Museum of Romani Culture demands apology from Okamura


The Museum of Romani Culture in Brno has demanded a public apology from Tomio Okamura, the head of the anti-Islam, anti-migrant party Freedom and Direct Democracy who said in an interview at the weekend that the Lety concentration camp in South Bohemia, where Roma were interned during WWII, had had no fencing restricting movement.

Experts at the museum slammed the claim as untrue, adding that such allegations contributed to anti-Roma sentiments in society and were an insult to the memory of those who suffered persecution and genocide during the Second World War.

In his interview for the online DVTV, the Czech News Agency reported that Mr Okamura based his claim on an unspecified quote from former president Václav Klaus and on a book entitled The Lety Camp - Facts and Myths, which he said had been published by the Czech Academy of Sciences. The museum said no book had been published under that name and that a text dating back to 1999 which was put out by the academy featured no such claim.

In March, the Museum of Romani Culture will take over the area of the former camp in Lety near Písek.