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On 26 January 2018 a gathering was held in the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. (PHOTO:  www.senat.cz)
On 26 January 2018 a gathering was held in the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. (PHOTO: www.senat.cz)

Czech Parliament marks International Holocaust Memorial Day with Romani speaker

28.1.2018 7:26 Czech MP Radek Vondráček (ANO), speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, addressed a gathering in the Czech Senate Friday on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 27 January, saying that the current civilized state of society should not be taken for granted. Underestimated sparks of the hateful ideologies that have led in the past to people being annihilated because of their different ethnicities or faiths could yet become an uncontrollable blaze, Vondráček said.  full story

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It's official! Czech state to pay roughly CZK 450 million to buy out pig farm on Roma genocide site

24.10.2017 8:07 The Czech state will pay roughly CZK 450 million [EUR 17,548,758], including VAT, to buy out the pig farm at Lety located on the site of a former concentration camp for Romani people. The purchase contract was published by the Czech Government yesterday.

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Czech Republic: Pig farm shareholders to vote again on sale before year-end

24.8.2017 17:39 The Czech News Agency reported on 22 August that after the AGPI firm, which owns the pig farm at Lety, signs the purchase agreement to sell the farm buildings to the state, its shareholders must still agree to the sale at a general assembly. The purchase agreement will then take effect after the new year.  full story

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videoVIDEO: Interview with grandson of the Czechoslovak Romani partisan Josef Serinek

15.8.2017 16:08 A Romani hero of the WWII-era anti-Fascist resistance, the partisan Josef Serinek, was remembered at the end of July by those who attended a tree-planting ceremony in his honor in the Vysočina Region that was held at one of the places where he undertook his resistance work. The event was organized by the Black Partisan (Černý partyzán) initiative led by the former Green Party chair and current director of the Ashoka organization in the Czech Republic, Ondřej Liška, who invited Serinek's grandson Zdeněk to speak.  full story

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The Romani Uprising in Auschwitz, 16 May 1944

16.5.2017 0:01 On 16 May 1944, in the concentration camp at Auschwitz, something completely extraordinary occurred: Romani people imprisoned in the so-called "Gypsy Camp" there rebelled against the SS. This historical event is still almost unknown in the Czech Republic, but 16 May is becoming more and more popular worldwide as Romani Resistance Day.  full story

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Researcher seeks US veterans and others with information about Romani WWII veteran from Czechoslovakia

22.2.2017 14:19 It all began with an interview filmed by Czech Radio during a panel discussion on Roma Genocide Remembrance Day last summer. One participant, a Romani woman, was there to speak about her family and their fate during the Second World War, and she recalled her uncle, Imrich Horváth, telling her how he fought for the freedom of his homeland, first in the ranks of the Soviet Army (for example, during the Battle of the Dukla Pass) and then how, as a scout, he made it across the front lines to the US Army.  full story

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Czech celebration of Veterans' Day featured honor guard in SS uniform and speech calling for opponents of President to hang themselves

22.11.2016 18:08 News server Lidovky.cz reports that a commemorative event on Veterans' Day, 11 November, was held by the Club of Military History in the Czech town of Rakovník and was marked by two controversial incidents. Those who attended the reverent gathering were outraged by the presence of a man wearing a Nazi uniform of the SS and serving as an honor guard next to the memorial to the Czechoslovak pilots from Rakovník who served in the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom during the Second World War.  full story

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Romani heroes: The "Black" Partisan, Josef Serinek

10.10.2016 8:23 Josef Serinek (1900-1974, sometimes also spelled Serynek), a Czech Roma who went by the code name of Černý ("Black"), was a soldier during the First World War, a prisoner of the Lety concentration camp during the Second World War, and later a Partisan commander. After the end of the Second World War he ran a pub called "U černého partyzána" ("At the Black Partisan's Place") in the Czech town of Svitavy.
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Flags in front of the European Commission building in Brussels (PHOTO: Sébastien Bertrand, Wikimedia Commons)

EU Commissioners on Roma Holocaust Memorial Day: Too many Roma are victims of hate crime in Europe

2.8.2016 14:44 News server NewEurope.eu reports that First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, and Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Commissioner Věra Jourová have issued a joint statement on the occasion of Roma Holocaust Memorial Day. The statement recalls that on the night of 2 to 3 August 1944, around 3 000 Roma men, women and children from the "Gypsy family camp" of Auschwitz-Birkenau were murdered in the gas chambers.  full story

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International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and ODIHR issue joint statement on need to ensure dignity for Roma Holocaust remembrance

2.8.2016 14:13 Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), called today for greater efforts to protect endangered memorial sites related to the Roma and Sinti genocide during World War II. Speaking on the occasion of the commemoration of the liquidation of the “Gypsy family camp” at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944, when almost 3 000 Roma and Sinti in the camp were murdered, they stressed that states have to do more to demonstrate their sincere and strong commitment to education about and remembrance of the genocide.  full story

