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FEMYSO Statement on Roma Genocide Remembrance Day 2020

The 2nd of August marks the Roma Genocide Remembrance Day, FEMYSO commemorates and remembers the suffering of Europe’s Roma and Sinti communities which were impacted by a genocidal campaign carried out by the Nazi regime and its allies before and during World War II. It should be noted that Europe’s Roma and Sinti population describe the Nazi genocide as the ‘Porajmos’, which translates to ‘the devouring’.

Between 1936 and 1944, over 200,000 Roma and Sinti were either murdered or died due to starvation or disease. Note that this number amounts to about 25% of the Roma and Sinti population before World War II. Many more were denied access to education, were imprisoned, used as forced labour, and subject to forced medical experimentation and sterilisation. Auschwitz was closed and Roma and Sinti people were either murdered in gas chambers or sent for forced labour in other concentration camps,

Many of the atrocities committed against the Roma and Sinti by the Nazi regime and its allies, 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 World War II, however, it is our responsibility, as European citizens, to ensure that such heinous crimes towards any community ever takes place.

FEMYSO is deeply concerned of the escalation of persecution and violence directed at Europe’s Roma and Sinti communities, and calls on European governments and institutions to improve and strengthen their legal protection, and to prosecute Political discourse aimed at inciting violence against the Roma and Sinti communities.

FEMYSO will always stand on the side of the oppressed and we will continue our work towards a more diverse, cohesive and vibrant Europe.