Prague Forum for Romani Histories

International Conference: Tracing the Legacies of the Roma Genocide. Families as Transmitters of Experience and Memory

University of Liverpool Library

20-21 September 2017, Prague

About Speakers Programme Location / Accom.

The conference is a joint event bringing together two recent academic initiatives focusing on the research on the history of the Roma and supporting new approaches in the field: the Prague Forum for Romani Histories and the Research network on ‘Legacies of the Roma Genocide in Europe since 1945’, which is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC, United Kingdom). Both initiatives aim at fostering a debate on the history of Roma as part of European history and contemporary European society.

The AHRC-funded Research network on ‘Legacies of the Roma Genocide in Europe since 1945’ is an international group of historians, social scientists, and scholars of language and culture, working with representatives of Romani communities to explore how the genocidal policies pursued in Europe between the mid-1930s and 1945 have shaped the social, political, and cultural history of Roma since 1945. It is led by Celia Donert and Eve Rosenhaft at the University of Liverpool in partnership with the MigRom project at the University of Manchester and the Romani Studies Seminar, Charles University, Prague. The conference is closely linked to its other activities planned for 2017 (workshops for researchers on conceptual approaches and state practices, as well as other events for the general public).

The Prague Forum for Romani Histories is an international academic initiative to promote interdisciplinary, intersectional, and transnational scholarship and dialogue on the study of the Roma as an integral part of European societies and an integral component of the historic research in and of Europe. Supporting methodological approaches that concentrate on processes of social differentiation and acknowledging the problematic role of disciplinary knowledge in reifying unequal power relations, the Forum seeks to contribute to decentring hegemonic national and identity-based narratives in European history. By doing so it seeks to promote reflexive, self-critical work which foregrounds Roma as historical co-actors, without downplaying discrimination and persecution histories. The Forum is institutionally based at the Institute of Contemporary History of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague. The partners in establishing the Forum are CEFRES, Prague, and the Seminar of Romani Studies (Department of Central European Studies, Facult y of Arts) at Charles University, Prague. The planned conference is the inaugural event of the Forum.

Understanding the genocide of the Roma during World War II seems crucial for understanding the post-war history of Romani families and communities across Europe. At least 130,000 Roma were killed as a direct result of racial policies pursued by the German state, its allies, and other European states between 1933 and 1945. Some activists and scholars claim that as many as half a million Roma were killed. Yet although the mechanisms and scope of the Roma Holocaust are now partly understood, the legacies of mass killing, ghettoization, sterilization, and slave labour for first-, second- and third-generation survivors are still unknown. It appears likely, however, that understanding the trauma of the mid-twentieth-century genocide, as well as its contested recognition by majority societies, is of paramount importance for understanding the persistent discrimination against European Roma today.

The purpose of the conference is accordingly to map current research and guide a developing research agenda, investigating the ways in which past experiences and memories of persecution and violence have influenced family histories, political and social identities, and state-society relations amongst the Roma in different parts of Europe since 1945. Such investigations necessarily have a broad geographical focus, going beyond the more familiar sites of memory like the Auschwitz Gypsy camp to consider topics such as the legacies of the wartime deportation of Romanian Roma to Transnistria. We also welcome critical longer-term approaches to periodization, which might shed light on the specificity (or otherwise) of the events that took place between the mid-1930s and 1945. Our hope is thus to promote much-needed comparative and transnational perspectives on the history of Roma in post-war Europe, and also to connect scholarship in the field of Romani Studies to broader debates about the legacies of genocide in contemporary European history.

We invite papers from scholars in all disciplines, including historians, ethnographers, and cultural studies scholars, and particularly welcome cross-disciplinary, comparative, and transnational approaches. Our aim is not to reify an image of the Roma as homogeneous victims of genocide. Rather, we invite contributions that explore and contest narratives of victimhood, for example, by investigating the various ways in which individuals and families have responded to the experience of discrimination in everyday life, interactions with public authorities, politics, economic activities, or activism.

