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May 27, 2018
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Arne Mann speaking on 21 May 2018 at Kampus Hybernská in Prague during the discussion on contemporary research into the Holocaust, its Romani victims, and the commemoration of such victims in the public space. (PHOTO: Petr Zewlakk Vrabec, Romea.cz)
Arne Mann speaking on 21 May 2018 at Kampus Hybernská in Prague during the discussion on contemporary research into the Holocaust, its Romani victims, and the commemoration of such victims in the public space. (PHOTO: Petr Zewlakk Vrabec, Romea.cz)

Public discussion reviews Czech and Slovak policies and practices of commemorating the Holocaust and its Romani victims

24.5.2018 8:12 ROMEA o.p.s. in collaboration with the Prague Forum for Romani Histories at the Czech Academy of Sciences‘ Institute for Contemporary History, the Museum of Romani Culture (MRC) and the Romani Studies Seminar at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University has just held the third in their series of public debates on the occasion of the state buying out the pig farm facility in Lety u Písku because of its location on a genocide site. The panel discussion, "Holocaust of the Roma: Contemporary Research in Czechoslovak Context" was attended by almost 60 people and took place in the unique venue that is Kampus Hybernská, a joint project of the City of Prague and the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague.  full story

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Prague Forum for Romani Histories launches Czech website, panel on Holocaust research MONDAY

19.5.2018 8:45 Romani communities live around the world and historians worldwide take an interest in them, but their research efforts frequently remain isolated from each other. Connecting historical research to Romani communities is the ambition of the Prague Forum for Romani Histories, which was created in September 2016 in Prague during the first session of its governing committee.  full story

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videoMuseum of the Romani National Revival to open with "A Century of Roma in Czechoslovakia" exhibit

15.5.2018 9:21 On Thursday, 10 May an informal gathering of selected Romani figures was held at the Divadlo v Korunní theater in Prague by the newly-established Museum of the Romani National Revival. The Museum has been established by Emil Ščuka, who was previously part of the birth of the Roma Civic Initiative (ROI) in the 1990s and became its first chair.  full story

Margareta Matache and Cornel West on the common struggle of African Americans and Roma against white normativity

26.2.2018 7:57 Margareta Matache, a Roma rights activist and scholar who directs the Roma Program at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, and Cornel West, an American author and civil rights activist who is currently Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard, have co-authored an analysis for The Guardian newspaper in the UK on the commonalities between the struggles of African Americans and Romani people for equality. The piece notes that the history of African Americans and Romani people bear similarities with respect to the way "white policymakers" have employed similar tactics against members of both groups in order to maintain "white normativity, social power, and privilege".  full story

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Czech historian reminds public that cruel abuse was perpetrated at concentration camp for Roma in Moravia

20.2.2018 6:44 Michal Schuster, an historian with the Terezín Initiative Institute in Prague, has described the operations of the former concentration camp at Hodonín u Kunštátu in Moravia in an interview for the Brno edition of news server iDNES.cz. Given the recent remarks made by Czech politicians Tomio Okamura and Miroslav Rozner casting doubt on the camps, Schuster said he believes the public is not able to draw accurate comparisons when it comes to Holocaust victims who are Romani.

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Czech Republic: Unique "Memory of the Roma" project keeps historical memory alive through video

7.2.2018 7:33 Over a cup of coffee in her apartment in Rokycany, Czech Republic, 67-year-old Květa Tůmová Tomášová recalls the stories of her family, whose roots are in the Šariš region of eastern Slovakia. She talks about labor camps, partisans, the Second World War, the postwar migration to the Czech Republic, her childhood in Rokycany, and the classroom where she and her brother Mírák were the only Romani children.  full story

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Czech Republic: Professor Ctibor Nečas, a pioneer in researching the history of the Roma, has passed away

22.12.2017 17:18 Professor PhDr. Ctibor Nečas, DrSc., an emeritus professor at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic who was a pioneer of research into the history of ethnic Romani people and the Holocaust, passed away on Tuesday, 19 December. Jana Horváthová, director of the Museum of Romani Culture, informed news server Romea.cz of the news on 21 December.  full story

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Monika Mihaličková: In Romanes we never say "Me som cikános" ["I am a gypsy"]

20.12.2017 13:13 Romale, recently I have very frequently encountered debates on the subject of whether we are Roma or "gypsies". I comprehend that this society is confused and does not know what name to call our nation.  full story

