Lety, Czech Republic – The modest village of Lety consists of a scattering of small dwellings, a petrol station, a local shop, a town hall and a pig farm.

The acrid stench of livestock hangs in the air at the farm where the calm is occasionally punctuated by the distant squeals of pigs, macabrely echoing the screams of people that would have been heard here 70 years ago. In 1943, this was the site of a concentration camp where hundreds of the country’s Roma and Sinti minority – men, women and children – were murdered.

The site at Lety, in the Southern Bohemian region, was established in 1939 by the Czechoslovak government shortly before the country was occupied by Nazi Germany. Initially, it served as a forced labour camp for so-called ‚unadaptable‘, ‚anti-social‘ citizens, both ethnic Roma and Czech men.

But by 1942, it had become a concentration camp exclusively for the Roma, with women and children rapidly filling the squalid dormitories.

Of the estimated 326 Roma who died here from abuse, neglect and hunger, 241 were children. Countless others were deported to Auschwitz or other extermination camps. Lety was shut down in 1943 following a typhus outbreak.