Will Roma memorial replace pig farm in Czech Republic?
The controversial pig farm on the grounds of a former concentration camp for Roma in the Czech Republic is being shut down. The agricultural company agreed to an offer from the government to buy the land and tear down the facility in the village of Lety in South Bohemia. Commentators are relieved to see a battle that lasted 20 years end this way.
Pig farm was an unbearable disgrace
With this agreement the Czech state is paying an old debt it owed the victims, states Denik:
“There was always a broad consensus that there should not be a pig farm on the grounds of the former concentration camp. The issue was never given priority by the government. Now there is an agreement not to talk openly about the cost of the land. That is sensible. The issue here is not the money, after all. Now they are removing a pig farm that should never have been built here in the first place - that was done under the old regime - and that should not have been privatised later on. The state is redeeming an old crime. The village of Lety should find peace at last. ”
Lety is not a unique case
Lidové noviny points out that there are other former Nazi concentration camps in the Czech Republic where proper commemoration is still not possible:
“Collective memory is selective. Other places are not getting the attention that Lety has received. Often these are concentration camps where POWS or civilians from other countries were killed so there is no direct interest in honouring them. And yet in some of these places more people were killed than in Lety. Today we hardly know if other things are preventing the victims from being honoured. Which is why, now the Lety case seems to have been resolved, we need to look into whether there are 'pig farms' anywhere else.”