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Statement of the Alliance for the European Roma Institute on the 72nd Anniversary of the Romani Uprising in Auschwitz-Birkenau

18.5.2016 9:50 Today, May 16, 2016, marks the 72nd anniversary of the uprising in the so-called zigeunerlager, “Gypsy Camp,” in Auschwitz-Birkenau. On May 15, 1944, the SS ordered the extermination of the 6,500 women, men and children imprisoned in the zigeunerlager. On the evening of May 16, as the SS trucks surrounded the camp, ordering its inhabitants outside, the Roma and Sinti prisoners refused to come out of the barracks. With stones, work tools, sticks and crudely made weapons, they fought off the SS guards. Such refusal, such resistance, was unprecedented; after a tense face-off, the SS command was ordered to leave the camp and, for the moment, its inhabitants were saved.  full story

Czech Republic: Romani Holocaust memorial to be created within two years in Hodonín

15.8.2015 20:17 The building of a memorial to the former labor and concentration camp at Hodonín by Kunštát is now continuing. "In July the construction site was handed over and digging work is currently underway at the site," Petra Holovková, director of the Hodonín Memorial department of the Jan Amos Comenius National Museum and Library, has told news server Romea.cz.  full story

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Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved Jewish children from the Holocaust, has passed away

1.7.2015 19:20 Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved more than 650 Czechoslovak children from certain death in Nazi camps, has passed away at the age of 106. The Associated Press reports that Winton's son-in-law has announced the news.  full story

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Eva Clarke, born at Mauthausen when the Third Reich collapsed

11.5.2015 10:58 Eva Clarke and her mother Anka Bergman escaped the gas chamber at the Nazi concentration camp of Mauthausen in the nick of time. Eva was born there on 29 April 1945 when the Third Reich collapsed.  full story

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Czech Institute for Study of Totalitarian Regimes: Instruction of WWII subject matter needs to be refined

8.5.2015 9:12 At a press conference organized yesterday by the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (Ústav pro studium totalitních režimů - ÚSTR), representatives of eight educational organizations presented their ideas for improving how the history of the Second World War is taught in the Czech Republic. Those participating in the discussion represented the organizations Antikomplex, Collegium Bohemicum, Československo 38-89, the Terezín Institute Initiative (Institut Terezínské iniciativy), the Museum of Romani Culture (Muzeum romské kultury), the Terezín Memorial (Památník Terezín), ÚSTR and the Jewish Museum in Prague (Židovské muzeum v Praze).  full story

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Mattel causes uproar with use of term "Nazi Poland" in card game

27.4.2015 21:57 Poland has been outraged by the use of the phrase "Nazi Poland" in a popular card game produced by Mattel, the largest toy producer in the USA. Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna has threatened to take the maker of the Barbie and Ken dolls to court unless the game concerned is removed from the market.  full story

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European Parliament proposes official Romani Holocaust Memorial Day

17.4.2015 16:22 On Wednesday 15 April the European Parliament (EP) proposed that European Union Member States recognize 2 August as European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, an occasion for commemorating the suffering that Romani people endured during the Second World War. The EP also called for greater efforts to combat discrimination, hate crimes, and hate speech against Romani people  full story

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Norway apologizes to Roma for WWII-era discrimination, promises compensation

Prague, 11.4.2015 23:59, (ROMEA) Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has apologized for the discrimination perpetrated by Norway against its Romani population prior to and during the Second World War. She also promised the Norwegian authorities would pay Romani people compensation for the measures undertaken against them at that time.  full story

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Čeněk Růžička: We demand review of the police procedure over Okamura's defamation of Romani Holocaust victims

Prague, 12.12.2014 23:11, (ROMEA) The chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Romani Holocaust (Výbor pro odškodnění romského holocaustu - VPORH) Čeněk Růžička,, the ROMEA organization, Michal Miko of the Slovo 21 association and Miroslav Kováč of the Equal Opportunities Party (Strana rovných příležitostí - SRP) have sent the District State Prosecutor for Prague 5 a motion to review the police procedure in the investigation of a report that Tomio Okamura, chair of the "Dawn of Direct Democracy" movement (Úsvit), committed the felony of denying, questioning, approving and justifying genocide. "In this matter we must take advantage of all the options afforded us by law. We cannot close our eyes to the kind of defamation of the memory of the Romani victims of the Holocaust that Tomio Okamura has perpetrated," Růžička previously told news server Romea.cz.  full story

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Czech Republic: More charges to be filed against MP for Roma Holocaust denial

Prague, 8.8.2014 22:53, (ROMEA) On 7 August representatives of several nonprofit organizations met with the chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust (Výboru pro odškodnění romského holocaustu - VPORH), Čeněk Růžička. The topic of the meeting was reaching agreement on filing a joint criminal complaint against Czech MP Tomio Okamura over the remarks he made in an interview for the political tabloid Parlamentní listy on the eve of Roma Holocaust Memorial Day.  full story

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