Friday, 18 April 2014

Gov't to back commemoration of Roma Holocaust

29 April 2013

Prague, April 27 (CTK) - The Czech government will probably support the plan to commemorate March 7 as the day to remember the victims of Romany persecution during World War Two.

March 7 was proposed by a group of lower house members as the date of the first deportation of Romanies from Bohemia and Moravia to the Oswiecim (Auschwitz) concentration camp in 1943.

The remembrance of the Romany Holocaust may considerable contribute to the suppression of the continuing animosity of the majority society towards the Romany community, the authors of the draft amendment to the law on public holidays.

The lower house of parliament recently agreed on the marking of two new significant days, the Jan Palach Day and the Jan Amos Komensky (Comenius) Day.

Czech student Palach set himself on fire on January 16, 1969 in protest against the creeping lethargy in society after the Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia that crushed the Prague Spring communist reform movement a few months before. He succumbed to the burns sustained three days later.

Comenius was a 17th century scholar of Czech origin. He is considered the father of modern education.

The proposal is yet to be discussed by the upper house. The Czech calendar now includes nine significant or memory days.

However, the government says in its preliminary view that will be discussed at the lower house session on Thursday that the Holocaust Memorial Day marked on January 27 includes also the persecution of Romanies.

If the proposed day specially remembering the Romany Holocaust is passed, there will be the question whether the victims of Nazis from other ethnic or social groups should not be remembered, too.

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