- A Czech pig farm built on the site of a Nazi-era concentration camp for Roma people is being demolished.
- The camp held 1309 Roma people, of which 326, including many children died, reported the BBC.
- Bulldozers moved in on Friday, and a new memorial museum will be built to commemorate victims of the camp.
A pig farm built on the site of a Nazi-era concentration camp for Roma people is set to be demolished, the BBC reports.
The site in Lety, South Bohemia, was created by the Czechoslovak government in 1939 for "workshy citizens" and later became a "gypsy camp" to imprison 1309 Roma people during World War II. Czech collaborators guarded it.
The occupying Nazi authorities closed the camp in 1943 when a typhoid epidemic became uncontrollable, and 326 died, including many children, according to the BBC.
The surviving inmates were transported to other Nazi-run camps, including Auschwitz in Poland.
The pig farm was then built on the site of the camp in the 1970s, causing anguish to the Roma community, who wanted the site to be a place of remembrance.
There was no trace of the camp except a modest memorial in a nearby clearing. Annual memorial events were tainted by the stench of pig manure, reported the BBC.
Roma rights activists fought hard to remove the industrial pig farm, and the bitter dispute was only settled when the government purchased the property and closed it.
Bulldozers moved in on Friday, and a new memorial museum will be built to commemorate victims of the camp, and to remember the tragic outcomes of the Holocaust, states local news outlet Prague Morning.
Describing the camp, the European Roma Rights Centre said it was "a sordid and venal affair that brought shame on the Czech Republic; and stood as an abiding insult to the living and the dead, innocent victims of the ferocious attempt by the Nazis and their collaborators to wipe the Romani nation from the face of the earth."
When discussing the buy-out of the farm, they said, "let it also be a prelude to ending the segregation and discrimination the Roma face in the Czech present; for this is a historical debt that is long overdue."
Approximately 250,000 Roma live in the Czech Republic, according to the European Commission.