European Commission honours Roma Holocaust Memorial Day

Written by on August 2, 2017 in Europe - Comments Off on European Commission honours Roma Holocaust Memorial Day

In memory of the tens of thousands of Roma murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust, the European Commission is observing Roma Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday.

“We must not forget these unspeakable crimes against the Roma”, a statement by the European Commission said. “Younger generations, for whom these episodes seem distant, should know of and understand this tragedy. Persecution and discrimination have no place in the European Union.”

The Commission said that “remembering the wrongs of the past helps us to build tomorrow’s Europe based on our common European values.”

All states in the European Union were asked to recognise the Roma Genocide, and August 2 as Roma Holocaust Memorial Day. According to the European Commission, this is a necessary step “to restore dignity and justice for Roma communities and to make sure that we never forget these events.”

The Commission also vowed it would continue to support member states regarding an integration of the Roma population.

On August 2, 1944, more than 3000 Roma were murdered by the Nazis in Auschwitz-Birkenau. The victims included men, women and children. European Commission officials will be present at a commemoration in Auschwitz today.

During the Holocaust, Nazi Germany murdered between 220,000 and 500,000 Roma. In 1935, a supplementary decree to the Nuremberg Laws was issued on 26 November 1935, in which Roma and Sinti were defined as “enemies of the race-based state”. This was the same category the Jews were put in, 6 million of whom were murdered.

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Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com