Roma writer dies

THE DISTINGUISHED Roma writer and playwright Elena Lacková died at the age of 81 at a retirement home in Košice on January 2.
A leading light of original Roma literature in Slovakia, Lacková, was awarded the Pribina Cross of Second Class for her contribution to developing the cultural life of Slovak Roma. Her documentary work on the fate of Roma during the holocaust was acknowledged when she was awarded the Chatam Sofer memorial medal on her 80th birthday.
A native of Veľký Šariš in the eastern Prešov region, she chronicled the wartime suffering of 400 local Roma in her play Burning Gypsy Camp. Written after the war, it was first performed by a travelling Roma theatre troupe based in Veľký Šariš. In the 1950s the play was staged by the Jonáš Záborský Theatre in Prešov, and in May 2000 by the first professional Roma theatre, Romathan, in Košice.


PRESIDENT Schuster presents Lacková with a national award.
photo: TASR

THE DISTINGUISHED Roma writer and playwright Elena Lacková died at the age of 81 at a retirement home in Košice on January 2.

A leading light of original Roma literature in Slovakia, Lacková, was awarded the Pribina Cross of Second Class for her contribution to developing the cultural life of Slovak Roma. Her documentary work on the fate of Roma during the holocaust was acknowledged when she was awarded the Chatam Sofer memorial medal on her 80th birthday.

A native of Veľký Šariš in the eastern Prešov region, she chronicled the wartime suffering of 400 local Roma in her play Burning Gypsy Camp. Written after the war, it was first performed by a travelling Roma theatre troupe based in Veľký Šariš. In the 1950s the play was staged by the Jonáš Záborský Theatre in Prešov, and in May 2000 by the first professional Roma theatre, Romathan, in Košice.

Her memoirs, I Was Born Under a Lucky Star, were translated into French, Hungarian, Russian and English.

Lacková was the first Roma in former Czechoslovakia to graduate from the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University in Prague. She became a member of the Slovak Writers Community in 1993.

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