Papers might explore the following questions:

  • How might we search for the traces of genocide in the subjective and material experiences of Romani families since the end of the Second World War?
  • How can scholars trace and narrate the legacies of the Roma genocide within families of first-, second- and third-generation survivors?
  • To what extent can we compare the memories of persecution amongst Roma in different places, and in different migration contexts and with other population groups?
  •  To what extent have continuities in discriminatory practices within local and national welfare agencies, police, health and education authorities in post-1945 Europe influenced experiences and memories of persecution among Roma communities and families?
  • In the light of an emerging agenda of memorialization among Roma advocacy groups, how can we contribute to contextualizing policies and practices of commemoration and memorialization in different local, national, and transnational sites since 1945?
  • How has the legacy of genocide shaped the political construction of Romani identities, for example, through social activism or political movements?
  • What are the ethical and political dilemmas for historians who seek to explore these histories of trauma and violence?


Opening of the conference

Celia Donert and Eve Rosenhaft

Panel I: Families as Transmitters of Experience and Memory

Chair: Kateřina Čapková

Volha Bartash (Hugo Valentin Centre, University of Uppsala): The Holocaust in Three Generations? Transmitting Memories and Communicating Trauma in Romani Families in Belarus and Lithuania

Hanna Abakunova (University of Sheffield): Memories of Persecution of Roma in Ukraine during the Second World War: Roma vs. non-Roma Perspectives.

Lada Viková (Faculty of Humanities, Charles University): ‘Not being others’ and ‘Forgetting the Auschwitz Trauma’ as two chosen strategies in the postwar history of a Czech-Moravian Roma family.

Slawomir Kapralski (Pedagogical University of Cracow): Roma Family as an Ambiguous Frame of Memory

15:45-16:15 coffee break

16:30 transfer to Václav Havel Library

Exhibition opening

Eve Rosenhaft (Liverpool University), Jana Müller (Alternatives Jugendzentrum e.V. Dessau)

Exhibition title:

“…don’t forget the photos, it’s very important…” The National Socialist Persecution of Central German Sinti and Roma

“…vergiss die Photos nicht, das ist sehr wichtig…” Die Verfolgung mitteldeutscher Sinti und Roma im Nationalsozialismus


Discussion with Members of German and Czech Holocaust Survivor Families

Chair: Jana Horváthová (Museum of Romani Culture)


Panel II: Memory, Family Histories, and the State

Chair: Yasar Abu Ghosh (Faculty of Humanities, Charles University)

Ari Joskowicz (Vanderbilt University): Judicial Testimony and Communal Memory: Pretrial Interviews with Romani Survivors in the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials

Petre Matei (Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania, Bucharest): Roma in Romania and their Memories of the Holocaust – a Complicated Interplay between Survivors, Families, Activists and State

Eszter Varsa (Leibniz-Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, University in Regensburg): Child protection authorities’ perception of Romani and non-Romani families in early state socialist Hungary

10:45-11:15 coffee break

Panel III: The Destruction and Reconstruction of Community: Family Narratives

Chair: Ilsen About (EHESS, Paris)

Viorel Achim (Nicolae Iorga Institute of History, Romanian Academy of Sciences, Bucharest): Roma deported to Transnistria speaking about their suffering in several petitions from 1943-44

Grégoire Cousin (Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme): Creating a community, sharing a history: Family narratives of Bessarabian Roma in France and Romania.

Helena Sadílková / Milada Závodská (Museum of Roma Culture, Brno): “After the liberation from the camp I returned to my country” (Leon Růžička). Two written testimonies (1958, 1980) by Romani Holocaust Survivors in Communist Czechoslovakia: Asserting a presence outside the private sphere.

13:00-14:00 Lunch break

Panel IV: Private Memories and Commemorative Cultures

Chair: Krista Hegburg (USHMM, Washington)

Dušan Slačka (Museum of Roma Culture, Brno): Circumstances of Creation of Miroslav Bárta’s Short Documentary Motion Picture Nezapomeňte na tohle děvčátko (Don’t forget this little girl).

