Archiv der Kategorie 'Tschechien'

Kommentar Entschädigung für Roma: Ein preisgünstiger Völkermord

Nach 70 Jahren erhalten tschechische Roma nun eine Entschädigung für ihr Leid im KZ. Der späte Zeitpunkt ist ebenso zynisch wie die geringe Summe.

Es ist eine längst überfällige Geste, und eine geizige noch dazu: 2.500 Euro Entschädigung erhalten tschechische Roma, die das Grauen der deutschen Konzentrationslager überlebt haben. Hunderttausende Menschen aus ganz Europa fielen aufgrund ihrer „Fremdrassigkeit“ und als „geborene Asoziale“ dem Massenmord der Nazis zum Opfer, darunter viele aus den besetzten Gebieten im Süden und Osten des Kontinents.

Die Justiz der jungen Bundesrepublik leugnete die rassistische Dimension des Verbrechens – mit einer offensichtlich rassistischen Begründung. Die Sinti und Roma hätten schließlich schon immer Anlass gegeben, sie „besonderen Beschränkungen zu unterwerfen“, heißt es in einem Gerichtsurteil von 1956. Dazu passt die jahrzehntelang hohe Ablehnungsquote beantragter Entschädigungsleistungen für die Opfer.

Dass nun für das letzte gute Dutzend tschechischer Überlebender eine Regelung gefunden wurde, ist somit auf symbolischer Ebene ein durchaus großer Schritt der Anerkennung des Unrechts, in der konkreten Ausgestaltung jedoch mindestens „lächerlich“, wie ein Vertreter des Opferverbandes konstatiert. „Zynisch“ trifft es vielleicht eher. Der Rechtsnachfolger des verbrecherischen faschistischen Staates benötigte mehr als 70 Jahre, um einer Handvoll alter Menschen, die zum Teil auf dem Sterbebett liegen, einen Almosen zu gewähren.

Während die früheren Opfer ihre Familien in den Gaskammern der Konzentrationslager verloren und mit ihren Nachkommen zum Teil in bitterer Armut leben mussten, konnten viele Täter in der Bundesrepublik fast nahtlos an ihre Kriegskarrieren anknüpfen. Für die lebenslange rassistische Ausgrenzung und vor allem für das Menschheitsverbrechen der Vernichtung der „Zigeuner“ in Europa lässt sich kaum eine angemessene Entschädigungssumme finden – eine würdigere als 2.500 Euro pro Person aber wäre schon viel eher möglich gewesen.

So bleibt jener Völkermord nicht zufällig ein eher preisgünstiges Verbrechen, sowohl für die individuellen Täter als auch für den deutschen Staat.

Quelle: taz.de
Stand: 07.08.2016

„Ein Betrag, der eigentlich lächerlich ist“

Endlich willigt Deutschland ein, auch die Handv­oll Holocaust-über­leben­der Roma in Tschechien zu ent­schä­di­gen – nicht aber mit einer mo­nat­li­chen Opfer­rente wie die jü­di­schen Opfer, son­dern mit einer ein­ma­li­gen Ab­schlags­zah­lung von gera­de ein­mal 2.500 Euro: Roma sind wei­ter­hin Opfer zwei­ter Klasse.

In Böhmen und Mähren kamen wäh­rend der deut­schen Be­satzungs­zeit etwa 90 Pro­zent der dort be­hei­ma­te­ten Roma-Be­völ­kerung ums Leben. Nur rund 600 der 6.500 von den Natio­nal­sozia­lis­ten als „Zigeuner“ er­fass­ten Per­so­nen im „Protek­to­rat“ über­leb­ten die NS-Ver­folgung. Wie nun das tschechische Außenministerium betätigte, sollen tsche­chi­sche Roma, die die Kon­zentra­tions­lager der Be­satzer über­leb­ten, von Deutsch­land demnächst eine ein­malige Ent­schä­di­gung in der Höhe von 2.500 Euro bekommen. Nach monate­lan­gen Ver­hand­lun­gen habe man sich mit dem Finanz­minis­te­rium in Berlin auf die­sen Betrag ge­einigt. Tschechiens Roma-Ver­bände, al­len voran der Aus­­schuss für Holocaust-Ent­schä­di­gung für die Roma in Tschechien (VPORH), hat­ten diese Ent­schädigung durch die Ver­mitt­lung des tsche­chi­schen Außen­minis­te­riums vor mehr als einem Jahr be­antragt. Das Bun­des­außen­minis­te­rium wird die Sum­me aus dem Fonds für nichtjüdische Opfer (Härtefond) bereitstellen.

