Lety Concentration Camp, the Czech Republic

The internment camp for the Romani community was set in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia. Meant as a correctional facility for asocials, under the forced labour politics for those without a stable residence or income widespread in occupied Europe. Around 50,000 people went through such labour camps during the war in the country. The numbers of prisoners and of victims of Lety remain debated (around 1 300 people were interned in the camp, out of whom we know about 326 surviving their internment) but insufficient food rations and lack of basic infrastructure together with the brutality of the guards and a typhoid epidemics are recurrent in the testimonies of these survivors. As forced labourers they performed work on roads around Plzeˆ and Ostrava and in forestry and agriculture. Around 500 people detained in Lety were transported to Auschwitz in 1942 and 1943. After the closure of the camp due to an epidemic, surviving prisoners were sent to Hodoni­n or to camps in Prague and Pardubice. Today, the perimeter of the former camp is hidden underneath a newer farm infrastructure.