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European organizations meet in Berlin to discuss combating hatred and teaching about the Holocaust, including Roma

6.4.2017 16:58
Catalina Olteanu prepares her 4 April 2017 presentation in Berlin on the education project implemented by the Impreuna organization in Romania, which has succeeded in getting the history of Romani slavery during the 19th century and the Romani Holocaust onto the official curriculum in the Romanian schools. (PHOTO:  Romea.cz)
Catalina Olteanu prepares her 4 April 2017 presentation in Berlin on the education project implemented by the Impreuna organization in Romania, which has succeeded in getting the history of Romani slavery during the 19th century and the Romani Holocaust onto the official curriculum in the Romanian schools. (PHOTO: Romea.cz)

How can the subject of both the Jewish and the Romani victims of the Holocaust be brought into the schools of Europe? How can people respond to hate speech when they see it on social networking sites?

What about educating teachers on the issues of discrimination and racial hatred? Representatives of governmental and nonprofit organizations, mostly from Central and Eastern Europe, whose projects have been supported by the German EVZ Foundation met in Berlin at the Wannsee Forum to discuss these questions this week.

Those attending included representatives of the ROMEA organization from the Czech Republic. The coordinators of projects implemented in eight European countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine) shared their experiences during presentations and workshops.

Participants agreed that while they work on common themes, their project implementation is conditioned by the different contexts of the countries where they live. Additionally, combating antigypsyism and antisemitism may require somewhat different tools in each case.

A closing summary discussion took place yesterday about what those attending would take away from the meeting. Catalina Olteanu from the Agentia Impreuna organization in Romania and Szilvia Szénási, the director of the Uccu organization in Hungary, both agreed that the situation of Romani people is unfortunately quite serious in all of the countries discussed during the week.

"I am actually really bothered by the fact that we Roma are all addressing the same thing everywhere," Szénási told news server Romea.cz. "It doesn't matter what country we come from, the degree of antigypsyism is unbearable everywhere."

"It's important to combine our forces and learn from each other about how to change the situation in society," said the Uccu head, who organizes joint seminars in Hungarian schools on antigypsyism and antisemitism together with a colleague from the Jewish community there. Gwendolyn Albert and Lenka Jandáková of the ROMEA organization in the Czech Republic reported on the activities of news server Romea.cz regarding its media watchdog program, its refuting and reporting of anti-Romani hoaxes, and its online education program in the media literacy field.

agw, jal, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Berlin, conference, Germany, Hate



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