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September 23, 2018
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Members of the European Parliament urge European Commission to move EU-subsidized pig farm from Lety site

17.10.2016 15:42
The pig farm at Lety by Písek, Czech Republic. (PHOTO:  Konexe Archive)
The pig farm at Lety by Písek, Czech Republic. (PHOTO: Konexe Archive)

More than 80 legislators, some with the European Parliament and many at national level in 20 different EU Member States, have urged the head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, to begin addressing the situation of the former concentration camp for Romani people at Lety by Písek, where an industrial pig farm stands today. The legislators say the genocide of Romani people was perpetrated at that site and the EU must commit to making sure it is in a dignified state.

The legislators' open letter has been published by the Belgian newspaper Le Soir. "Hundreds of Roma were reduced to a state of forced labor, died in the camp, or were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Since 1973, an industrial pig farm has been operating on the site of the camp. This means putrid odors, an ignorance regarding the history of the site... In a few words: a stain on the dignity of the dead and the living," the letter states.

"Recently, the [Czech] Deputy-Prime Minister and Finance Minister has even publicly denied the nature of the concentration camp, before being forced to apologize..." the legislators write. "Therefore, we ask you, Mr. President, to not cast the responsibility onto others but to fully engage the European Commission... Along with the European civil society, we want to work with you towards this end. It is a question of dignity. For the dead, for the survivors, for their descendants, for the Roma, for all. For Europe."

The letter is also signed by Benjamin Abtan, the chair of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM). A total of 19 MEPs and 61 national parliamentarians from 20 EU Member States signed as well, none from the Czech Republic itself.

agw, th, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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