Roma Genocide Remembrance Day on August 2 is intended to be a reminder of the crimes Nazis committed against the group through internment, forced labour and mass murder during World War 2.
Historians estimate that around 25 per cent of the European Roma population was killed by the Germans and their allies during the Holocaust. Following the war, discrimination against Roma continued. It was not until 1979 that the West German parliament recognized Nazi persecution of Roma as being racially motivated.
European Commissioner Věra Jourová and EC First Vice-President Frans Timmermans acknowledged the issue in Brussels.
“On 2 August 1944, around 3000 Roma women, children and elderly people were murdered in the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau. They were among hundreds of thousands of victims of the Roma genocide, and they suffered together with others who were persecuted under the Nazi regime. It is for these victims that today the European Commission marks Roma Holocaust Memorial Day,” the two said in advance of Roma Genocide Remembrance Day in a statement.
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(Photo of the Lety camp, 1942: Museum of Roma Culture)