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August 18, 2018
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Čeněk Růžička (Prague, 2018) (PHOTO: Tereza Heková, Romea.cz)
Čeněk Růžička (Prague, 2018) (PHOTO: Tereza Heková, Romea.cz)

Vice-chair of Czech lower house refuses to discuss Romani genocide with relative of victims live online

11.2.2018 19:47 The chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust, Čeněk Růžička, says the recent remarks by the vice-chair of the Chamber of Deputies, Tomio Okamura, about the concentration camp for Roma at Lety u Písku are outrageous and unacceptable to the relatives of the victims and survivors. He gave that assessment during a live online program on news server iDNES.cz, "Rozstřel" ("Shootout").  full story

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Czech MP marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day by doubting what happened at Romani genocide site

30.1.2018 7:08 The Czech Museum of Romani Culture is asking that Czech MP Tomio Okamura, a vice-chair of the lower house, publicly apologize for his remark about the WWII-era concentration camp for Romani people at Lety u Písku. In an interview for the online DVTV television channel on Saturday, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Okamura referenced a book that he alleged has described the camp as having not been fenced and people being free to come and go from it.  full story

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Czech Republic: International student conference on "European Roma Identity in the 20th Century"

11.12.2017 6:41 From 7-9 December 2017 a student conference entitled "European Roma Identity in the 20th Century" took place in Prague at the Scout Institute. The event was organized by Antikomplex and the Terezín Initiative Institute in collaboration with other partners in a project of the same name.  full story

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Czech company that owns pig farm on Roma genocide site will appeal order to return subsidy due to EU anti-fraud investigation

11.10.2017 16:21 Czech Radio reported on 5 October that the AGPI firm must return a subsidy of EUR 375 000 in Czech and EU funds which it applied for in order to reconstruct an egg factory in Vrcovice u Písku. The firm is primarily known to the general public as the operator of the pig farm standing on a site in Lety u Písku where Romani people fell victim to the Holocaust.  full story

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Canada removes plaque from its first National Holocaust Monument after backlash

9.10.2017 15:01 The Guardian reports that Canada’s first National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa was opened on September 27th. Designed by a team led by Gail Dexter Lord, the son of Holocaust survivors, the monument takes the shape of the yellow star that Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany and the territories under Nazi occupation.
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“Tracing the Legacies of the Roma Genocide: Families as Transmitters of Experience and Memory,” explored the oral and written testimonies of Roma genocide survivors and descendants.

Roma and Sinti Genocide Survivors, Descendants and Scholars Unite in Prague

26.9.2017 10:30 Roma and Sinti Genocide Survivors, Descendants and Scholars Unite in Prague By Clare Profous.  full story

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Hundreds of Romani people from around the Czech Republic and Europe to attend 13 May ceremony at Lety by Písek

3.5.2017 15:34 Romani people from all over Europe - and not only they - are planning to assemble on 13 May at the memorial at Lety by Písek to honor the memory of the Romani victims of the Holocaust. The commemorative event is organized by the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust (Výbor pro odškodnění romského holokaustu - VPORH), which brings together the former prisoners of Nazi camps and their family members.  full story

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Croatia: Jewish community boycotts official Holocaust commemoration

6.2.2017 6:33 The Associated Press has reported that the Jewish community in Croatia has boycotted the official state ceremony held on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January. The decision was meant to protest the Croatian Government not doing enough, in the Jewish community's view, to suppress pro-Nazi sentiment in the country.  full story

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Czech performance of "Gypsy Boxer" in Brno postponed due to illness

30.1.2017 7:03 Brno's Buranteatr was scheduled to give a repeat performance of the play "Gypsy Boxer" (Cikánský boxer) by the German playwright Rike Reiniger, directed by Gabriela Krečmerová, today, but has canceled because of illness and will announce a new date for the performance soon. The commemorative one-man show recalls the fate of the Romani (Sinto) boxer Johann Trollman, who became the boxing champion of Germany in 1933.  full story

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How you can aid the people trapped in Aleppo, Syria

