U.S. Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues Ellen Germain on Visit

Ellen Germain, U.S. Government Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, visited our Center in Heidelberg on December 8, 2022. During the conversation, Romani Rose, Chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, expressed his concern that enemies of democracy are once again relativizing and denying the crimes of the Holocaust against 6 million Jews and 500,000 Sinti and Roma.

From left to right: Consul General Norman Thatcher Scharpf, Diana Bastian, Ambassador Ellen Germain and Romani Rose stand next to each other and look into the camera. In the background, a small stage with posters from the Documentation Center's event program can be seen.
U.S. Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues Ellen Germain visits Heidelberg. From left: Consul General Norman Thatcher Scharpf, Diana Bastian, Special Envoy Ellen Germain, Romani Rose (Photo: Documentation and Cultural Center of German Sinti and Roma).

During the visit, Rose stressed the importance of recognizing the Holocaust against Sinti and Roma at a time when Antigypsyism, Antisemitism and racism are contributing to the division of society: 

‘The Central Council would like to see the U.S. government follow the resolution of the European Parliament, which in 2015 declared August 2 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day for Sinti and Roma. The visit of the U.S. Special Envoy represents that at the international level, awareness is raised regarding this part of the Nazi crimes as well.’

The U.S. Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, Ellen Germain, commented on the visit to the Documentation Center:

‘I was very moved by the visit to the Center and the excellent exhibition on the Nazi persecution of the Sinti and Roma. I think we all have a lot to learn about this tragic aspect of World War II history – it’s very important to raise awareness about the Nazi persecution and murder of the Sinti and Roma.’

Ellen Germain also toured our permanent exhibit on the Holocaust of 500,000 murdered Sinti and Roma in Nazi-occupied Europe. The conversation also addressed the situation of the minority in Germany and in Europe. In addition, the dangers of Antigypsyism, which is deeply rooted in society, were discussed. Today, Antigypsyism manifests itself again through violent attacks and exclusion of the minority. The U.S. Special Envoy and the Central Council Chairman agreed on closer cooperation in education, remembrance and research concerning the Holocaust, including the 500,000 Sinti and Roma murdered in Nazi-occupied Europe.