The Dycha family from the village of Hrušky

Microhistory of the Nazi Genocide of the Roma and Sinti in the Czech Republic

  • Michal Schuster Terezin Initiative Institute in Prague
Keywords: Genocide of the Roma and Sinti, Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, Czech Republic


This article presents one of the concrete outcomes of the project “Database of Victims of the National Socialist Persecution of ‘Gypsies’” conducted by the Terezín Initiative Institute in Prague. The case study explored here shows the potential of this detailed, systematic, and local research of individual victims, which documents the genocide of the Roma and Sinti population on the territory of today’s Czech Republic. The Dycha family lived in the agricultural village of Hrušky in South Moravia, where they had a small house, work, and conflict-free relationships with the majority population. After 1939, the ‘anti-Gypsy’ politics of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia struck them. The entire family, including all eight children, were finally transported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in early May 1943. The only survivor was Damián Danihel, the illegitimate son of Estera Dychová. According to documents and testimonies, he was rescued thanks to his Slovak citizenship and the intervention of two local men – the former village mayor and his successor.

Author Biography

Michal Schuster, Terezin Initiative Institute in Prague

Michal Schuster is a historian and researcher at the Terezín Initiative Institute in Prague. He works mainly on the project of the Database of victims of the national socialist persecution of ‚gypsies‘. From 2005 to 2016, he worked as a curator and historian in the Museum of Roma Culture in Brno. Since 2005, he has been cooperating with the association Živá paměť (Live Memory) in Prague on the educational project Disappeared Roma and Roma Today. As an external educator, he works in the Department of Multicultural Education of the Faculty of Education at Masaryk University in Brno. He specialises in the history of the Roma and Sinti in the Czech Republic and also occasionally publishes and lectures for the professional and non-professional public.


How to Cite
Schuster, Michal. 2021. “The Dycha Family from the Village of Hrušky”. S: I.M.O.N. Shoah: Intervention. Methods. Documentation. 8 (2), 72-85.