European Office of the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights
has welcomed the decision of the Czech government to purchase a pig farm at
the site where a camp for Roma was created during WWII.
The office is pressing the government to buy out the farm as soon as possible, the Czech News Agency reported on Thursday. The European High Commissioner for Human rights has also called on the government to compensate Romany women who were sterilised without their consent in the Czech Republic in the 1990s.
The firm AGPI has accepted the government’s price for the buyout of a controversial pig farm in South Bohemia, which stands partly on the site of a former concentration camp where Roma citizens suffered and died during WWII. The agreed price has not been revealed and will reportedly only be made public after the deal is ratified. The deputy chairman of AGPI’s board of directors Jan Čech said that the expectations of the company over the price had been considerably higher. The process to buy the farm to allow for a proper memorial to honour those held at the former camp lasted some 20 years; several previous governments had pledged to remove the farm and failed.
Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman has announced an important breakthrough in the government’s efforts to secure the buy-out of an offensive pig farm in Lety, South Bohemia located on the site of a former concentration camp where hundreds of Roma died in inhumane conditions in WWII. The company that owns the farm has now agreed to sell it to the state, opening the way for a dignified memorial to the victims to be built on the grounds.
The country’s culture minister, Daniel Herman, has said that the government could buy out a controversial pig farm in Lety, South Bohemia, in a matter of weeks. If completed, it would mean the removal of a farm which has been an insult to victims of the Romani genocide for decades: the farm stands largely on the site of a former labour and WWII concentration camp where Roma citizens were interned and hundreds died.
Members of the government met with representatives of the company AGPI on Thursday to discuss the buyout of land and removal of a pig farm in Lety near Písek, which stands at the site of a WWII Roma concentration camp. According to the spokesman for the Ministry for Human Rights, Michal Kačírek, the selling price has not been negotiated so far. Culture Minister Daniel Herman said earlier this week that the negotiations should be completed by the end of the summer and a proposal put to the government in September.
Culture minister Daniel Herman has said negotiations are going well and are at the next to last stage over the purchase and closure of a pig farm at the site of a camp where Czech Roma died or were sent to their deaths by the Nazis. The minister said talks with the owner at Lety should be concluded over the summer and a final decision be sent to the government in September. The purchase of the farm, whose existence is regarded as an insult to the dead Roma, has been a priority for many Czech governments without much apparent success. The Lety camp was originally created by the Czechs but later transformed by the Nazis into a camp for Roma. Around 90 percent of Czech Roma are believed to have been killed by the Nazis.
Activists from the Czech Republic and abroad met at Lety, South Bohemia, on Saturday, the site of a labour and later concentration camp where Roma were interned and died during WWII. They were aiming to keep pressure on the government to finally remove a pig farm at the site which has been an insult to the victims who suffered or died there and their descendants, for decades.
Several hundred people from the Czech Republic and abroad attended a protest gathering at the former Romany internment camp in Lety, south Bohemia, on Saturday, calling for the removal of a pig farm which is located at the site. The protest, which was also attended by Justice Minister Robert Pelikán, was organised by the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement. The Czech Republic has been repeatedly criticised by local and foreign institutions for the pig farm in Lety and the European Parliament urged Czechs to remove the pig farm. The government is still negotiating with the company AGPI, which runs the pig farm in Lety, about its relocation.
Surviving family members, Culture Minister Daniel Herman, human rights minister Jan Chvojka and members of the public took part in a ceremony at the memorial in Lety, South Bohemia, on Saturday honouring the memory of Roma who were interned and suffered or died at the site where a former labour and later concentration camp stood during WWII. Some 500 people were sent on from the camp to Auschwitz. The current government, in its strategic plan to 2020, has pledged to do away with an offending pig farm at the site. Minister Chvojka said that the property had been valuated and that talks with the farm owners would begin within a month. Previous Czech governments made similar promises to remove the farm but failed.
The minister for human rights, Jan Chvojka, has expressed the hope that the government could approve steps for the buyout of land and removal of a pig farm in Lety near Písek, South Bohemia, by June. He made the comments on a political debate programme on TV Prima on Sunday. Removal of the pig farm, which notoriously stands at the site of a former Romany labour and later concentration camp during WW II, has plagued several administrations and elicited sharp criticism from the European Commission. Minister Chvojka said on Sunday that an expert assessment, evaluating the site's worth and technical considerations, would be ready by April 20, preceding negotiations between the government and the farm operator, AGPI, in May.