Light a symbolical candle to commemorate the Roma Holocaust victims

The fact that we do not know much about the Roma Holocaust does not mean it did not happen, said the Slovak government’s proxy for Roma communities.

Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in PolandAuschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland (Source: SME)

Slovaks should symbolically light a candle to commemorate more than 3,000 Roma who died in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp on August 2, 1944.

The call was made by Slovak Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská (Most-Híd) and the Government’s Proxy for Roma Communities Ábel Ravasz on the occasion of the 73rd anniversary of the Roma Holocaust.

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The symbolic candle can be lit on social networks, through the temporary change of the profile picture. It should express the struggles of the Roma during World War II, and also the energy with which they managed to maintain their identity despite several horrible situations, the TASR newswire reported.

“The fact that Roma were also murdered during the Holocaust is less known to the public,” Ravasz said, as quoted by TASR. “This is the reason why we decided to spread this information. The fact that we know only a little about the Roma Holocaust does not mean it did not happen.”

The history and moods in society cannot be underestimated as together with public opinion they can make people commit horrible crimes, he added.

“When I’m listening to various politicians or reading words about asocial and antisocial individuals, I see a horrible parallel with the events that happened 70 years ago,” Žitňanská said, as quoted by TASR.

Meanwhile the European Commission called on the member states to recognise the genocide of Roma and reiterated its support to the previous recommendation to set August 2 as Roma Holocaust Commemoration Day.

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“It is an inevitable step to reinstall justice for Roma communities, return dignity to them, and never forget these events,” the EC Representation in Slovakia wrote on its Facebook profile.

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