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The Legacy of Genocide

Illustration
  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 20, 2017, 17:30 – 19:00

Evening dedicated to post-war efforts to come to terms with the consequences of the Roma Holocaust. Guests will include members of Roma and Sinti families from the Czech Republic and Germany and the debate will be chaired by Jana Horváthová, director of the Museum of Romani Culture.

The programme will begin with an exhibition by the UK historian Eve Rosenhaft and the German academic Jana Müller focused on the pre-war, wartime and post-war history of a number of Sinti families from Germany’s Dessau. The exhibition is based on a collection of photographs from the 1930s documenting the everyday life of the Sinti community in Dessau on the eve of the Holocaust. It will be on show at the Karolinum (entrance from Celetná 20) until 24 September 2017. The evening will also include a screening of the film What Happened to Unku? about the fate of the Sinti girl Erna Lauenburger made famous by the German novel Ede und Unku (1931).

The debate is an accompanying programme to the conference Tracing the Legacies of the Roma Genocide. Families as Transmitters of Experience and Memory (Villa Lanna, 20– 21. 9. 2017) organised by the Prague Forum for Romani Histories at the Institute of Contemporary History at the Czech Academy of Sciences, Alternatives Jugendzentrum in Dessau and the international network of researchers Legacies of the Roma Genocide in Europe since 1945, which is based at the University of Liverpool. The debate was supported by Deutsch-Tschechischer Zukunftsfonds and Strategy 21AV.

The debate will be simultaneously interpreted from German and English into Czech.

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Speech to Joint Session of the United States Congress, Washington

„We are still a long way from that „family of man;“ in fact, we seem to be receding from the ideal rather than drawing closer to it. Interests of all kinds: personal, selfish, state, national, group and, if you like, company interests still considerably outweigh genuinely common and global interests. We are still under the sway of the destructive and thoroughly vain belief that man is the pinnacle of creation, and not just a part of it, and that therefore everything is permitted. There are still many who say they are concerdend not for themselves but for the cause, while they are demonstrably out for themselves and not for the cause at all. We are still destroying the planet that was entrusted to us, and its environment. We still close our eyes to the growing social, ethnic and cultural conflicts in the world. From time to time we say that the anonymous megamachinery we have created for ourselves no longer serves us but rather has enslaved us, yet we still fail to do anything about it.“

Václav Havel:
Speech to Joint Session of the United States Congress, Washington, February 21, 1990

Václav Havel’s Prague