Visualization of the Roma and Sinti Holocaust Memorial in Bohemia in Lety u Písek.
Lety (Písecko ) – The memorial to the Holocaust of Roma and Sinti in Bohemia in the grounds of the former piggery in Lety in Písecko will be completed in a year. It will be built by ProtomStrakonice, won the tender with a price of CZK 98.6 million. The monument will be in the place where there was a Romani labor camp during the Second World War. In February, the winner of the competition for the indoor and outdoor exhibition of the monument should be announced. Representatives of the Museum of Roma Culture, which takes care of the area, told journalists today. The museum would like to open the memorial in 2024. The exposition will cost additional money, the cost of the interior will be up to ten million crowns. The German government promised the museum funding for the outdoor exhibition.
“The memorial must also educate and inform about what is part of the Czech history of the 20th century. About what and how happened to the Roma and Sinti here, what were its roots and connections, what happened next. And it is also necessary to stimulate discussion on the topic of human rights and improving mutual coexistence. I believe that the dreams of the Roma, which have long been only in their heads, will come true,” said Jana Horváthová, director of the Museum of Roma Culture, about the construction of the monument and its symbolism.
The museum received three bids for the construction of the visitor center and the recultivation of the temporary burial ground, the bid price was CZK 73.5 million without tax. Norwegian funds will also contribute 26.5 million crowns to the construction of the monument, which will take 345 days. The visitor center could open in 2024. Protom had a net turnover of CZK 230.1 million in 2021 and a profit after tax of CZK 165,000, according to the annual report.
Demolition of the pigsty began last July, and the demolition ended in December. The remains of one piggery hall will be part of the exhibition. The outdoor exhibition is intended to point out the history of the place after the war, of which the piggery was a part. Demolition cost CZK 10.2 million. This follows from information in the register of contracts. The cost of the indoor exhibition will be up to ten million CZK, the outdoor one will be significantly lower, Horváthová told ČTK. Money for the outdoor exhibition was promised to the museum by the German government, she added.
“I consider today to be a very important day in the history of commemorating the victims of the Roma Holocaust. It was an event that was forgotten for decades. Today, the construction of the Roma and Sinti memorial was ceremonially launched. This will create a place that will permanently remind us of what will happen if we slack off in our efforts to defense of the values of freedom and democracy,” Culture Minister Martin Baxa (ODS) told ČTK and Czech Radio today. In the 1970s, a piggery was established there. In 2018, the state bought it for 450 million from the company Agpi, which had 13,000 pigs in 13 halls there. According to historians, 1,308 Roma, men, women and children, passed through the Lety camp from August 1942 to May 1943, 327 of them died there and over 500 ended up in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Archaeologists discovered a few years ago that the largest part of the Roma camp in Lety was located in the area of the former piggery. The campus covers over 100,000 square meters. Near the emergency cemetery in Let, which is about 300 meters from the camp site, a memorial was erected in 1995 and the place became a cultural monument in 1998.