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Special issue of Romano voďi magazine on Romani Holocaust and Czech state buyout of pig farm on genocide site

30.11.2017 8:17 The Czech and Romanes language magazine Romano voďi has dedicated most of its November issue to the subject of the Romani Holocaust. As the year comes to an end, the editors believe it is important to recall the dates and contexts that preceded the historically significant, groundbreaking decision by the Czech Government in August to buy out the pig farm on the site of the former camp at Lety.  full story

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Lívia Járóka becomes first ever Romani Vice-President of the European Parliament

16.11.2017 10:53 Lívia Járóka (Fidesz, EPP) of Hungary has been elected Vice-President of the European Parliament (EP) and has become the historically first MEP of Romani origin to achieve such an important post. "If I have the honor of being elected, my mission and role as the first Vice President of Romani origin will be not just to aid the 10 million-strong Romani community who have been victims of discrimination and segregation for many years, but also the 120 million people living in economic and social exclusion," news server INFO.cz quoted her as saying in a letter to her colleagues.

 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.
 full story

“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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Some Romani activists do not want future genocide memorial at Lety to be run by the Czech state

14.8.2017 18:05 Some representatives of the Romani community agree that the memorial to the Romani victims of the Holocaust at Lety u Písku should not be administered by the state. However, they do not yet have an idea about how the memorial site itself should look.  full story

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videoCzech historian from Museum of Romani Culture: Let's discuss what comes after the pig farm is removed from the Roma genocide site

23.7.2017 11:02 If the land on which the pig farm built on the site of a former WWII-era concentration camp for Romani people at Lety is actually bought by the Czech state from the AGPI firm, the Museum of Romani Culture wants to be part of the larger discussion as to what happens next. Dušan Slačka, a historian at the museum, has said so in an interview with news server Romea.cz (shown above with English subtitles - turn them on by clicking the gear icon and choosing "Nastaveni", then "Angličtina").  full story

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Ninety years ago the Czechoslovak authorities issued law on "wandering gypsies", took fingerprints for "gypsy identification cards"

15.7.2017 14:13 Ninety years ago, the Chamber of Deputies of the National Assembly of the Republic of Czechoslovakia approved a law "on wandering gypsies" on 14 July 1927 that took effect as Act 117/1927 Coll. and remained on the books until the year 1950. According to its first paragraph, the law was meant to apply to "wandering gypsies", defined as "gypsies wandering from place to place and other vagabonds avoiding work who live the gypsy way of life."  full story

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videoArcheological research confirms most of former concentration camp at Lety is on pig farm land

14.7.2017 7:16 Archeological research is being carried out at the site of the former concentration camp at Lety u Písku aiming to precisely locate the former camp and find any eventual artefacts from the time of its operation. The research has been carried out on just a small part of the camp because the vast majority of its area is located on the grounds of the pig farm owned by the AGPI company.  full story

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Czech Republic: Romani Resistance Day event connects Auschwitz uprising with tenants whose power has been cut

17.5.2017 10:17 International Romani Resistance Day was marked for the first time on 16 May 2017 by residents of Brno, Czech Republic with the reading of a play connecting the historical events of 1944 with current events there. Prior to this, the Romani uprising at Auschwitz has only been commemorated in the Czech Republic by a private event at the Lety
Memorial to the concentration camp for Romani people there.  full story

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videoOpening remarks at commemoration quote Romani genocide survivor: "There's a pig farm at Lety. How could they allow that?"

13.5.2017 20:57 The traditional commemorative ceremony at Lety u Písku was opened today at 12 noon by Čeněk Růžička, the chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust
(Výbor pro odškodnění romského holocaustu - VPORH). In his opening remarks he reminded those assembled of the fate of the Roma and Sinti during the Second World War by
recalling the story of one of them, which news server Romea.cz publishes here in full translation.  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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Czech Police expert: Project to improve Romani citizens' faith in the police is a marathon, not a sprint

26.4.2017 8:58 On 11 April the final three-day meeting of the educational project entitled "How to introduce police specialists for work with the minority group of Romani people in socially excluded localities" was held in Zbiroh, Czech Republic. Among those lecturing was Petr Torák, a Romani police officer born in Czechoslovakia who has been made a Member of the British Empire for his service, as well as the director of the Museum of Romani Culture, Jana Horváthová.  full story

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