Jana Horváthová (Museum of Roma Culture, Brno): Genesis of Research, Documentation and Commemoration of the Roma Holocaust before and after the Establishment of the Museum of Romani Culture

Anne Klein (University of Cologne)/ Thorsten Fehlberg (Bundesverband Information & Beratung für NS-Verfolgte e. V.): Who speaks? Tracing the transmittance of the Roma Genocide in private memory and commemorative culture

15:45-16:30 Coffee break

Roundtable discussion

Chair: Celia Donert

Tara Zahra (University of Chicago)
Iulius Rostas (CEU, Budapest)
Ari Joskowicz (Vanderblit University)
Jan Grill (Universidad del Valle, Cali)
Čeněk Růžička (Committee for the Reparation of Romani Victims of the Holocaust, Czech Republic)

The conference is organized by the AHRC research network on ‘Legacies of the Roma Genocide in Europe since 1945’ and The Prague Forum for Romani Histories based on the Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences
in partnership with Seminar of Romani Studies at Charles University, Alternatives Jugendzentrum in Dessau, CEFRES and New York University in Prague


Celia Donert (University of Liverpool)
Eve Rosenhaft (University of Liverpool)
Helena Sadílková (Charles University, Prague)
Kateřina Čapková (Institute of Contemporary History, Prague)

Hanna Abakunova

is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Sheffield supported by the Wolfson Foundation. The title of her thesis is ‘The Rescue of Jews and Roma in Ukraine during the Holocaust’. From 2008 to 2015 she was a Research Fellow at a number of institutions, including the NIOD (Amsterdam), the New Europe College (Bucharest), Yahad-in Unum (Paris), and Yad Vashem (Jerusalem). Her publications include, as co-author, The Genocide and Persecution of Roma and Sinti: Bibliography and Historiographical Review (IHRA, 2016). Among her research interests are the extermination and rescue of Jews and Roma in Ukraine, Holocaust historiography, and interethnic relations during the Holocaust in Transnistria.

Ilsen About

is Researcher at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris, member of the Centre Georg Simmel, École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Paris. He received his Ph.D. in History from the European University Institute, in Florence, and, with Vincent Denis, is the co-author of and co-editor of Identification and Registration Practices in Transnational Perspective (London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). Since 2013, he has helped to run the interdisciplinary seminar on Romani studies at the EHESS, Paris. His present research is on the European dimension of anti-Roma policies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In 2016, with Anna Abakunova, he authored a report commissioned by the International Holocaust and Remembrance Alliance, The Genocide and Persecution of Roma and Sinti: Bibliography and Historiographical Review (IHRA, 2016). A member of the European Academic Network on Romani Studies, he is working on a methodology of historical archives in Romani studies and is a co-editor of the volume Romani Presences: Investigations and Experiences into the Archives (Le Cavalier Bleu, forthcoming).

Yasar Abu Ghosh

is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities, Charles University, Prague and a faculty member at NYU Prague. He earned his PhD from Charles University, Prague, attended the Laboratoire de Sciences Sociales ENS/EHESS, Paris, and participated in study programmes at University College London, Central European University, Budapest, and New York University. He has been a visiting professor at CEU, Budapest, LMU, Munich, and EHESS, Paris. He has been a visiting professor at CEU, Budapest, LMU, Munich, and EHESS, Paris. In 2016 he was awarded a Fulbright-Masaryk Scholarship to serve as a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. Yasar Abu Ghosh has done field research on the Roma in south Bohemia, focusing on Roma responses to their marginalization in the socialist past and post-socialist present. He has also been working on memory culture and recognition in relation to the Nazi persecution of the Roma and the politics of its historical account.

Viorel Achim

is Senior Researcher at the Nicolae Iorga Institute of History, Romanian Academy, Bucharest. His research fields include the history of the Gypsies (Roma), ethnic minorities in Romania from 1918 to 1948, population policies in Romania during the Second World War, and the Holocaust. He is the author or co-author of eight books and the author of about 100 chapters and journal articles. His most recent publications are Munca forţată în Transnistria: ‘Organizarea muncii’ evreilor, decembrie 1942 – martie 1944 (Forced Labour in Transnistria: The ‘Labour Organization’ for Jews and Roma, December 1942–March 1944), published in 2015, and, edited with Venera Achim, Modernizare socială şi instituţională în Principatele Române, 1831–1859 (Social and Institutional Modernization in the Romanian Principalities, 1831–59), published in 2016.

