On August 2nd we commemorate the last 4,300 Sinti and Roma who – despite their fierce resistance – were murdered 77 years ago by the SS in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp. Just six years ago the European Parliament recognized the 2nd of August as the European Holocaust Memorial Day for Sinti and Roma.
This year a virtual commemoration of the 500,000 murdered Sinti and Roma in Nazi-occupied Europe is again the focus of the remembrance on 2 August 2021. The bilingual event (DE/EN) will be available via the website https://www.roma-sinti-holocaust-memorial-day.eu/ together with a wide range of information (DE/EN/PL/Romani) on the topic. Also, virtual commemoration allows for high visibility of local remembrance events across Europe.
Romani Rose, Chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, emphasizes the importance of commemoration:
‘Auschwitz is the conscience that appeals to all of us to raise our voices against the murderous racism that is rampant again today with so many dead. Looking at the current state of the European Union should fill us with great concern. The attempt by some member states to weaken the separation of powers, the fundamental principle of the rule of law, is staggering – especially after the experience of the crimes against humanity committed by the Nazis and the communist dictatorship in Europe.’
Due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, the Association of Roma in Poland and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum once again had to make the difficult decision for holding a virtual cermony. On the location, only a small commemoration with a wreath laying ceremony can take place.