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October 22, 2019
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romský holocaust

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Czech MP apologizes for "imprecision", then urges people to read historian who calls the Romani Holocaust a "myth"

4.2.2018 8:48 The chair of the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" party (SPD), Czech MP Tomio Okamura, who is a vice-chair of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, responded through Facebook on 2 February to the Museum of Romani Culture's request that he apologize for his deceptive remarks about the concentration camp for Romani people at Lety u Písku. In his statement, Okamura apologizes for his imprecise remarks about the fencing of the camp at Lety u Písku before proceeding to quote Jan Rataj, a history professor who alleges that the Protectorate's "Gypsy Camps" were not concentration camps and who said in an interview for the tabloid Parlamentní listy that to call them such is to perpetuate a "myth" that is being politically exploited.  full story

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Jana Horváthová: Today Czech society perceives removing the pig farm from the Roma genocide site as necessary

19.12.2017 6:01 On Thursday, 23 November a breakthrough moment happened with the signing of the contract to buy out the pig farm in Lety u Písku. The farm has been standing since the 1970s on the place where, during the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, a so-called "Gypsy camp" used to be, a place where Czech Roma and Sinti were forcibly interned in order to then be transported to Auschwitz.  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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US Chargé d’Affaires at Roma Holocaust site: I pay tribute to the Czech Government's pledge to solve the problem of the pig farm

16.5.2017 7:01 Chargé d’Affaires Kelly Adams-Smith from the Embassy of the United States of America in Prague reminded those assembled at the Lety Memorial on 13 May for the commemorative ceremony at Lety u Písku of the importance of such ceremonies for honoring the memory of the Romani victims of the Holocaust, adding: cNews server Romea.cz publishes her speech in full here:
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video VIDEO: How did Romani people live in the Czech lands before they were sent to concentration camps? Exhibition "A Vanished World" in Prague shows how

3.5.2017 16:35 The travelling exhibition "A Vanished World" (Zaniklý svět), about the indigenous Czech Roma and Sinti people during the interwar period, has been prepared by the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust (Výbor pro odškodnění romského holocaustu - VPORH) and will be on display in Prague between now and October. Through rare archival materials and photographs from that era, the exhibition presents the lives of Roma and Sinti people in the Czech lands prior to their imprisonment in the Nazi concentration camps.  full story

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Czech Republic: Romani Holocaust Memorial at Hodonín to open this summer

17.1.2017 7:49 The memorial to the Romani Holocaust at Hodonín u Kunštátu will open to visitors this summer. Trial operations should begin in July and the official opening will take place in August.  full story

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Renata Berkyová: Who were the guards at Lety by Písek?

7.11.2016 8:58 Even though more than half a century has passed since the camp at Lety by Písek came into existence, to this day that place and especially its story continues to spark tempestuous emotions. For some, the Romani Holocaust is one of the most tragic episodes in the life of the Czech Roma, while for others this controversial topic seems, at a minimum, one that it is appropriate to cast doubt on or to exploit as a way to score votes  full story

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Czech religious representatives fly Roma flag in honor of Holocaust victims

3.8.2016 16:19 Yesterday in Prague the Roma flag was flown together with the flags of three religious societies in the Czech Republic in honor of the victims of the Roma Holocaust. From 2 August to 3 August 1944, almost 3 000 Roma and Sinti were murdered in the concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and 2 August is therefore commemorated as Roma Holocaust Memorial Day throughout Europe.  full story

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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Czech Republic: Commemorations of Romani Holocaust victims tomorrow in Prague

1.8.2016 19:01 Prague-based Christian and Jewish organizations have prepared several commemorative events for tomorrow's International Roma Holocaust Remembrance Day. The religious
groups plan to honor Roma Holocaust victims in several ways.  full story

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Czech Republic: 11 organizations call on Terezín to fly the LGBTQ and Romani flags during traditional commemoration

29.4.2016 11:22 Eleven organizations working on LGBTQ and Romani topics have called on the Terezín Memorial to fly the LGBTQ (Rainbow) flag and the Romani flag next to the flags of nations whose members fell victim to Nazi persecution. "To our great surprise, there is no Romani flag flown at Terezín even though, together with Jewish people, it is the Roma as a group who were affected most by Nazi persecution in the Czech lands. More than 90 % of the interwar Romani population did not survive racial persecution and the war itself," the organizations write in an open letter to the members of the Commission for the Organization of the Terezín commemoration, which news server Romea.cz is publishing here in full translation.  full story

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New Czech website focuses on the Romani Holocaust

26.1.2016 19:28 On Wednesday, 27 January, the world will honor the memory of the millions of victims of the Holocaust. On this occasion the In IUSTITIA public benefit corporation, the only group in the Czech Republic comprehensively dedicated to the issue of hate violence, is launching an educational website focused on the topic of the Romani Holocaust, sometimes referred to as the Porajmos.  full story

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Germany: Unidentified perpetrator spray-paints "Gas them" on Romani Holocaust memorial in Berlin

30.10.2015 22:37 Yesterday in Berlin an unidentified perpetrator has damaged the memorial to Romani people murdered by the Nazis during the Second World War. Police and security services are investigating the case.  full story

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Czech Labor Minister says pig farm must be removed from Roma Holocaust site

14.5.2015 8:04 On Wednesday, 13 May, the annual commemoration ceremony for the Romani victims of Nazism took place at the Lety Memorial. The gathering is traditionally organized by the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust in the Czech Republic (VPORH), which brings together former prisoners of Nazi concentration camps who are Romani and their relatives.  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

The forgotten Holocaust: Romani victims of the Holocaust and their place in the Czech past and present

26.1.2015 23:19, (ROMEA) On 27 January 1945 the Red Army liberated the complex of Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz, where millions of people from all over Europe suffered and died. Among them were the Romani children, men and women in the so-called "Gypsy Family Camp" in one section of Auschwitz-Birkenau.  full story

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Czech Republic: Demonstration at Terezín will demand Romani victims of Holocaust be honored

Terezín, 19.1.2015 16:35, (ROMEA) During the commemorative ceremony on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on 27 January, a demonstration demanding that Romani victims of the Holocaust be honored will take place at Terezín. The protest is being convened by the Konexe association, which among other things has long fought to see the pig farm on the site of a former concentration camp for Roma at Lety by Písek be removed  full story

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Czech Roma Holocaust victims and their relatives file criminal charges against MP

Prague, 26.9.2014 0:28, (ROMEA) The chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust (Výbor pro odškodnění romského holocaustu - VPORH), Mr Čeněk Růžička, the ROMEA, o.p.s. organization, Mr Miroslav Kováč of the Equal Opportunities Party and Mr Michal Miko of the Slovo 21 association filed criminal charges against Czech MP Tomio Okamura on 2 September for the statements he made on the eve of the Roma Holocaust Remembrance Day doubting the existence of the so-called "gypsy camp" at Lety by Písek and downplaying the deaths of the hundreds imprisoned there, including children. The charges were filed by Mr Kováč and Mr Růžička in person at the District State Prosecutor for Prague 5 and included extensive appendices documenting the merits of their submission and the publicly available historical information that Okamura either ignored or even lied about in his public statement.  full story

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