Volha Bartash

is a post-doctoral researcher (Swedish Institute Postdoctoral Scholarship) at the Hugo Valentin Centre, University of Uppsala, where she is working on the book project ‘Survival as a Daily Routine: The History and Memory of the Nazi Genocide of the Roma in the German-occupied Belarusian-Lithuanian Border Region’. She received a PhD in Ethnology from the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus in 2011. For her thesis on the sedentarization of Roma in the Soviet Union, she was awarded the Marian Madison Gypsy Lore Society Young Scholar’s Prize in Romani Studies. Volha has done extensive ethnographic fieldwork in the Roma communities of Belarus and Lithuania since 2007.

Grégoire Cousin

holds a PhD in Public and Comparative Law from the Universities of Tours and Florence. His doctoral research was on the legal status of the migration of Romanian Roma.  He is member of the academic board of Urba-Rom, and is currently the main field researcher in the French team of the MigRom project at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme. His MigRom research is on the anthropology of power in and out of Roma communities.

Kateřina Čapková

is a historian, she is the head of the Inclusive History Research Group at the Institute of Contemporary History at the Czech Academy of Sciences, and she teaches at Charles University and NYU, in Prague. Her research focuses on modern Jewish history in Europe and the history of refugees and migration. Her book Czechs, Germans, Jews? National Identity and the Jews of Bohemia (Berghahn Books, 2012; in Czech 2005 and 2014) received the Outstanding Academic Title of 2012 from Choice magazine. With Michal Frankl, she co-authored Unsichere Zuflucht (Böhlau, 2012; in Czech, in 2008), about people fleeing to Czechoslovakia from Nazi Germany and Austria. In 2016 she initiated the establishment of the Prague Forum for Romani Histories at the Institute of Contemporary History.

Zdeněk Daniel

is an architect and painter from Jablonec nad Nisou, with more than twenty years of practical experience in architecture, design, and the visual arts. He has received several awards in the fields of architecture and design, and is a member of the Czech Association of Architects. His parents come from Moravia – his mother from Brno, his father from Oslavany. His father’s family suffered severely from the war-time persecution of the Roma: most of them were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau and never came home. In 2016 Daniel created a series of paintings in which he seeks to come to terms with this part of his family history.

Celia Donert

is Senior Lecturer in Twentieth-Century History at the History Department, University of Liverpool. She works on contemporary European history with research interests in the history of state socialism, social movements, and the history of human rights.  Her first book, on the social history of the Roma in twentieth-century Czechoslovakia as a struggle over citizenship rights in a socialist welfare state, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.  She is currently working on a history of women’s rights and socialist internationalism; this project has been supported by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grant and the Gerda Henkel Stiftung. From 2017 she is the Principal Investigator of the AHRC Research Network on Legacies of the Roma Genocide in Europe since 1945

Thorsten Fehlberg

is a political scientist and social geographer. His main research interests are right-wing extremism and the descendants of victims of Nazi persecution. After working in neighbourhood management and marketing, he has been working for the non-governmental Federal Association for Information and Advice for Survivors of Nazi Persecution (Bundesverband Information & Beratung für NS-Verfolgte e.V.) since 2013. His role includes project coordination as well as fundraising and public relations. He manages social projects for survivors of Nazi persecution and their descendants and also projects for political education. He is, in addition, responsible for setting up working groups (concerning political education and transgenerational transmission of trauma) and organizing regular meetings for descendants of survivors.

Mario Franz

grew up in a Sinti family in Osnabrück. His mother, Auguste Franz née Christ, was forced to do labour of the hardest kind under the Nazis. His father, Johann Franz, survived more than six years in concentration camps. Most of the other members of their family were murdered. For nearly thirty years after the genocide, the Franz family had to live in the Papenhütte settlement in Osnabrück, in conditions unfit for human beings. Mario Franz is the founder and first president of the Maro Dromm Sui Generis association, which is devoted to maintaining the culture and language of the Sinti in Germany and to disseminating information about them both to members of the Sinti community and to outsiders. He carries on this work in schools and universities, as well as in other contexts.

