European Roma and Travellers Forum launches website for Roma Holocaust commemorations
To mark the 71st anniversary of the Holocaust of the Roma (Pharrajimos) during WWII, the European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) has launched a website, www.2august.ertf.org. The NGO is calling for collaboration on establishing a "centralized information point" about this history.
One of the most horrible events of the Roma Holocaust was the murder of more than 3 000 Romani people beginning on the night of 2 August 1944 in "Zigeunerlager BIIII" at the Auschwtiz-Birkenau concentration camp. The ERTF says the Pharrajimos is by far the biggest tragedy in Romani history, one that has "traumatized the Roma till this day".
The NGO says this experience was formative of Romani people's "attitude in defending universal human rights, our need for freedom, and our stance towards well-meant multicultural ideals in today’s Europe." Official recognition of the Pharrajimos is important to the elimination of present-day anti-Gypsyism, according to the ERTF.
The website has been launched to raise awareness and promote activities related to commemorating the Roma Holocaust through an online event calendar. Educational materials on the issue will also be listed there.
Organizations who would like their activities to appear on the calendar or who would like to add materials to the education list are invited to contact the ERTF Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Strasbourg-based ERTF, which describes itself as Europe's largest Roma organization, says in a press release that it hopes this centralized website will raise the visibility of the Pharrajmos and express the strength of the Romani movement by paying tribute to the victims and aiding in the combating of anti-Gypsyism today.
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