Für nahezu alle Opfer kommt diese Geste jedoch um Jahr­zehnte zu spät. Laut Medien­berichten sind nur noch maximal fünf­zehn betrof­fene Roma am Leben. Nur zehn Per­sonen haben bis dato tat­säch­lich um die Ent­schä­digung an­gesucht. Es hät­te, er­zählt Čeněk Růžička vom Aus­schuss für Holocaust-Ent­schä­di­gung, so­gar eini­ger An­stren­gung be­durft, sie davon zu über­zeugen, die For­mu­lare aus­zu­füllen. „Sie glaub­ten ein­fach nicht mehr daran, dass sie damit Er­folg ha­ben könn­ten, und nach all dem, was sie er­lebt hat­ten, hat­ten sie auch Angst, ihre per­sön­li­chen Daten vor­zu­legen. Aber zu guter Letzt ha­ben sie die An­träge den­noch ein­ge­reicht. Sie alle wollen mit dem Geld für ihr Begräbnis vor­sorgen.“ Eini­ge von ihnen seien bett­lägerig. „Im Hin­blick auf ihr Alter haben wir da­her einem Betrag zu­gestimmt, der eigent­lich lächer­lich ist“, so Růžička. „Wenn es nur nach mir per­sön­lich ginge, hätte ich das vor­lie­gen­de deut­sche An­gebot einer Ein­mal­zah­lung zurück­ge­wie­sen“, erklärt er gegen­über der Presse, „und zwar weil ich einen Ver­gleich ziehe zu dem, wie die jüdi­schen Opfer ent­schä­digt wurden. Diese Opfer er­hal­ten eine monat­li­che Zah­lung von grob 260 bis 400 Euro, zu­züg­lich zu ihrer Rente, was alles in allem ein beträcht­li­cher Be­trag ist. Natür­lich steht ihnen das abso­lut zu, ganz ohne Zwei­fel. Doch es ist in­teres­sant, dass die Volks­gruppe der Roma kein Recht auf die gleiche Entschä­di­gung hat, ob­wohl ihnen das­selbe Un­recht wider­fuhr. Es stört mich, dass die Roma als Opfer zwei­ter Klasse betrach­tet wer­den.“

Quelle: dROMa Blog
Stand: 05.08.2016

Czech govt to buy out pig farm on Roma Holocaust site

The Czech government said Tuesday it was in talks to buy out a pig farm built on the site of a former Nazi concentration camp where hundreds of Roma prisoners died during World War II.

Anti-racism activists in May demanded the EU halt subsidies to the farm, part of their long campaign to remove it from the sensitive location. „No other government has been so close to resolving this issue,“ Daniel Herman, culture minister in the left-wing government of Premier Bohuslav Sobotka told reporters Tuesday at the site. Herman, however, refused to reveal the sum under consideration or when to expect a final deal. Built in the 1970s in the southwestern village of Lety by the communist Czechoslovak regime, the pig farm has reaped scorn at home and abroad ever since totalitarianism was toppled in 1989, four years before Czechoslovakia split into two states. „It’s sad that communist authorities built a pig farm on a Roma Holocaust site,“ Jozef Miker, a Roma rights activist said Tuesday in Prague.
„What’s worse, is that it’s still there 27 years after communism’s demise.“ Between 1940 and 1943, Nazi Germany and its Czech collaborators imprisoned close to 1,300 Czech Roma at the camp. Alongside European Jews, the continent’s smaller Roma minority was also a target of Nazi genocide during World War II. Some 327 Roma, including 241 children, died at the camp staffed by an ethnic Czech commander and guards, while more than 500 were sent to Nazi Germany’s infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in occupied southern Poland. Of the 9,500 Czech Roma registered before World War II, fewer than 600 returned home after the Holocaust. The Czech Republic, an EU country of 10.5 million, has a Roma community estimated to number between 250,000 and 300,000. Of the roughly one million Roma who lived in Europe prior to WWII, historians believe that Nazi Germany killed over half.

Source: Yahoo News
Date: 03.08.2016

Brandanschlag auf Roma für Tschechien kein Mordversuch

Im Prozess um einen rassistisch motivierten Brandanschlag auf eine Roma-Unterkunft im Westen Tschechiens hat ein Gericht das bisherige Strafmaß bestätigt. Die Richter in Prag verurteilten heute zwei Männer zu sechs Jahren und neun Monaten Gefängnis, wie die Agentur CTK berichtete. Die Staatsanwaltschaft hatte wegen versuchten Mordes 15 Jahre gefordert.

