Search
19.2.2020
NEWS

HISTORY

TRADITIONS, CULTURE

PERSONALITIES

USEFUL CONTACTS

PHOTOS OF THE ROMA

VARIOUS

RADIO PRAGUE










Česky English Deutsch Francais
Government plans to acquire Lety site
26-05-2005 - Daniela Lazarova

Sixty years after the end of the German occupation, the Czech Republic's Roma community finally has hope that a concentration camp where several hundred Romanies died, will be turned into a proper memorial site. Following pressure from the European Parliament and activists here in the Czech Republic, the Czech government has announced that it will take steps to acquire the site and secure the relocation of a pig farm that has become a deep international embarrassment to the country.

The pig farm built on the Lety camp site Moving the offensive pig farm from the site of a former concentration camp for Roma has proved a serious problem for a succession of post-communist Czech governments. When the existence of the wartime camp attracted media attention over a decade ago, the then government of Vaclav Klaus built a memorial close by, while the Social Democrat Cabinet of Milos Zeman actually attempted to buy the farm for 150 million crowns or over 6 million US dollars. The owners refused the deal on the grounds that relocating the farm would cost over five times that amount, a figure that the Zeman cabinet said that it simply didn't have available.

So Lety has remained an ethical problem and it is obviously not just a question of money. As some commentators point out, had this been a concentration camp for Jews the pig farm would have been removed long ago. There is little public interest in having the farm removed, and the Roma minority itself is clearly not strong enough to enforce such a move on its own.

The concentration camp Lety u Pisku Moreover a European Parliament resolution approved just a month ago threatened to complicate the matter further, when it called on the Czech authorities to do something about Lety. Many Czech MEPs were hostile to what they saw as interference from Brussels and said that Prague would not be ordered around. Czech MEP Miloslav Ransdorf even argued that Lety was never a concentration camp in the true sense of the word and that what happened there was not a crime on the same level as the genocide in the camps in Poland, Germany and Austria. This view was recently supported by President Vaclav Klaus, adding more fuel to the fire of the ongoing Lety debate.

The government now hopes to put an end to the squabbles. The Prime Minister has said he is resolved to find some way of acquiring the property. What is still less than clear, is where the money is going to come from.



Related articles
DateTitleFeature
13.09.2019Archaeologists discover graves of Roma persecuted during WWII in Lety campNews
24.11.2017Council of Europe commissioner welcomes Lety pig farm dealNews
01.08.2017Culture minister: sale of Lety pig farm is “done deal”News
26.07.2017Culture Minister says buyout of controversial pig farm at Lety only weeks awayNews
13.07.2017Archaeologists map out precise contours of Nazi-era Lety concentration campNews
26.06.2017Activists meet at Lety to keep pressure on government to remove controversial pig farmNews
08.11.2016Culture minister: Important hurdle falls on the way to a buyout of the pig-farm at LetyNews
05.09.2016ANO leader promises money for dignified memorial after insulting Roma Holocaust victimsNews
08.04.2016‘Closer’ project brings high school kids to Lety to learn about Romany culture but also history of WWII internment campNews
All related articles
Article
Format for printing
Send as e-mail

Also in section "News"
31.10.19  Roma children’s choir Chavorenge and members of the Czech Philharmonic to perform in UK
13.09.19  Archaeologists discover graves of Roma persecuted during WWII in Lety camp
02.06.19  Ida Kelarová and her Romany children’s choir Chavorenge
29.05.19  Two Roma activists to receive Charter 77’s František Kriegel Award
07.04.19  Romany music from the Czech Republic
13.03.19  Czech singer Věra Bílá, dubbed the Ella Fitzgerald of Gypsy music, dies days before her comeback tour
21.11.18  Roma social worker from Ostrava listed on BBC 100 Women list
12.10.18  Why are there so few Roma politicians?
17.09.18  Virtuoso pianist Tomáš Kačo: When I tell somebody I’m a Gypsy in the US, they’re excited about it
06.06.18  Study indicates ethnic hate is contagious
Archive of the section

Most popular articles
3153053   26.02.00 Some Basic Information about the Roma Population in the Czech Republic
290319   27.01.05 The 'Devouring': A look at the Romani Holocaust
184516   26.02.00 The History and Origin of the Roma
141463   26.02.02 The Language of the Roma
107706   13.06.00 The History of the Roma Minority in the Czech Republic
105260   26.02.00 The Traditional Family Life of the Czech Roma
103929   02.06.03 The Roma Holocaust
88238    World famous Roma Personalities
88174   21.02.04 Extreme right activists demonstrate for skinhead in jail
74801    Photographs by Romani Children
Copyright © Český rozhlas / Czech Radio, 1997-2020
Vinohradská 12, 120 99 Praha 2, Czech Republic
E-mail: info@romove.cz