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Former Concentration Camp Facility To Be Turned Into Educational Center

Michael Kocáb
Michael Kocáb

Michael Kocáb, human rights minister, is trying to accomplish one of the promises he gave in public upon taking on his current position. Recently he conducted negotiations on account of buying back a recreational facility located on a property near Hodonín u Kunštátu where a Romani concentration camp used to be during the World War II.

Resolving of current situation is the priority for the Human Rights and National Minorities government office, because the site where many people used to suffer and perish is no place for recreational activities. According to information provided by Aktuálně.cz, Alena Vojtová, the recreational complex proprietor, agreed with this proposal. “I myself told the government that I was willing to sell a large section of the complex. I am prepared to sell,” she told the journalist.

After the minister reaches agreement, the government should discuss the deal at its next session. Then Mirek Topolánek's cabinet should endorse the project dealing with resolving the future of this property. Petr Koubek, Michael Kocáb's secretary, said: "There should be an education centre there, focusing on Romani culture. It would cost some tens of millions of crowns. But it is not certain yet that we will be able to get the money."

The camp was found as a correctional facility in 1939 by Czechoslovak government before the Nazi occupation. In 1942 it was turn into a concentration camp for Roma people meant to be a transition point on their way to the gas chambers of Auschwitz. For the period of its existence (until 1944) 1,396 people passed through the Hodonín u Kunštátu camp.

Foto: Michael Kocáb, by Lidové noviny (lidovky.cz)

Date: 05/02/2009

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