Constituent Congress of the Union of Gypsies-Roma
The Constituent Congress of the Roma-Gypsy Union was held in Brno on 30th August 1969. There were 176 delegates from Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia with a majority of them being men. The downing session was opened by Antonín Daniel, a member of the Central Committee. Representatives of various ministries and state and party bodies attended the congress. After the initial welcome, the participants of the Congress greeted Roma victims of Nazism. The key speeches were the speech by Tomáš Holomek and Miroslav Holomek. Tomáš Holomek started the meeting and according to him the history of the Roma was characterised by "... oppression, persecution, racial discrimination and attempts to assimilate violently, with tendencies of physical liquidation and genocide." The period after the war saw a new hope for the Roma. According to Tomáš Holomek, the Union should become a means of "self-realisation of the Roma, of whom almost a third were illiterate, and most of them lived in difficult social conditions." After the opening speech of Tomáš Holomek, a discussion took place, where more than 20 delegates made their contributions. The final speech was given by Miroslav Holomek, who summed up the discussion and also characterised the future activity of the association and its focus. He outlined the most serious problems that the Roma community faces and identified them as priority tasks. These include, for example, health, social, educational, housing, etc. He also addressed the issue of the Roma community as well as the importance of promoting and creating Roma pride. This contribution ended the first congress of the Roma in the Czech lands.
Brno, Czech Republic
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- Vrtálková, Anna
Lhotka, Petr, Michal Schuster, and Milada Závodská. Svaz Cikánů-Romů 1969-1973: doprovodná publikace k výstavě Muzea romské kultury "Svaz Cikánů-Romů (1969-1973) - z historie první romské organizace v českých zemích". Brno: Muzeum romské kultury, 2009.
Česká televize "V Brně Se Konal Sjezd Cikánů-Romů — 1969 — Ve Stopách Doby — Vyprávěj — Česká Televize." Česká Televize. Accessed August 17, 2018. http://www.ceskatelevize.cz/porady/10266819072-vypravej/ve-stopach-doby/1969/149-v-brne-se-konal-sjezd-cikanu-romu/.
Habrovcová, Jana, interview by Vrtálková, Anna , February 16, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection