Wednesday, September 1, 2010


]Wednesday, September 1, 2010 2:29 AM
The following Press Release on behalf of Kosovo Roma Refugee Foundation was issued today at 1115 CET.

PRESS RELEASE 1 September 2010


Prince Karel VII von Schwarzenberg, Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, and Dr. Bernard Kouchner, Foreign Minister of France, recently denounced the deportation of Roma (Gypsies) from France. The deportation of Roma was decided by French President Nicolas Sarkozy the end of July. About 8,300 Romanian and Bulgarian Romani (Gypsy) nationals have been expelled from France since the beginning of the year. Almost 10,000 were expelled in 2009.

Schwarzenberg opposed France’s deportation of Roma saying the decision was made on racial grounds and was contrary to the sprit and rules of the European Union.

Kouchner said he considered resigning over President Sarkozy’s policy of deporting Roma people. He didn’t.

In the eyes of Czech Roma and Sinti and in the experience of Kosovo Roma both men represent hypocrisy at its lowest level.

During WWII Schwarzenberg’s father Prince Karel VI used Jewish and Gypsy slave labor on his south Bohemia estates before the Germans introduced forced administration.

In 1999 as head of the UN in Kosovo, Kouchner placed almost 200 Romani refugee families in camps on highly toxic waste land promising them, Baroness Nicholson and myself that they would only be there for 45 days. He said that as a doctor he recognized the danger of heavy metal poisoning and if these Roma could not be returned to their homes he would take them abroad. Eleven years later, after 89 deaths (many attributed to a combination of malnutrition and lead poisoning) 140 families are still in these camps.

After WWII, from 1945 to 1948, Prince Karel VI continued to use slave labor on his returned estates. This time the slaves were German citizens of Czechoslovakia who were supposed to be deported in 1945. However, Schwarzenberg kept them detained in a confiscated Jewish manor adjoining his estates until the Communists forced him to flee in 1948.

In 2000 Kouchner’s UN medical team took blood tests of many Kosovars in the city of Mitrovica after several NATO troops were found to have lead poisoning. The highest lead levels (the highest in medical literature) were found among the Romani children in the UN camps Kouchner had placed on the tailing stands of the local lead mines. Kouchner’s UN medical team in a written report to him recommended immediate evacuation of the camps and medical treatment. Kouchner refused.

In the 1990s Prince Karel VII von Schwarzenberg, while President Havel’s chief of staff, received in restitution most of his father’s lands, castles, and Prague properties that had been confiscated in 1948 by the then Communist government. The return of these lands made Schwarzenberg the richest man in Czechoslovakia. Under Czech law the properties should not have been returned because during and after WWII the House of Schwarzenberg used slave labor on these estates.

In 1999 Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), which Kouchner co-founded, was awarded the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize. TIME magazine wrote that Kouchner was, “A man of fire, a warrior of peace, who invented the duty of international meddling.” Kouchner later approved “in the name of human rights“ the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.

In the Czech Republic a pig farm now stands on the very foundations of the WWII Lety death camp for Roma and Sinti. Karel VI Schwarzenberg used Roma from this camp to work in his forests and stone quarry. Today this holocaust site is desecrated by 20,000 pigs defecating near the mass graves of the children drowned by the Czech guards in the Schwarzenberg pond next to the camp.

Today in the former UN camps in Mitrovica every child conceived is born with irreversible brain damage due to the high level of lead in their mother’s blood. Last year Dr. Kouchner was asked to intervene in saving these families he had abandoned in 1999. He didn’t.

From 1984 until 1991 Schwarzenberg chaired the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights. He has never apologized to the Czech Roma and Sinti (nor the Czech Jews) for the House of Schwarzenberg using them as slave labor during WWII.

Although he is the present Foreign Minister of France, Kouchner has never sent anyone from the French embassy in Pristina to help the children suffering from malnutrition and lead poisoning in the Roma camps he established in 1999 and promised to close within 45 days.

These Masters of Hypocrisy only speak out to get their own names in the headlines. They are not the moral leaders they pretend to be. They are disregarding moral and legal principals and damaging the credibility of international law.

Schwarzenberg and Kouchner are only patronizing Roma to highlight their own human rights reputations. We hope the public, and especially Roma, will now realize how false these “moral and political leaders” are.

Paul Polansky
Head of Mission
Kosovo Roma Refugee Foundation 1 September 2010


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Casimire said...

A very brutal genocide, except at this death camp the poison works very slow! Just like the Nazis! What a Horror! This posted on Romani Rights as per your request!

Morgan said...

Casimire, you are such a good friend. I thank you. It's interesting that you mentioned the nazis. Romani in Europe are saying that it is just like 1933.
What a terrifying thought.

Casimire said...

Terrifying but easy to believe. Fascism still alive and well. Has been like a sine wave since Inquisition.