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Romania commemorates Roma Holocaust victims: Sufferings were long unknown

Inquam Photos/ Octav Ganea

Romania's Foreign Ministry (MAE) is paying "pious homage" to the memory of the Roma Holocaust victims, pointing out that "the sufferings of the Romany people in Nazi concentration and extermination camps and their allies during WWII were long unknown to the general public, which contributed to the perpetuation of prejudices affecting this community."

August 2 marks the National Roma Holocaust Remembrance Day - Samudaripen, established by law in 2020.

In a press statement released on Monday, MAE says that, according to the final report of the International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania, about 11,000 Roma died, out of the approximately 25,000 who were deported by the Antonescu regime to Transnistria.

MAE also points out that national and international initiatives to promote education, research and commemoration of the Roma genocide must be supported, as "in the absence of knowledge of Samudaripen's history, prejudice and stigmatisation of members of the Romany community will continue."

At the same time, MAE is "firmly" condemning the proliferation of "hate speech against members of the Romany community, especially online."

On August 2, 1944, about 3,000 Romany people from the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp fell victim to the Nazi regime. About 500,000 Roma were killed in Europe during the Holocaust, according to MAE.

To commemorate the victims, August 2 was declared the European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day by the European Parliament Resolution of April 15, 2015.

At the same time, under Law 124/2020, August 2 was established nationally as the National Roma Holocaust (Samudaripen) Remembrance Day. Samudaripen means mass murder in Romani, agerpres reports.


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