Opferanwälte hatten auf Schadenersatz gehofft. Die beiden Anhänger der Neonazi-Szene warfen dem Urteil zufolge im Februar 2012 Molotowcocktails auf ein Haus im westböhmischen As, in dem sich acht Kinder und zehn Erwachsene aufhielten. Den Bewohnern gelang es, die Brandsätze zu löschen. Um ein Entkommen zu erschweren, hatten die Täter die Türen mit Benzin begossen.

Der Anführer der Neonazi-Gruppierung, der nicht unmittelbar an dem Anschlag beteiligt war, kommt wegen Verbreitung von Rassenhass für drei Jahre und acht Monate hinter Gitter. Fünf weitere Personen erhielten Bewährungsstrafen. Der Volksgruppe der Roma gehören in Tschechien rund 250.000 Menschen an. Sie leiden unter Vorurteilen und sozialer Ausgrenzung. Immer wieder kommt es in dem EU-Land zu Anti-Roma-Märschen von Neonazis und Rechtsradikalen.

Quelle: ORF.de
Stand: 22.06.2016

Demonstration in Prague calls on EU to stop subsidizing pig farm on Romani Holocaust site

Monday, 16 May was the International Day of Romani Resistance, a day to honor the memory of the Romani victims of the Holocaust and the heroic uprising of Romani people in the Auschwitz concentration camp. On that occasion the Konexe organization held a demonstration in front of the EU House, the headquarters of the representation of the European Commission and European Parliament in the Czech Republic. Representatives of Konexe delivered a message entitled „Europe, Stop Subsidizing the Pig Farm at Lety“ to the EU House. News server Romea.cz broadcast audio and video of the demonstration live online. „We have nothing against the European Union per se, we are criticizing the state of affairs in which the European Structural Funds are subsidizing a specific agricultural enterprise located on places where genocide was perpetrated. In our view, this is absolutely incompatible with European values,“ Miroslav Brož of Konexe told news server Romea.cz prior to the demonstration.

Day of Romani Resistance

The Day of Romani Resistance commemorates the events of 16 May 1944, when Romani and Sinti prisoners in the so-called „Gypsy Camp“ at Auschwitz-Birkenau rose up against their captors. On that day the camp leadership had planned to murder them all, but the Roma rose up and refused to obey the orders of the SS. This event is still absolutely unknown in the Czech Republic. News server Romea.cz published last year a study about the Romani uprising in Auschwitz written by historian Michal Schuster of the Museum of Romani Culture.

The events of 16 May 1944

The murder of everybody in the so-called „Gypsy Camp“ was supposed to be performed during the evening of 16 May 1944, when the sound of the gong announced that everyone in the entire camp was banned from leaving and that it would be closed. A truck drove up before the gates of the camp and 50-60 members of the special SS commando unit jumped out and called on the prisoners to quickly leave the housing blocks. All of the prisoners, however, refused to leave. Reportedly there was total calm in the barracks. The prisoners barricaded the doors and prepared to defend themselves however they could with rocks and work tools. Romani survivor Hugo Höllenreiner (born 1933 in Munich), who was deported to Auschwitz with his family in 1943, recalls the moments of resistance as follows: „Outside about seven or eight men came to the gate. Dad yelled at them. The entire building shook as he shouted: ‚We‘re not coming out! You come in here! We‘re waiting for you! If you want something, you have to come in and get it!‘ “ The SS commando was startled by this refusal to obey. Their commander decided to postpone the action. The camp closure was temporarily called off. While there was never an open clash between the Romani prisoners and the SS members, the incident played a significant role. It was definitely not the custom in the concentration camps for prisoners to resist a planned and prepared action en masse right before it was to be carried out. There is absolutely no doubt that the armed SS commando unit could have suppressed this act of resistance, but they decided not to go into an open confrontation and preferred to achieve their aims another way. This incident unequivocally had the nature of an uprising and deserves a significant place in the tragic history of the Holocaust of the European Roma. There were approximately 6 500 prisoners in the so-called „Gypsy Camp“ of Birkenau at the time. During the night of 2 August and the early morning hours of 3 August 1944, all of the camp prisoners were murdered in the gas chambers. 2 August is therefore commemorated as the European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day.

