Remembering the Forgotten Victims of the Roma Genocide – 2 August marks the Roma Genocide Remembrance Day
2 August marks the Roma Genocide Remembrance Day.
During the night of 2 August 1944, the ‘Gypsy Family Camp’ at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the German Nazi Concentration camps in the then occupied Poland, was liquidated.
2,897 men, women and children of Roma or Sinti origin were murdered by the Nazis. Approximately 23,000 Roma or Sinti people were imprisoned in the camp with over 20,000 estimated to have been murdered there. More broadly, reports suggests half million Roma and Sinti perished during the Holocaust.
A few months ago Londn’s Wiener Holocaust Library hosted an exhibition ‘Forgotten Victims: The Nazi Genocide of the Roma and Sinti’ to shed light on a case that is often neglected in debates around the Nazi atrocities, or as Professor Eve Rosenhaft called it, ‘the forgotten Holocaust.’
After World War II, the survivors of the atrocities struggled to get the recognition of the atrocities for what they were – genocide.
The Roma Genocide refers to the Nazis plan to annihilate the population of Roma and Sinti communities.
In May 2014, the Nazis were planning the “Final Solution” for the ‘Gypsy Family Camp’ in Auschwitz to take place on 16 May 1944.
On that day, people in the camp instigated a rebellion to prevent the Nazis from proceeding with their plan to destroy. However, when the order was issued again, on 2 August 1944, the 2,897 men, women and children of Roma or Sinti were ultimately exterminated. At the time of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945, only 4 Roma remained alive.
76 years later, Roma people still face discrimination and marginalisation. This needs to be addressed to ensure full recognition of their human dignity and adequate protection and full realisation of their human rights.