18.12.2016 22:58 The horrifying photographs and video footage of what is currently happening in Aleppo are probably being seen right now by all of us. Many of us are asking ourselves: What can I do?  full story

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International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance met with Czech Government about removing the pig farm at Lety concentration camp site

18.9.2016 14:16 On 12 July an International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) delegation including the IHRA Chair, Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, attended high level meetings in the Czech Republic to discuss the future of the former concentration camp site of Lety u Pisku where a pig farm currently stands. Martina Maschke, Chair of the IHRA Committee on the Genocide of the Roma and Mirjam Karoly, ODIHR's Senior Adviser on Roma and Sinti Issues formed part of the delegation and reflect below on their visit to the site.
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Member of Czech Freedom Fighters' Union says chair did not speak for her during the Terezín commemoration

17.5.2016 15:02 As a member of the Founding Organization of the Czech Freedom Fighters' Union (ČSBS) in Kladno, I must respond to the speech given by the chair of the ČSBS, Jaroslav Vodička, on behalf of all the members of the ČSBS during the official speeches at the Terezín commemoration on 15 May 2016. Speaking as a representative of the ČSBS, Vodička called for protecting our borders against refugees and for the protection of our culture.  full story

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Czech Republic: Museum of Romani Culture holds commemorative ceremony on anniversary of genocide of Bohemian and Moravian Roma

14.3.2016 19:48 A commemorative ceremony marking the first mass transport of Romani men, women and children from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia to the Auschwitz concentration camp was held last week in Brno. The trains to Auschwitz set out on 7 March 1943 from the local municipally-run animal slaughterhouses.  full story

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European Roma and Travellers Forum launches website for Roma Holocaust commemorations

27.7.2015 20:39 To mark the 71st anniversary of the Holocaust of the Roma (Pharrajimos) during WWII, the European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) has launched a website, www.2august.ertf.org. The NGO is calling for collaboration on establishing a "centralized information point" about this history.  full story

Rita Izsák, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues (PHOTO: Violaine Martin, Flickr)

UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues: The so-called “Roma issue” is not merely a poverty question

25.6.2015 20:23 All Independent Experts of the UN are required by the Human Rights Council (HRC) to present annual reports on their work during one of the HRC's regular sessions in Geneva. Based on an HRC resolution adopted in 2014, the Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Dr Rita Izsák, was invited to present an additional study on the human rights situation of Roma worldwide, with a particular focus on the phenomenon of anti-Gypsyism.  full story

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Austria still trying to decide what to do with Hitler's birthplace

Braunau am Inn, Austria, 1.5.2015 0:44 "It's the same circus here every year," mumbles a passer-by, glancing at the small assembly in front of the golden-yellow facade. Adolf Hitler still casts a shadow over his birthplace of Braunau am Inn even 70 years after his suicide on 30 April 1945.  full story

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UK tabloid columnist calls African refugees "cockroaches"

28.4.2015 0:45 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has charged the British tabloid The Sun with inciting hatred of immigrants. The daily published a column in which author Katie Hopkins compares African refugees to "cockroaches" and talks about them as "savages".  full story

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Activists lament Czech Police response to MP's denial of Romani genocide

Prague, 14.11.2014 18:46, (ROMEA) All of the people involved in filing a criminal report against Czech MP Tomio Okamura, chair of the "Dawn of Direct Democracy" (Úsvit) movement, over his lying remarks about the Romani genocide have spoken with news server Romea.cz about the response to their criminal report from the Police of the Czech Republic. Čeněk Růžička, chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Romani Holocaust in the Czech Republic, disagrees with the police findings, as do the others who reported Okamura's wrongdoing, and considers the brief argument presented by the police to be absurd.  full story

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Markus Pape: What brings Europe's Roma together

Auschwitz/Prague, 18.8.2014 19:54, (ROMEA) The annual assemblies of Romani people that are Europe-wide in scope can be counted on the fingers of one hand. One such gathering is for the commemoration of the largest single massacre of Romani people during the Nazi era.  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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