Source: Romea.cz
Date: 17.05.2016

Neo-Nazis try to provoke local Roma in Přerov during 1 May protest

An assembly and march by about 30 neo-Nazis from the National Regeneration (Národní obroda – NO) group took place yesterday in Přerov. The leader of the NO, Pavel Matějný, gave a speech very similar to those he has given to previous such assemblies. Matějný’s speech attacked domestic nonprofit organizations such as Konexe and ROMEA, the European Union, NATO, and refugee reception. When the speeches were over, the march left the square and marched past the bus and train station. Riot police guarded the area around the station. A police monitoring vehicle also followed the march the entire time. The neo-Nazis attempted to provoke local Romani residents by marching directly past their homes. Local Romani crime prevention assistants contributed to making sure there were no conflicts. „The guys have been here since 9 AM and have gradually been visiting families to warn them this march will be going past their homes. They have done their best to make sure no conflicts happen,“ Pavel Grim, who works as a mentor for the crime prevention assistants with the Municipal Police there, told news server Denik.cz. „We have previously monitored the activities of this convener and we anticipated a low turnout. Our security measures were set up according to that. The riot officers were just here as backup, the situation outside was monitored by uniformed officers and members of the anti-conflict team,“ Michaela Sedláčková, the Contact Officer for National Minorities at the Regional Police Directorate in Olomouc, told news server Denik.cz.

Source: Romea.cz
Date: 02.05.2016

Rom: Tschechische Hooligans urinierten auf Bettlerin

Video eines spanischen Touristen, das vor Europa-League-Spiel in Rom aufgenommen wurde, sorgt für Empörung. Tschechische Botschaft verurteilte Tat der Sparta-Prag-Anhänger.

Eine Gruppe von Hooligans des tschechischen Fußballclubs Sparta Prag hat in Rom für helle Empörung gesorgt. Im Internet kursierte ein Video einer Gruppe tschechischer Fans, die auf der Brücke vor der Engelsburg eine Roma-Bettlerin umringt und auf sie uriniert, ohne dass Anwesende sie in Schutz nehmen. Das von einem spanischen Touristen aufgenommene Video wurde auf der Webseite der Tageszeitung „El Pais“ veröffentlicht und löste hitzige Reaktionen in Rom aus. Die Bürgermeisterkandidatin Virginia Raggi forderte vorbildhafte Strafen für die Hooligans. „Bettlerei in Rom ist zwar ein Problem, wir stehen hier jedoch vor einer eklatanten Verletzung der Menschenrechte. Eine abscheuliche Tat ist vor den Augen Dutzender Fußgänger und vor einem der schönsten Monumente der Welt begangen worden. Das sind keine Fans, sondern Bestien“, kommentierte Raggi. Der Ex-Vize-Wirtschaftsminister Stefano Fassina forderte die sofortige Identifizierung und Verurteilung der Sparta-Fans. „Sie sollen nie wieder nach Italien einreisen dürfen“, verlangte Fassina. Die tschechische Botschaft in Italien verurteilte den Fall. In einem Schreiben äußerte sie die Hoffnung, dass die italienische Polizei die Verantwortlichen bald identifizieren könne.

Quelle: Kleine Zeitung
Stand: 18.03.2016

Czech Republic: Racist murderer of Romani man is ultra-right’s candidate in regional elections

Vlastimil Pechanec, who was convicted in 2003 of racially-motivated murder, will run in the Czech Republic’s regional elections this autumn as a candidate for the Worker’s Social Justice Party (Dělnická stranu sociální spravedlnosti – DSSS). Pechanec, who was characterized during his trial by expert witnesses as a recidivist whom it would be hard to reform, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for the racist murder of a Romani man, Otto Absolon, in the town of Svitavy, and was then released on parole after serving 12 years of that sentence. Before being sentenced for murder, Pechanec had been convicted of two other crimes, grievous bodily harm and rioting. In 2001 he attacked Mr Absolon with a knife when a group of Romani people entered a discotheque. Pechanec stabbed Mr Absolon twice in the abdomen and the 30-year-old victim died as a result of his wounds. According to the court, Pechanec addressed Mr Absolon with racist abuse before attacking and murdering him for absolutely no reason other than that he was a Rom. Mr Absolon was survived by two young children and his seriously ill common-law wife, who passed away one year later. Despite the evidence that resulted in his conviction, Pechanec insists he did not murder Mr Absolon. In 2014 Pechanec was released on parole and last year the court acceded to his attorney’s request that the biological material on the knife considered to be the murder weapon be re-tested. In December the court announced that no reason had been found to re-open Pechanec’s trial. Pechanec could continue seeking a retrial if a new expert witness assessment were to be submitted to the court, but he cannot afford one. He wants to raise the money through a „benefit concert“ in mid-March. Czech daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD) was the first to publish the information about Pechanec’s DSSS candidacy in its insert for the Pardubice Region. The author of that article, Jaroslav Hubený, felt the need to praise Pechanec’s prerequisites for becoming a politician, which he sees as the fact that Pechanec knows how to cheer on his favorite basketball team from the stands. „His relationship to sports illustrates that basketball fans in Svitavy have been able to repeatedly see him – and mainly hear him – at the league’s basketball games, where he has taken up the role of drummer and ‚cheerleader‘ with a megaphone in his hand. One prerequisite for a politician, i.e., that he not be afraid to stand up against a crowd and against his opponents, Pechanec definitely has,“ Hubený wrote in his article. (mehr…)

