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ADRA preparing gift for Romany Holocaust survivors
30-06-2004  CTK

The civic association ADRA is preparing food and personal care packages and household goods as compensation presents for 850 Czech Romanies who survived the wartime Holocaust, ADRA's Petra Rezna told CTK today.

Each of the Romanies who were born before May 1945 will receive two packages with food, two with personal care items and one with household goods, worth 7,875 crowns altogether.

The first part of the aid is being distributed now, the second phase will start in mid-August, Rezna said.

"In gaining the addresses of the eligible persons, ADRA has been helped by regional Romany coordinators, Romany advisers and other municipal officials, field workers as well as members of various Romany organisations. We have been given 85 lists of different lengths," one of the project coordinators, Ales Hradilek, told CTK.

About 8,000 Romanies lived in the Czech Lands before World War Two. About 5,400 of them perished in the Nazi concentration camps, mainly in Lety u Pisku, south Bohemia, and Hodonin near Kunstat, south Moravia.

Another 864 Romanies were transported to Oswiecim (Auschwitz), from where 262 were released and 47 escaped.

Only 600 Romanies lived in the Czech Lands after the war. Their population has increased since, also owing to the influx of Romanies from Slovakia.

A total of 11,746 people claimed Romany nationality in the latest census in 2001. Experts, nevertheless, estimate their real number to be considerably higher.

($1=26.277 crowns)

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