A ceremony commemorating the mass killing of Roma and Sinti in Auschwitz-Birkenau was held at the former death camp on Tuesday to mark Roma Holocaust Memorial Day. “We cannot allow Europe to plunge into darkness again,” said Romani Rose, head of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, who lost 13 relatives in the Holocaust. “The struggle for democracy and human rights must continue,” he told crowds gathered at the at the memorial for the murdered Roma and Sinti, and pointed to a threat posed by the rise in nationalism and populism in Europe.
Several hundred people, among them Romany Holocaust survivors, members of the Roma community and political figures, from Poland and abroad, took part in Tuesday’s commemorative ceremony held at the site.
On 2 August 1944, nearly 3,000 Roma men, women and children from the so-called ‘Gypsy camp’ (Zigeunerlager) were murdered in gas chambers in Auschwitz-Birkenau.