Jan Grill

is the Simon Research Fellow in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. He is also affiliated with the Department of Sociology, Universidad del Valle, Cali. After completing his PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews in 2012, he worked as a temporary Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester, held a Re: Work Fellowship with the IGK Work and Human Life Cycle in Global History at Humboldt University, Berlin, and an ERSTE Foundation Fellowship for Social Research. He has conducted extensive ethnographic research among Slovak, Czech, and Hungarian Roma/Gypsy groups, exploring questions related to different forms of migration from central and eastern Europe to Great Britain and Canada (and back). The general research interests informing his work are migration, ethnicity, racialization, marginality, labour and work, and the ethnography of states and borders.

Jan Hauer

was born to a Sinti family in Olomouc and grew up in Prague. In the late 1960s he accompanied his father on a journey to former concentration camps in Germany and Austria to gather information on the members of his family who perished during the Second World War. For more than 15 years, Jan Hauer has been gathering photographs and archival documents on the history of his family in the Czech Lands and Austria.

Else Höllenreiner

has been married to Mano Höllenreiner for more than sixty years. They have three children. Originally from the majority German community, she has experienced the impact of persecution on her husband and his relatives and the continuing pattern of exclusion and discrimination. She has supported members of the family in submitting their compensation claims and enforcing their rights, and she supports her husband’s testimonial work, telling the story of her own experiences.

Mano (Hermann) Höllenreiner

survived persecution as a Sinto in Auschwitz-Birkenau, Ravensbrück, Sachsenhausen, and on a death march. After the liberation, completely exhausted, he was taken to France by French survivors. He was not allowed to reveal in the publicthat he was German, and the psychological conflict that produced, combined with his camp experiences, left him severely traumatized. Former French resistance fighters looked after him and hoped that he could be helped if he spent time in a psychiatric institution. But there he was bullied by one of the staff who recognized that he was German. At the end of 1946 he returned to his family in Munich. He has been actively giving testimony for many years.

Jana Horváthová

lives and works in Brno. She is a historian and a museologist. In 1991 she helped to found the Museum of Romani Culture (subsidized by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic), and is currently its director. Applying mainly the methods of oral history, she focuses in her scholarly work on the history of the Roma in the first half of the twentieth century. She is, however, also interested in historical Roma groups that came to the Bohemian Lands beginning in the seventeenth century and whose descendants became the victims of Nazi genocide during the Second World War. She lectures on Romani history and spiritual and material culture. Her publications include Kapitoly z dějin Romů (Chapters from the history of the Roma, Prague, 2002); Devleskere čhave (The testimony of old postcards, Poprad, 2006).

Ari Joskowicz

is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, European Studies, and History and Director of the Max Kade Center for European and German Studies at Vanderbilt University. He is a historian of modern European and Jewish history with a special interest in questions of comparative minority politics since the Enlightenment. His publications include The Modernity of Others: Jewish Anti-Catholicism in Germany and France (Stanford University Press, 2014), ‘Romani Refugees and the Postwar Order’ (Journal of Contemporary History, 2016) and ‘Separate Suffering, Shared Archives: Jewish and Romani Histories of Nazi Persecution’ (History & Memory, 2016). He is currently working on a book, entitled Jews and Roma in the Shadow of Genocide, which traces the relations between Roma and Jews during and since the Holocaust.

Sławomir Kapralski

is a Professor of Sociology at the Pedagogical University of Cracow and a frequent visiting lecturer at the Centre for Social Studies operated by Lancaster University and the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. He graduated from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, where he also received his PhD in Sociology and started his academic career. He was for many years been associated with Central European University (Prague, Warsaw, Budapest). His research focuses on nationalism, ethnicity and identity, collective memory, antisemitism and the Shoah, and the Roma communities in Europe. He is a member of the Gypsy Lore Society and the European Academic Network on Romani Studies.

Anne Klein

is a historian and a political scientist and pedagogist at the University of Cologne. Her research interests include the Holocaust, memory, and minorities. She has published several studies on Romani history, most recently ‘Deutsche Zustände und Europäische Zivilgesellschaft: Antiziganismus im Kontext von Erinnerungskultur und Migration’, in Ulrich Steuten (ed.), Für immer ‘Zigeuner’? Zur Kontinuität des Antiziganismus in Deutschland (2017).

