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October 28, 2021



Exhibition in Lidice on the pre-war life of Czech Roma

Lidice, 11.2.2011 14:26, (ROMEA)

An exhibition outlining the lives of Czech Roma before World War Two will open on Wednesday at the Lidice Memorial in Central Bohemia.

It will also outline the history of the wartime, interment camp for Roma based in Lety, South Bohemia.

The camp was opened in August 1940, initially as a corrective labour facility for those men (including travellers) who could not prove how they made a living. A similar establishment also existed in Hodonin, South Moravia, before the two became Roma detention camps in 1942.

In the space of nine months between August 1942 and May 1943, 1038 Roma were placed in the Lety camp, of whom 327 died there and over 500 were transported to be killed at Auschwitz.

Head of the memorial Milous Cervencl has said how after the Nazi regime came to an end, only a fraction of the Roma from Bohemia and Moravia returned to the areas, somewhere in the region of 500 to 800 out of a previously registered 6,500.

Last June, a dedicatory site was opened near the former Lety camp. In Hodonin, a recreation complex was established in place of the camp. However, the Education Ministry has bought the facility with the intention of creating an information and education centre there.

The total number of Roma who died at the hands of the Nazis is estimated to be between 220,000 and 500,000. This included 90% of the Czech Roma population.

Minesh Patel, Prague Daily Monitor
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