech authorities and private owners finally concluded an agreement for the purchase of the pig farm with a view [to] its destruction. [...] As the Lety case demonstrates, it is only through a determined and unified commitment from civil society and institutions that the history of persecution of the Roma people, of which the genocide was the culminating point and which [persecution is being] perpetuate[d] until today, can be put to an end. This is why we call for the creation of a European Foundation for the Memory of Roma Holocaust!"

EGAM says the proposed foundation would support research activities, the collection of testimonies from eyewitnesses and their descendants, the creation of archives and exhibitions, and the organization of scientific symposia to facilitate better comprehension of the facts and significance of this history, with an important component involving investment into education and the inclusion of this subject in school curricula. The activities of the foundation would contribute to combating racism, discrimination and social exclusion, which EGAM says are a consequence of the past persecution of Romani people.

voj, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Diskriminace, EGAM, Holocaust, Lety u Písku



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