Terezin was much worse than the wall in Maticni Street

David FerkoUsti nad Labem
I’m in Terezin for the first time, and I have a very bad feeling being here.
I’m frightened to stand here, because I can imagine all the people who were here and all the suffering they went through.
Somebody told me that there were sixty women in this very, very small room. It’s a terrible feeling for me. I can imagine the women living in such a place with no social equipment … with absolutely nothing…it’s just a bad feeling I have.
I must say that in Maticni Street it looks very much the way it does here.
[editor’s note:
In the fall of 1999 the municipal authorities in Usti nad Labem, a small city in northern Bohemia not far from Terezin, allowed Czech residents to build a wall between themselves and their Romany neighbors. In response to domestic and international protest, the wall was taken down, but living conditions in Maticni Street remain very poor.]
People are also crowded in small rooms – ten, fifteen people.
Of course the situation is different: it cannot be compared. Terezin was much worse than the wall in Maticni Street. But the sense of both these things seems to me to be the same.
The people in Maticni Street could fight for their rights, though, while these women and people here in Terezin had no chance at all.
That’s how I see it.____________________
The following response was made by Jiøí Novák at jiriceknovak@seznam.cz on {d ‘2003-09-15’}. I strongly agree that Terezin is much worse than Maticni. Only a short time ago I got to know that my uncle was in Terezin. He was a forestkeeper and he was a memeber of the resistent movement during the World War II. And he ended up in Terezin. He was tortured there and he probably died in terrible pains. The conclusion is, that it is impossible to compare Maticni and Terezin. Thought they might appear similar in something (in a few details). Terezin was a concentration camp. Do you think that Maticni is like one (a concentration camp)?
On 16 May 2002 Gabriela Tomasova of Usti nad Labem responded:
My opinion in the wall in Maticni had been changing. First I had thought itwas racism. Many people were of the same opinion. Perhaps it is not just anopinion but real life. After some time I realized that the responsiblepeople had been only trying to solve a problem. But for the Roma it isdifficult to distinguish what is racism and what is not racism. I think thatthey wouldn´t like any wall- even if it was the most beautiful wall in theworld.

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