Czech government refuses to demolish pig farm on site of World War II concentration camp

15 July 1999

On May 18, the Czech media reported that their government would provide one million Czech crowns (approximately 26,500 euros) for the completion of a memorial at the place of a concentration camp at Lety near Písek, southern Bohemia, where hundreds of Roma died while interned on racist grounds and in inhuman conditions during World War II (see „Snapshots from around Europe", Roma Rights, Autumn 1998). Several weeks earlier, according to Radio Prague of April 8, the same cabinet refused the proposal of its human rights commissioner Petr Uhl for the purchase and removal of a pig farm built on the site. The Committee for Compensation of the Romani Holocaust (VPORH) protested the decision, saying that it „killed the good intentions of that part of Czech society which would like to regain the trust of the entire Romani community". At a press conference in Prague on May 10, the Hamburg-based Roma National Congress, backed by several Czech Romani organisations, called for the boycott of Czech products in order to bring financial pressure on the Government. They also urged visitors to the Czech Republic to avoid eating Czech pork, as it might have been produced at Lety.


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