Relations between the two groups has varied over time, culminating in the extermination of the Czech originating populations in WWII.
Roma were exterminated by Nazi German mobile killing units and in camps such as the ones at Lety and Auschwitz. 90% of native Roma died, and were replaced by Roma from neighbouring Slovakia and Romania.
During the communist years unsuccessful attempts to change the nomadic living style of Roma were undertaken by the regime. Many Roma people were settled in panel houses that were, however, soon or later utterly demolished (Chánov near Most, Luník IX in Košice). Attempts to stop the growth of the Roma population were made especially in Slovakia, where Romani women got financial offers for sterilization. After 1989, some Romani women started to accuse the state of "forced sterilizations" arguing that they were not properly informed of what the "sterilization" meant. According to Czech ombudsman Otakar Motejl, "at least 50 Romani women were unlawfully sterilized". However, Czech representative at UN protested against such accusations, claiming that the accusation was "false" and Romani women "exaggerate in all cases". A hospital in Vitkovice (Ostrava) recently apologized to a Romani woman, who was sterilized after her second ceasarotomy, but a request for a compensation of 1 million Czech crowns was rejected by the court.
Today, many far right groups including the National Party (Bohemia) oppose Roma, citing the traditional accusations of sloth and dishonesty. Ethnic Czechs who dislike Roma cite their higher rates of anti-social behaviour, lack of hygienic habits, and high crime rate. According to a recent opinion poll, 68% Czechs have less or higher antipathy towards Roma and 82% Czechs refuse any form of a "special care of Roma rights". This attitude remains virtually unchanged. Police stats from the early 90's show that the crime rate of the Roma population in Czechoslovakia was highly disproportional, especially among burglaries and sexual abuses. The latter is partly due to the Romany cultural acceptance of sex, and in some cases arranged marriage, before the age of 15. According to Říčan (1998), Roma make up more than 60% of Czech prisoners and about 50% habitual offenders.
Many Roma fled after the independence of the Czech Republic claiming that they felt unsecure due to a surge in right wing activity. Countries such as Ireland, the UK, Norway and Sweden took in large numbers, but Roma subsequently by and large returned home after a few years. Their immigration to the Great Britain suddenly dropped, after financial support for refugees started to be paid out in the forms of food-tickets in summer 2000 (due to the so-called "Immigration and Asylum Act 1999"). One year later, British customs officers began to check the nationality of Czech passengers at the Prague airport and routinely rejected those of Roma origin. Due to the continuing wave of unsubstantied requests for asylum, Canada set up a visa regime for Czech citizens in October 1997.