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Politicians commemorate Romany Holocaust victims

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Lety, South Bohemia, Aug 3 (CTK) – Senate deputy chairwoman Miluse Horska believes that the Czech government will find money for the purchase of a pig farm in Lety situated at the site of the former Nazi internment camp for Romanies, she said at a ceremony commemorating the Romany Holocaust victims yesterday.
The costs of such a transaction are put at hundreds of millions of crowns.
Horska said the purchasing of the pig farm would also have other dimensions as it would help improve interpersonal relations.
Traditional commemorative meetings are staged at a memorial to the Romany Holocaust that was set up at the former burial ground of the Lety concentration camp for Romanies. However, it is situated near a pig farm, which affects the ceremonies.
Milous Cervencl, director of the Lidice Memorial that also administers the Lety site, said the problem with purchasing the farm was not only financial. He recalled that the owner of the farm, the Agpi company, also demanded another facility to breed pigs in the locality.
It means to find a suitable place with sufficient water and fodder supplies that would be far enough from residential areas, he told CTK.
The Czech government pledged in its Romany strategy until 2020 that the pig farm would be removed from Lety. Several governments called it a priority in the past.
However, current Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said last year that not even his government would probably find money to buy the farm.
Romanies and human rights activists have protested against the pig farm in Lety for years.
The labour camp in Lety was opened in 1940. A similar facility existed in Hodonin u Kunstatu, south Moravia. In 1942, both facilities turned into internment camps and in August of the same year, Romany camps were established there.
Until May 1943, 1308 Romany men women and children were interned there, 327 of whom perished in the camp and over 500 were sent to the extermination camp in Oswiecim (Auschwitz) where most of them died.
According to estimates, the Nazis murdered 90 percent of Czech Romanies.
($1=24.648 crowns)

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