Petre Matei

is a historian and researcher at the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania. Since October 2016 he has taught a course in Roma history at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest. He obtained his PhD in History at the University of Bucharest with a thesis on the twentieth-century history of the Roma of Romania, and received a Tziporah Wiesel Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the USHMM (2012) with a project on the role of the police in the deportation of the Roma to Transnistria. Since 2014 he has coordinated the project ‘Roma Survivors of the Deportations to Transnistria’, and has conducted numerous interviews with the Roma survivors.

Jana Müller

is a qualified youth worker, active for twenty years in promoting the memory of the victims of National Socialism. She works closely with survivors, and has created an archive of video testimony. As Director of the Alternatives Jugendzentrum, in Dessau, she is responsible for educational projects such as visits to memorial sites, encounters with survivors and witnesses, local history research, and commemorative events organized by young people themselves. One outcome of this has been the production of films, such as Was mit Unku geschah (What Happened to Unku), exhibitions, and booklets. Apart from her professional commitments, she works closely with Eve Rosenhaft, researching the life histories of Central German Sinti and Roma and their experiences of persecution. In this work, she enjoys the support of survivors and their children and grandchildren.

Eve Rosenhaft

is Professor of German Historical Studies at the University of Liverpool. She grew up in New York City and studied in Canada and the United Kingdom. She has done research on the history of German labour and social policy, on women’s and gender history, and on the history of Black people in Germany. She has been conducting research on German Sinti and Roma for twenty years, an interest sparked by her discovery of Hanns Weltzel’s photographs in the Liverpool University Library. Most recently, she has worked with Jana Müller to develop an exhibition based on the photographs and their subjects.

Iulius Rostas

is Assistant Professor and the Chair of Romani Studies at Central European University in Budapest. He was an Affiliated Fellow with the Institute for Advanced Studies at CEU, Senior Fellow with the Open Society Foundations Roma Initiatives Office, and Visiting Lecturer at Corvinus University of Budapest. He has worked for the Open Society Foundations, the European Roma Rights Center, and the Government of Romania, and been a consultant for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the World Bank, the European Commission, and the Roma Education Fund. Dr Rostas is the editor of Ten Years After: A History of Roma School Desegregation in Central and Eastern Europe (CEU Press, 2012) and Social Inclusion or Exclusion: The Rights of Persons Living with HIV in Moldova (Cartier Publishing, 2011).

Čeněk Růžička

is the head of the Committee for the Reparation of Romani Victims of the Holocaust, a Czech NGO. A traditional travelling Czech Rom by origin, almost all the members of his family died in Nazi concentration camps. The NGO acts on behalf of Romani victims of Nazi persecution and seeks to improve Czech-Romani relations. Čeněk Růžička is also a member of the Committee for Romani Affairs at the Office of the Czech Government, and chairs its Working Group for Roma Reparation.

Helena Sadílková

is the head of the Seminar of Romani Studies courses at Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague where she teaches courses of Romani language and history. Her major research interests are the post-war history of the Roma in Czechoslovakia, focusing on interaction among members of local Romani communities and the local non-Romani population, including the local authorities. She also works in the field of applied linguistics. She is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Czech Romani studies peer-reviewed journal Romano džaniben (Prague).

Magdalena Sedlická

is Head of the Shoah History Department in the Jewish Museum in Prague and a researcher in the project European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI). She is a PhD candidate in History at Charles University, Prague. Since 2016, she has participated in the project Inclusion of the Jewish Population into the Post-war Czechoslovak and Polish Societies, at the Institute of Contemporary History, the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Her main research interest is the history of the Jews of Czechoslovakia in the twentieth century, particularly post-war Jewish history.

