Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Young architects to help design Roma Holocaust memorial

22 August 2011

Cernovice, South Moravia, Aug 21 (CTK) - Young architects and students of architecture should help create the planned Romany Holocaust memorial and an educational centre in Hodonin u Kunstatu, south Moravia, Education Minister Josef Dobes (Public Affairs, VV) told journalists Saturday.

He said the present project should be re-worked for the costs to be reduced from 70 million crowns to 40 million.

The rest of the sum should be used to finance the future complex's operation, said Dobes, who attended a mass for the Romany Holocaust victims in Cernovice.

In the past years, Romanies annually commemorated the wartime victims right in the complex of the former internment camp for Romanies in Hodonin u Kunstatu.

However, the complex, which served as a recreation centre for decades after the war, was closed over the memorial preparatory works earlier this year. That is why Saturday's annual mass was celebrated in the church in nearby Cernovice where a number of Romanies who died in the Hodonin camp are buried.

They died due to horrible hygienic conditions, malnutrition and hard labour.

A total of 1300 Romanies, including old people, women and children, were gradually interned in Hodonin u Kunstatu and 207 died during the camp's year-long operation. The rest were transferred to the Nazi extermination camp in Oswiecim (Auschwitz).

Out of the pre-war 6,000 Czech Romanies, only some 580 returned from concentration camps after the war.

Dobes said a commission has been established to assess young architects' projects of the memorial and the educational centre. He wants the victorious design to be chosen by the end of the year so that the construction works can start in spring 2012 and finish half a year later.

($1=17.014 crowns)

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