Search
24.11.2017
NEWS

HISTORY

TRADITIONS, CULTURE

PERSONALITIES

USEFUL CONTACTS

PHOTOS OF THE ROMA

VARIOUS

RADIO PRAGUE










Česky English Deutsch Francais
ANO leader promises money for dignified memorial after insulting Roma Holocaust victims
05-09-2016 - Daniela Lazarova
A twenty-year-long futile drive to buyout a pig farm standing on the site of the former Roma concentration camp in Lety, south Bohemia has received fresh impetus from an unlikely quarter. ANO leader Andrej Babiš who last week insulted the memory of the hundreds of Romanies who died there in inhumane conditions or were sent to their death in Auschwitz, has pledged to visit the site, bow to their memory and find the money needed to buyout the farm and build a dignified memorial.

Andrej Babiš, photo: CTK On a visit to a socially excluded locality with prevailing Roma inhabitants in Varnsdorf, North Bohemia, ANO leader and Finance Minister Andrej Babiš attempted to win support in the upcoming regional elections by addressing one of his favourite topics – work. And, in the heat of debate, he did the unthinkable –claiming that the Lety camp had not been a concentration camp for Romanies, but a labour camp designed for those of them who did not want to work. The statement caused an outcry across the political scene. Although Lety was initially built as a work camp in 1942 it became a concentration camp for Romanies; over 1300 people were interned there, over 300 died in inhumane conditions and 500 were transported to Auschwitz. There were calls for Babiš to step down and the opposition demanded the matter be debated at a session of the lower house. Prime Minister Sobotka called on his partner in government to apologize and distance himself from his unfortunate statement in Parliament as well as make a trip to Lety to bow to the victims of the Holocaust. He also made it clear that the views expressed were not those of the coalition government.

“If we started debating Andrej Babiš’ dismissal from the cabinet we would turn this into a coalition problem; which it is not. Neither the Social Democrats nor the Christian Democrats have anything to do with the said statements.”

The finance minister hastily apologized for his words, saying he had not meant to deny the Holocaust and had been quoted out of context. He lashed back at the prime minister saying Sobotka was intentionally adding fuel to the fire to damage him ahead of the regional elections and accused his critics of hypocrisy, saying politicians had done nothing for twenty years to solve the problem of the pig farm standing on the former site of the Lety concentration camp.

Roma concentration camp in Lety, photo: Public Domain “I have now discussed the problem with Culture Minister Daniel Herman and promised to find the money needed to buyout the farm and build a dignified memorial in its place.”

Babiš wrote on Twitter shortly after the storm broke. Whether this form of atonement will be enough remains to be seen. Both Human Rights Minister Jiři Dienstbier and members of the opposition say the matter is not closed. However, it will be voters who will have the last say when they go to the polls in the autumn regional and Senate elections. And so far nothing the controversial ANO leader has said and done has affected his strong lead in popularity ratings.



Related articles
DateTitleFeature
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
05.08.2016Germany to pay compensation to remaining victims of Roma HolocaustNews
08.04.2016‘Closer’ project brings high school kids to Lety to learn about Romany culture but also history of WWII internment campNews
31.01.2015Paul Polansky and the Lety Roma camp: Part 2News
All related articles
Article
Format for printing
Send as e-mail

Also in section "News"
24.11.17  Council of Europe commissioner welcomes Lety pig farm deal
01.08.17  Culture minister: sale of Lety pig farm is “done deal”
26.07.17  Culture Minister says buyout of controversial pig farm at Lety only weeks away
13.07.17  Archaeologists map out precise contours of Nazi-era Lety concentration camp
26.06.17  Activists meet at Lety to keep pressure on government to remove controversial pig farm
08.12.16  Project aimed at fighting hate crime acquires fresh urgency in light of migrant crisis
04.12.16  Terne Chave – a Romany band with a difference
14.11.16  Romany soccer team face hatred more or less all the time, says FC Roma co-director Tomáš Bojar
08.11.16  Council of Europe: Czech Republic violating Social Charter
08.11.16  Culture minister: Important hurdle falls on the way to a buyout of the pig-farm at Lety
Archive of the section

Most popular articles
1542832   26.02.00 Some Basic Information about the Roma Population in the Czech Republic
282114   27.01.05 The 'Devouring': A look at the Romani Holocaust
161740   26.02.00 The History and Origin of the Roma
131521   26.02.02 The Language of the Roma
101258   02.06.03 The Roma Holocaust
95380   26.02.00 The Traditional Family Life of the Czech Roma
91416   13.06.00 The History of the Roma Minority in the Czech Republic
86271   21.02.04 Extreme right activists demonstrate for skinhead in jail
84479    World famous Roma Personalities
71980    Photographs by Romani Children
Copyright © Český rozhlas / Czech Radio, 1997-2017
Vinohradská 12, 120 99 Praha 2, Czech Republic
E-mail: info@romove.cz