Czech Republic: Documentary "Shadows of the Romani Holocaust" marks a sad anniversary
On 10 July 1942 the commander of the plainclothes police of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia issued the so-called "Decree on Suppressing the Gypsy Nuisance". On that basis, following the model of the leader of the SS for the Nazi German Reich, the Czech authorities compiled a list of "Gypsies, Gypsy Half-Breeds and persons living in the Gypsy way" which radically changed the lives of the Romani people then living in the Czech lands.
The disciplinary labor camp at Lety by Písek was subsequently changed into a "Gypsy camp" and served as an assembly point from which those imprisoned were sent to their deaths at Auschwitz. A total of 420 prisoners from Lety passed through the gates of that death camp, while several hundred more perished at the camp in Lety before they could be transported to Auschwitz.
This brief documentary film about the former camp at Lety and the current state of the site where it once stood was filmed in 2014 by Renata Berkyová under the supervision of experienced filmmakers from the USA as part of a joint project between the ROMEA organization and Transitions Online. The film is a testament to the losses and pain from this past that still remain unresolved.
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