Sunday, 28 May 2017

Compensation deal agreed for Roma victims of holocaust

ČTK |
5 August 2016

Prague, Aug 4 (CTK) - The living survivors of the Czech Romany Holocaust will get 2500 euros each in compensation as a result of negotiations between the Czech and German foreign ministries, Michaela Lagronova, spokeswoman for the Czech ministry, told CTK yesterday.
"The negotiations lasted several months and they ended several days ago," she said.
The compensation may be paid out to 10 to 15 people, Lagronova said.
German authorities earmarked 50 million euros for the compensation by 2018. The same sum of 2500 euros will also be paid to Germans subjected to forced labour during World War Two, including Sudeten Germans who were forced to work in Czech territory.
According to the HlidaciPes.org server, the compensation would be paid from a German fund for non-Jewish victims of Nazi persecution.
Cenek Ruzicka, head of the Czech Committee for Romany Holocaust Compensation, said it is not clear whether the compensation would be paid out because the German authorities have not decided on the applications yet.
Ruzicka told CTK that ten Romany survivors applied for the compensation. No deadline by which Germany would have to deal with the applications has been set, he added.
The latest notification sent by the German Finance Ministry does not grant the compensation to the applicants yet, Ruzicka said.
He said all the survivors are old people because WW2 ended more than 70 years ago. "Given their old age, we agreed with the sum, which is nevertheless ridiculous," Ruzicka added.
Originally, the goal was to get the same compensation that Germany granted to the Jewish victims from the former Eastern bloc who get a monthly contribution of 300 euros, he said.
This contribution to the Jewish victims is of course justified, but it is unjust to Romanies, Ruzicka said.
The planned compensation for Romany Holocaust survivors was supported by Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek.
Czech commissioner for Holocaust affairs, Jiri Sitler, took part in the recent Czech-German negotiations.
Like Jews, "Gypsies" were subject to the ruthless racial policy of the Nazi Germany. In 1942, the police authorities in Bohemia and Moravia created a list of all Romanies living that included 6500 people. Part of them were sent to internment camps in Lety, south Bohemia, and Hodonin u Kunstatu, south Moravia. Nearly 5000 Czech Romanies ended up in the Oswiecim (Auschwitz) concentration camp and only 583 of them survived the war.
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