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October 23, 2019
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Lety u Písku

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Czech Museum of Romani Culture and ROMEA to hold public discussion on the future form of Romani genocide memorial

23.2.2018 14:16 The Museum of Romani Culture, s.p.o., and ROMEA o.p.s. are holding a public discussion next week on the future possible form and role of the Lety u Písku memorial called "Restoring Dignity to the Remembrance Site at Lety u Písku". The debate follows on from a meeting held by the Lety Platform working group initiated by the Institute of the Terezín Initiative and the Museum of Romani Culture and will endeavor to further develop dialogue among victims' relatives, historians, the relevant institutions and members of the public who are interested in Lety u Písku as a remembrance site and symbol in the Czech Republic of the recognition of the Holocaust of the Roma.  full story

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Norway Grants to partially finance memorial to Romani genocide victims in Czech Republic

14.2.2018 14:17 Speaking at a conference yesterday in Prague, Norwegian Ambassador Siri Ellen Sletner said Norway Grants wants to be involved in building the memorial on the site of the former concentration camp at Lety u Písku that will ensure Holocaust victims who are Romani will finally have the dignified commemorative site they deserve. The pig farm now on the site was bought last year by the Czech Government and is being vacated.


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Czech Social Democratic head recommends removal of lower house vice-chair because of his deceptive remarks about Romani genocide site

12.2.2018 7:43 The acting head of the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD), former Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec, has said he will support removing the chair of the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" movement (SPD), Czech MP Tomio Okamura, from his position as vice-chair of the Chamber of Deputies when the legislature reconvenes. The Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) are proposing the move because of Okamura's recent controversial remarks about the Protectorate-era concentration camp at Lety u Písku.  full story

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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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videoČeněk Růžička reports crime to Czech State Prosecutor, accuses lower house vice-chair of doubting the Romani genocide

8.2.2018 18:37 The chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust (VPORH), Čeněk Růžička, visited the state prosecutor today on behalf of the victims and survivors of the concentration camp at Lety u Písku and their relatives to accuse the vice-chair of the Chamber of Deputies, Tomio Okamura, and Czech MP Miloslav Rozner (both SPD), of breaking the law on Holocaust denial. Růžička is not hopeful that the police will be able to press charges, but said he had no choice but to bring the accusation.  full story

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Outgoing Czech PM backs MP who doubted Romani Holocaust, says he has apologized and his words have been "misinterpreted"

7.2.2018 16:32 Outgoing Czech PM Andrej Babiš (ANO) says that he believes the chair of the SPD movement, Tomio Okamura, has already apologized for his remarks about the Protectorate-era
concentration camp at Lety u Písku, a site of the genocide of the Roma during the Second World War. When asked today whether he supports removing Okamura from his post as vice-chair of the lower house, as the Christian Democrats propose, the PM said he considers Okamura's apology to have been sufficient.  full story

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European Grassroots Antiracist Movement calls Czech MP's remarks about Romani genocide site classic Holocaust denial

6.2.2018 8:51 The European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM) has condemned the recent remarks by the chair of the SPD party in the Czech Republic, Tomio Okamura, about the Protectorate-era concentration camp for Romani people at Lety u Písku. Okamura said that he believed the camp had not been fenced and that the people there had been able to come and go freely.  full story

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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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Czech round table on Romani genocide memorial: Relatives of victims must have the last word

2.2.2018 19:36 Almost 30 people from various fields gathered on 26 January 2018 at the invitation of the Terezín Initiative Institute and the Museum of Romani Culture for a round table at the Institute's headquarters in the building of the former Jewish school on Jáchymova Street in Prague to discuss the possible creation of a Lety Platform that would, as a working group, discuss the form of the future remembrance site at Lety u Písku. In addition to representatives of both institutions (historians and professional staff) representatives of the Office of the Government, the Czech Government Council for Romani Minority Affairs, the Czech Culture Ministry, activists and naturally the relatives of the victims of the camp at Lety and the camp at Hodonín u Kunštátu sat at the same table to discuss the future of the memorials.  full story

