EU Commissioners on Roma Holocaust Memorial Day: Too many Roma are victims of hate crime in Europe
News server NewEurope.eu reports that First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, and Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Commissioner Věra Jourová have issued a joint statement on the occasion of Roma Holocaust Memorial Day. The statement recalls that on the night of 2 to 3 August 1944, around 3 000 Roma men, women and children from the "Gypsy family camp" of Auschwitz-Birkenau were murdered in the gas chambers.
Those were just some of the hundreds of thousands of victims of the Roma genocide who were killed by the Nazis and their allies. The Roma were one of the many groups who fell victim to the Holocaust.
It is in memory of all these innocent victims and the horrific injustice they suffered and died from that the European Commission commemorates Roma Holocaust Memorial Day on 2 August. "Against a backdrop of increasingly divisive rhetoric, hate speech and hate crime," the Commissioners statement says,"it is important to recall these dark moments in our history and learn the lessons of the past."
The Commissioners also point out that many people have little or no knowledge that the Roma, too, were targeted by the Nazi regime. The Holocaust of the Roma is an "under-taught and under-recognized topic".
"We must not forget that still today there are too many Roma facing discrimination who are victims of hate speech and hate crime in Europe," the Commissioners said. On this occasion the European Commission recalls its support for the European Parliament’s resolution of 15 April 2015 officially recognising Roma Holocaust Memorial Day on 2 August.
"We hope that all Member States will recognise it," the Commissioners said. The European Commission says it remains committed to improving Roma integration and will continue to work with all stakeholders to improve the daily lives of Roma.
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