Gypsy genocide exposed in concentration camp excavations

Excavations at Lety's former Nazi concentration camp, about 65 kilometers south of Prague, the capital of Czechia, revealed evidence of the genocide of more than 300 Roma people, popularly known as Gypsies, including a mother's grave. and your baby. In addition to the remains, personal objects such as buttons and mirrors were found.

The Lety concentration camp was built after the German invasion of the country in 1939. Although best known for the extermination of Jews, the Nazi concentration camps served as the place of torture and murder of Gypsies, Serbs, Communists, homosexuals, disabled people, Polish intellectuals, among many other groups that were also the target of German fascism during the war.

(Lety Concentration Camp / Photo: Romani Museum of Culture)

The historical and humanitarian importance of recognizing the genocide that took place in Lety concentration camp:

In the excavations, the deaths of 327 people of the Roma people, 241 children, were attested. In analysis, it is estimated that about five hundred thousand Roma were killed in total by Nazis during World War II. The persecution caused the death of nearly 90% of Czechs during the occupation of the country.

Between August 1942 and May 1943, an estimated 1, 300 people were taken to this Nazi camp in Lety. It was the last stop for prisoners who would later be sent to Auschwitz, Poland, where mass exterminations were carried out with gas chambers.

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(Pit found in Lety | Photo: Pavel Vareka - University of West Bohemia)

The duty to respect a people and their culture so disrespected throughout history:

The term "Gypsy" is considered pejorative by many people, since the origin of the word is linked to common prejudices against this people. The terms "rom" (man), "rome", and "romani" are used instead. In the Romani language, the language spoken by most of this population, "rome" means "men" or "people".

According to archaeologist Pavel Vareka of the University of West Bohemia, the tombs found in the excavations have been analyzed without the remains being removed at the request of the Roma community, which believes the bodies need to be left where they are to be at peace.