Compensation for victims of forced sterilization raised at OSCE event on Roma

Speaking at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw on 1 October, two Romani civil society members raised the urgent issue of the Czech Government’s decision not to compensate the victims of forced sterilizations, human rights abuses that have taken place over the course of decades in the former Czechoslovakia and its successor states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, including into the 21st century. Karolina Mirga of the Ternype network raised the issue as well as the continued presence of an industrial pig farm on the site of a former concentration camp for Roma at Lety in the Czech Republic.

Marek Szilvasi of ERRC dedicated his entire remarks to the issue of compensating the victims of forced sterilization, noting that the Czech Government’s rejection of the bill means that „hundreds of Romani women are going to remain without compensation for this human rights violation.“ Szilvasi urged both the Czech and Slovak Governments to immediately begin developing proper compensation schemes and the Czech Government especially to reconsider its decision.

Archived video of the session on 1 October 2016 is available here (remarks at 2:30). Today’s closing session is being broadcast live here.

On 30 September participants raised the issue of police brutality toward Roma and Sinti communities throughout the 57-state OSCE region. Speakers emphasized that negative stereotypes about Roma are widespread among law enforcement and lead to discrimination in policing.

„The police play an important role in ensuring the protection and promotion of human rights,“ said Mirjam Karoly, ODIHR Senior Advisor on Roma and Sinti Issues. „Therefore, investment in improving trust and confidence among the police and Roma and Sinti communities is crucial to combating racism and discrimination.“

Repressive police practices and a lack of effective investigation and prosecution of crimes against Roma create deep distrust among Roma and Sinti towards the criminal justice system in general. „Criminal cases against police representatives suspected of violence against Roma remain under investigation for very long periods of time, which blatantly violates the standards set by the European Court of Human Rights, related to the duty of the state authorities to conduct thorough and effective investigation within a reasonable time,“ said Oana Taba of the Romanian NGO Romani Criss.

„Investigations in such cases can be flawed, very often lacking the racial motivation of the perpetrator,“ Taba noted. Participants also discussed recent police operations targeting Roma and Sinti and their communities.

„The inhabitants of the concerned areas, mostly Roma, were intimidated and harassed by the practice of raid-like joint control activities in segregated Roma settlements by local government authorities in co-ordination with local police,“ said Szalayné Sándor, Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights of Hungary. „These practices are incompatible with the principle of the rule of law and the requirement of legal certainty.“

Source: Romea.cz
Date: 02.10.2015

AI protests against discrimination of Roma at Czech schools

The Amnesty International (AI) group handed a petition against alleged discrimination against Romanies at Czech schools, signed by over 38,000 people from 94 countries, to Czech Deputy Education Minister Jaroslav Fidrmuc yesterday. The petition campaign started in April with a report on cases of Romanies who were discriminated against within the Czech education system.

This campaign ended outside the seat of the Education Ministry yesterday. AI placed information panels presenting stories of Czech Romany children in the street. The AI report said a disproportionately high number of Romany students attended practical elementary schools for children with moderate intellectual disabilities. It wrote that segregated Romany schools were created and that bullying of Romanies occurred at quality schools. Former education minister Marcel Chladek sharply criticised the AI report. He said it was not based on correct data.

The European Commission has been calling on the Czech Republic for a long time to place Romany children in practical elementary schools only if it is really needed.
AI yesterday criticised the centre-left government of Bohuslav Sobotka. It said the government failed to protect Romany children against discrimination, admit how widespread the discrimination at school was, and produce a good plan for fighting it. „The government should declare that this discrimination exists and start dealing with it as a priority,“ AI Czech branch head Mark Martin. Fidrmuc assured the participants in the AI protest event that they and the ministry had the same goal. He said great improvement can be seen in work with students who need special assistance, Romany or not, in the last few years. Education Minister Katerina Valachova did not attend the protest event because a cabinet meeting was held yesterday.

Source: Prague Daily Monitor
Date: 01.09.2015