Dušan Slačka

is a historian and curator of the Written Materials Collection and Self-Documentation Collection in the Museum of Romani Culture, Brno. Specializing in modern history and multicultural society, he graduated from Masaryk University, Brno, with the thesis ‘The “Gypsy Question” in the Hodonín District, 1945–73’. He is an executive editor of the Bulletin Muzea romské kultury (Bulletin of the Museum of Romani Culture), a peer-reviewed journal, and is a member of the Czech delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

Jiřina Somsiová

comes from the Daniel family of Moravia, which was hard hit by the Romani holocaust. Both of her parents were imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps. She works for the Association of Roma in Moravia, an NGO, and for more than three decades has been working with Romani school children in a range of extracurricular activities. As a local leader and a woman, she is proud to carry on Romani traditions, including the use of the Romani language.

Eszter Varsa

is a social historian affiliated with the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS), Regensburg. She completed her PhD in Comparative Gender Studies at Central European University (CEU), Budapest, in 2011, with a dissertation entitled ‘Gender, “Race”/Ethnicity, Class and the Institution of Child Protection in Hungary, 1949–1956’. Her main areas of research are (child) welfare history, the social history of health, and Roma in Cold War Eastern Europe. She has taught BA and MA courses at the Gender Studies and History Departments of the CEU and the Department of East and Southeast European History at the University of Regensburg. She was an instructor in the Roma Access Program of the Open Society Institute and the Special Extension Program of CEU.

Lada Viková

studied Psychology and Romani Language at Charles University, and is now is a lecturer in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Pardubice. In addition, she works for Romano Dzaniben, the Czech Romani studies peer-reviewed journal. Since 2014 she has been working on her PhD, ‘The Process of Roma Integration in the Czech Republic’, in connection with the programme of Applied Ethics at the Faculty of the Humanities, Charles University, Prague.

Tara Zahra

is a Professor of History at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on the transnational history of Modern Europe, migration, the family, nationalism, and humanitarianism. Her most recent publication is The Great Departure: Mass Migration and the Making of the ‘Free World’ (Norton, 2016). Her previous books include The Lost Children: Reconstructing Europe’s Families after World War II (Harvard University Press, 2011) and Kidnapped Souls: National Indifference and the Battle for Children in the Bohemian Lands (Cornell, 2008). Recently she published an essay in the American Historical Review on Roma and statelessness, entitled ‘“Condemned to Rootlessness and Unable to Budge’: Roma, Migration Panics, and Internment in the Habsburg Empire’. Her current projects include a co-authored history of World War I in the Habsburg Empire (with Pieter Judson), and a history of deglobalization in interwar Europe.

Milada Závodská

is a historian. From 2000 to 2007 she worked with Roma NGOs. Since 2007 she has been working at the Museum of Romani Culture, Brno, as an expert on Romani culture and history and as a librarian. She received her PhD from Charles University in 2016. Her main professional interest is in the earliest historical sources written by Roma.

The conference takes place in Villa Lanna, participants will be accommodated there.

V Sadech 1
Prague  6
phone: +420 224 321 278

How to get there

From the airport
At the bus stop for the 119 bus, just outside the airport front doors, buy a 32-crown ticket from the yellow-orange ticket machine; it will cover for 90 minutes of travel by bus, tram, and Metro (underground) in Prague.  Take the 119 bus to the Nádraží Veleslavín Metro station, then go down the stairs to the Metro, and travel to the station Hradčanská. Villa Lanna is a ten-minute from the Hradčanská station (see below).

From the train or the coach station
Trains arrive at Prague Main Station (Praha Hlavní nádraží). From a yellow-orange ticket machine, buy a basic ticket for 32 crowns for 90 minutes of travel by all means of transport in Prague.

Enter the Metro directly at the train station, travel one station to Muzeum, and change onto the green line, which will take you to Hradčanská (the last stop before the Dejvice terminus). If travelling by coach, the Florenc bus station has its own Metro station: get onto the red line and change at Muzeum for the green line to Hradčanská.  Villa Lanna is a ten-minute from the Hradčanská station (see below).

The ten-minute walk from Hradčanská station to Villa Lanna
Head for the ‘Bubenečská’ exit, walk straight down Bubenečská Street. At Ronald Reagan Street, with the US Ambassador’s residence on the corner, turn right. At the end of the street, turn left into Pelléova Street. At the end of this street, you’ll see Villa Lanna.

For further tram and Metro information, including timetables and trip planning, visit the Prague Public Transport website .


Subscribe to our newsletter