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Germany: Angela Merkel has opened a memorial in Berlin to Roma Nazi Holocaust victims

Berlin, Germany, 24.10.2012 14:41, (ROMEA)
dedication of the memorial in Berlin to Roma Nazi Holocaust victims (Photo: Tagesschau photo series (dpa))
dedication of the memorial in Berlin to Roma Nazi Holocaust victims (Photo: Tagesschau photo series (dpa))


The memorial - a circular pool of water with a small plinth in the middle - is in Tiergarten park, near the Reichstag, the German parliament building.

The unveiling comes after years of delays and disputes over the memorial's design and its cost. Politicians, Holocaust survivors, the artist and various victims’ associations were debating for 20 years. The dispute was not only about the appropriate place for the memorial, but also about the inscription and in fact about whom it should remember. But with the planning of the Holocaust Memorial and the Memorial to the persecution of homosexuals it was soon clear, that the various groups of victims should be remembered separately.

The memorial has been designed by the Israeli artist Dani Karavan. A fresh flower will be laid on the plinth at the centre of the memorial every day. Engraved on the well brim, is the especially for the memorial written poem “Auschwitz”, both in German and in English. It was written by Santino Spinelli. Next to the basin, they put up information boars on which one can find the chronology of the Nazi extermination campaign.

The dedication of the memorial for the Sinti and Roma that got murdered by the Nazis in took place on the 24th of October. In addition to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, there were top-ranking politicians and representatives of victims' organizations present. Mrs Merkel paid an emotional tribute to the victims. "Every single fate in this genocide is a suffering beyond understanding. Every single fate fills me with sorrow and shame," she said.

It was important to remember so that such atrocities were not repeated, she added. "It is not only the responsibility of educational institutions, as important as they are, but it's our responsibility, it's the responsibility of each and every one of us, because in indifference, in a culture of 'it's not my business'... this is where the seed of contempt for human values starts growing."

BBC News - Europe; rbb online (Thomas Blecha), translated by Corinna Wiedel
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Germany, memorial, genocide, EU



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