Brno, March 7 (CTK) – The Brno-seated Museum of Roma Culture staged a commemorative event on Wednesday to mark 75 years since the first mass transfer of over 1,000 Roma to the Auschwitz concentration camp, from where most of them never returned.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis and Justice Minister Robert Pelikan (both ANO) attended the meeting.
The transfer set off from Brno on March 7, 1943, in the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
“With the assistance of the Protectorate security forces, the Nazis made the first mass transfer of Roma to the concentration camp in Auschwitz It involved a thousand Roma men, women and children from Moravia, who were transferred in freight railway carriages,” Dusan Slacka, the museum’s historian, said.
Slacka, together with museum director Jana Horvathova, read the testimonies of the transferred persons.
Afterwards, the participants laid flowers at a commemorative plaque.
In a speech delivered at the ceremony, Babis said it is necessary to always remember that hatred between people leads to suffering and death.
“May this event be a memento of that the exclusion of groups over their race, religion or belief is unacceptable. He who espouses such stances, cannot be a democrat,” Babis said.
He mentioned the Romanies who rose up against the Nazis in the concentration camp.
Pelikan said the society has coped well with the remembrance of the Jewish Holocaust.
Czechs still have a big problem to remember the Roma Holocaust with the same level of dignity, because there is much of anti-Roma mood in the Czech society, Pelikan said.
“I believe this will change. It is our government’s duty to seek the change,” Pelikan said.