On 02 August 2019, the Roma Genocide Remembrance Day, FEMYSO commemorates and remembers the suffering of Europe’s Roma and Sinti communities which were targeted with atrocity by the Nazi regime and its allies during WWII. It is to be noted that Europe’s Roma and Sinti population describe the Nazi genocide as the “Porajmos”, which translates to ” the devouring”.
In between 1936, specifically in Berlin before the city hosted the Olympic games, and 1944, when the Zigeunerlager (Gypsy Camp) at Auschwitz was closed and Roma and Sinti people were either murdered in gas chambers or sent for forced labour in other concentration camps, over 200,000 Roma and Sinti were either murdered or died due to starvation or disease. Note that the number amounts to about 25% of the Roma and Sinti population before WWII. Many more were denied access to education, were imprisoned, used as forced labour, and subject to forced medical experimentation and sterilisation.
Regardless of the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime and its allies, the Roma and Sinti experiences were only fully recognised in 1981 in West Germany.
Regrettably still today Europe’s Roma and Sinti communities are targeted by hateful political discourse and discrimination. History taught us the heinous crimes that took place before and during WWII, however it is our responsibility, as European citizen, to ensure that such heinous crime never happen again.
FEMYSO is deeply concerned of the escalation of persecution and violence directed at Europe’s Roma and Sinti communities, and calls on European Governments to improve and strengthen their legal protection and to prosecute Political discourse aimed at inciting violence against the Roma and Sinti communities.