New model of wartime camp for Czech Romanies unveiled


24.03.2014 13:22

Lety - Visitors to the memorial to the Romany Holocaust in Lety can see a new plastic model of this Nazi internment camp for Czech Romanies that Lidice Memorial head Milous Cervencl and its authors presented at the opening of a new season at the site today.


Památník v Letech na Písecku 24. března oficiálně zahájil provoz pro další sezonu, lidé zde uctili památku obětí romského holokaustu. ČTK Veis David

Another model of the camp, made by students of a secondary business school in Teplice, north Bohemia, was displayed in Lety last year.

"However, it was not very resistant to climatic conditions and rain. It soaked up water and started collapsing. This is why we moved it to the information centre in the Lety village," Cervencl told CTK.

The Lidice Memorial, which is also administering the Lety site, therefore decided to have another model made.

"So we have a model that is resistant to weather but it will not resist vandals," Cervencl said.

This is also why the new 1.5 x 1.5 metre model will have to be removed before winter, after the end of the season, he added.

The Memorial to Lidice, a village in central Bohemia obliterated by the Nazis in 1942, has opened the fifth season at the Lety commemorative site.

On this occasion, Marie Supikova, one of the Lidice children, planted two lime trees near an open-air scene used for various performances at the Lety Memorial.

The memorial will be opened daily from 9:00 to 17:00 until October.

Over 1300 Romanies were interned in Lety during the German Nazi occupation, 327 of whom perished in the camp and over 500 were sent to the extermination camp in Oswiecim (Auschwitz) where most of them died.

A memorial to the Romany Holocaust was set up at the former burial ground of the Lety concentration camp for Romanies. However, it is situated near a pig farm that is at the site now.

Romanies and human rights activists have protested against it for years. Relatives of the Romany Holocaust victims along with the U.N. Human Rights Committee have demanded that the pig farm be abolished.

However, former PM Petr Necas, who resigned in last June, said the government had no money for the purchase of the farm.

Some 12,000 people annually visit the Lety Memorial.

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