Heidelberg, Germany | A virtual commemoration event for the 500,000 murdered Sinti and Roma in Nazi-occupied Europe is the focus of this year's activities on the occasion of the European Holocaust Memorial Day for Sinti and Roma on 2 August.
On this day, we commemorate the last 4,300 Sinti and Roma who were murdered by the SS in the concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau 76 years ago - despite their fierce resistance. Only five years ago, this date was recognised by the European Parliament as European Holocaust Memorial Day for Sinti and Roma.
Romani Rose, Chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, emphasises the importance of a joint commemoration:
"Today Europe is again facing a new nationalism, antigypsyism and anti-Semitism. In recent times we have witnessed numerous right-wing terrorist assassinations in Germany and other European countries. Historical remembrance is a living obligation for the present and the future. When we remember the crimes of National Socialism and the Holocaust today, we must simultaneously defend democracy and the rule of law.”
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we had to make the difficult decision to organize only a small event in the former concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
In addition to Mr. Rose, Chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, Mr. Kwiatkowski, Chairman of the Association of Roma in Poland and Mr. Cywinski, Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dr. Josef Schuster, and the Chairman of the Council of the EKD, Prof. Dr. Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, will also take part in the commemoration event on 2 August.
The website https://www.roma-sinti-holocaust-memorial-day.eu/ offers a wide range of information on the topic of the Holocaust and will make the multilingual commemoration event accessible to an international public on 2 August 2020.