We protect historical facts through active remembrance of the Roma Victims
Support for the #ProtectTheFacts campaign and August 2, the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Genocide of the Sinti and Roma
On August 2, we commemorate the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Genocide of the Sinti and Roma when we remember the victims of persecution, terror, and genocide against the Roma people throughout Europe. Between 250,000 and 500,000 European Roma perished in the violence and mass murders during the Second World War.
On April 15 2015 the European Parliament declared August 2 the European Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Genocide against the Roma during the Second World War. This date was chosen to commemorate the night between 2. August 2 and 3, 1944, when the Germans liquidated the last group of Roma prisoners of the so-called “Gypsy Camp” in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
Discrimination, persecution, and violence against Roma have been going on for centuries. The Nazi racist ideology only relied on already existing and entrenched prejudices and hatred towards the Roma. Apart from the German Nazi regime, many other fascist and extreme nationalist regimes throughout Europe, collaborationist governments and their police and military forces, as well as various troops and other militant formations that cooperated with the Germans or independently participated in the persecution and murder of Roma. The collaborationist Government of occupied Serbia actively participated and contributed to the persecution and murders of Roma, too.
The terror against the Roma during the Second World War across Europe unfolded before the eyes of other citizens who, as passive observers, followed the violence their neighbors were subjected to. Some turned their heads pretending not to see, and some incited, helped, cheered, and jubilated at the sufferings of the Roma, and used the situation to rob and seize the property of the Roma driven to the camps.
The terror and oppression of the Roma did not end with the defeat of Nazi Germany
Persecution, violence, hatred, discrimination, segregation, and oppression of the Roma did not end with the defeat of Nazi Germany. On the contrary, all this continued throughout Europe, until today. Roma – the largest European national minority, is at the same time the most persecuted and discriminated group in all European societies.
Therefore, on August 2, the International Day of Remembrance of Roma Victims in the Second World War, the question we must ask ourselves is how to contribute actively, as individuals and as a society, to break the continuity of discrimination and violence that the Roma are still subjected to.
International campaign #ProtectTheFacts against the abuse and distortion of history
#ProtectTheFacts is part of a wider campaign by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), the European Commission, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the United Nations and UNESCO, who have joined forces to raise awareness of the problem of distortion and abuse the history of the Holocaust and the genocide against the Roma in the Second World War.
Join the campaign! Use the hashtag #ProtectTheFacts and download the Serbian version of the materials of this campaign to share on social networks.
International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance IHRA
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance IHRA is an international organization that brings together governments, experts, and activists in the field of Holocaust remembrance, commemoration, research, and education. As the most important international authority in this field, through processes in which all member countries participate, including the Republic of Serbia, IHRA creates recommendations, definitions, and guidelines for Holocaust memorialization. One of the most important is the working definition of antigypsyism and anti-Roma discrimination, which was adopted on the 8th October 2020 . An important IHRA project is underway, which aims to create recommendations for teaching and learning about the persecution and genocide of the Roma during the Nazi era. The Recommendations will be presented on August 2, .
Miško Stanišić | 31. July 2023.
Date August 2 was chosen to commemorate the night between 2. August 2 and 3, 1944, when in the Nazi camp Auschwitz-Birkenau the Germans liquidated the last group of prisoners of the “gypsy camp” (Zigeunerlager). But on August 2, we remember up to half a million Roma victims – children, women, and men who were persecuted and killed during the Second World War in Nazi Germany, in the Independent State of Croatia, Romania, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, Holland, and many other countries, including Serbia. In Serbia, during the German occupation, Milan Nedić’s police and gendarmerie forces, as well as the Ljotić’s militia, actively participated in the persecution and murders of Roma.
The initiative to implement the #ProtectTheFacts campaign in Serbia was initiated and realized by Terraforming.