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Czech Constitutional Court receives complaint over buyout of pig farm on Romani genocide site

2.2.2018 7:03 The Czech Constitutional Court received a complaint in mid-January about the approval of the handover of the pig farm in Lety (Písek district) to the state. The daily Lidové noviny (LN) reported yesterday that the filing concerns the decree through which the previous coalition government of Bohuslav Sobotka (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) approved of the purchase last August.  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 Museum of Romani Culture to sign cooperation agreement with European Grassroots Antiracist Movement tomorrow

25.1.2018 9:24 On Friday, 26 January at 18:00 there will be a celebration at the French Institute in Prague to mark the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM) and the Museum of Romani Culture in Brno, Czech Republic. The institutions pledge to collaborate on defining the future concept of the memorial at the site of the former concentration camp for Romani people at Lety.  full story

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European Grassroots Antiracist Movement calls for creation of a European Foundation for the Memory of the Roma Holocaust

25.1.2018 8:35 The European Grassroots Antiracist Movement has published a call for the creation of a European Foundation for the Memory of the Roma Holocaust. Currently the idea is supported by both non-Roma and Romani figures as well as by 249 MPs from 28 countries.  full story

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Czech Culture Minister: Buyout of pig farm was important, human dignity cannot be measured in money

19.1.2018 7:31 News server Novinky.cz published an interview on 17 January with Czech Culture Minister Ilja Šmíd in which he said he agrees with the amount of money paid to buy out the pig farm in Lety u Písku that stands on the site of a former concentration camp for Romani people because this was an important step and human dignity cannot be measured in monetary terms. "The last Government made that decision and I am convinced it was absolutely correct as far as the amount paid to buy the farm," the minister said.

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Czech Republic: ROMEA plans public debates about future of Roma genocide site once Museum of Romani Culture takes over

12.1.2018 9:25 Kristina Kohoutová, spokesperson for the Museum of Romani Culture in the Czech Republic, announced in a press release on 9 January that the Museum will be assuming ownership of the grounds of the soon-to-be closed pig farm at Lety (Písek district) in March. During WWII the location was used as a labor camp and as a detention camp for Romani people.  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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Director of Terezín Initiative Institute invites Czech politicians to join tour of former concentration camp for Roma

9.12.2017 17:13 The director of the Terezín Initiative Institute, Tereza Štěpková, sent an invitation on 6 December to the chair of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM), Vojtěch Filip, and the chair of the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" party, Tomio Okamura, offering them a guided tour of the site of the former concentration camp for Romani people at Lety u Písku which is currently occupied by a pig farm. She did so in response to the politicians' statements against the state buying out the farm.  full story

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videoČeněk Růžička, recipient of the Alice G. Masaryk Award: Sobotka's Government was brave enough to come to terms with the Roma Holocaust

8.12.2017 15:23 On the occasion of International Human Rights Day (10 December), US Ambassador Stephen King gave the Alice Garrigue Masaryk Award to the chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Romani Holocaust (VPORH), Čeněk Růžička, as his first official act in office. The Romea.cz server publishes Mr. Růžička's speech at the award ceremony.  full story

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videoSPEECH: US Ambassador Stephen King on the 2017 Alice Garrigue Masaryk Award

8.12.2017 15:20 On the occasion of International Human Rights Day (10 December), US Ambassador Stephen King gave the Alice Garrigue Masaryk Award to the chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Romani Holocaust (VPORH), Čeněk Růžička, as his first official act in office. Romea.cz publishes a U.S. Ambsassador´s speech for Human Rights Award Ceremony.  full story

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Czech legislators attack state's buyout of pig farm on Roma genocide site

7.12.2017 14:33 The chair of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM), Vojtěch Filip, and the chair of the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" party (SPD), Tomio Okamura, have questioned whether the state should buy the pig farm in Lety u Písku that stands on the site of a former concentration camp for Romani people during discussion in the lower house on 5 December. The state has concluded a purchase contract with the owner of the farm.  full story

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