Cardinal Dominik Duka took part in a commemorative ceremony for Romany
victims of the Holocaust at the Lety memorial in southern Bohemia on Monday.
The event was attended by a number of foreign ambassadors, cultural
dignitaries and Roma representatives. Czech political leaders were notably
absent this year, with the exception of the deputy speaker of the Senate
The Czech government is going to back a motion in the lower house to
establish a remembrance day of the victims of Romany Holocaust, the news
agency ČTK reported on Saturday citing government documents. A group of
MPs from several parties want to introduce March 7 as the Remembrance Day
of the Victims of Romany Persecution during WWII; on that day in 1943, the
first transport of Bohemian and Moravian Romanies was sent to the Auschwitz
extermination camp. In total, nearly 9,000 Romanies were murdered in the
Holocaust, nearly 90 percent of their pre-war population.
All ministries have expressed consent with the idea; however, the Foreign
Ministry noted Holocaust victims are remembered on January 27.
The US State Department, in its annual human rights report, criticised the
Czech Republic for poor conditions suffered by ethnic Romanies, often
socially-excluded and pushed to the periphery. The report maintains,
similarly to previous years, that efforts by the government to try and
improve the situation have been insufficient.
A survey out this week has put Romanies at the bottom of the ladder as the
least popular minority in the Czech Republic. It is not for the first time
that they hold this unenviable position, nor is it likely to be the last.
So what makes the Romany minority so unacceptable in the eyes of the
majority white population? According to the Czech government agency for
social inclusion the media is partly to blame.
Czechs find Slovaks most “likable” and Romanies least “likable”,
suggests an opinion poll released by the CVVM agency. More than
of Czechs questioned in last month’s survey said they found their Slovak
neighbours and former federal partners “likable”, while around the
percentage expressed antipathy to Romanies. The results were in line with
findings in a similar study last year of attitudes to 16 “national
groups” living in the Czech Republic, the Czech News Agency reported.
[ 09.04.2013 ]
The Museum of Roma Culture in the Czech Republic is facing the threat of a
possible merger with the Moravian Museum as a result of the first phase of
savings measures approved by the Czech Government at its 16 January cabinet
session. Disagreement with this plan has been expressed by the Czech
Government Inter-ministerial Commission for Roma Community Affairs, the
Romani Crisis Committee, and many individuals.
[ 09.04.2013 ]
The REF Scholarship Program (REF SP) offers open merit-based competition
academic scholarships for Roma students pursuing Bachelor, Master, or
Doctorate degrees at state-accredited universities in Albania, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia,
Montenegro, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine.
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I want to
send best wishes to all Roma on the occasion of International Roma Day. We
mark the day by celebrating the rich Romani culture and the diverse
contributions of Roma to our societies. On this day, we should reflect on
the obstacles that continue to prevent millions of Roma from realizing their