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October 23, 2018
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Roma Holocaust Memorial Day marks the Nazi murder of Roma and Sinti at Auschwitz on 2-3 August 1944

2.8.2018 9:27
Auschwitz (PHOTO:  Gabriela  Hrabaňová)
Auschwitz (PHOTO: Gabriela Hrabaňová)

On 2 and 3 August 1944 the Nazis murdered 2 898 Roma and Sinti in the gas chambers of the concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Roma and Sinti all over Europe, therefore, commemorate 2 August as Roma Holocaust Memorial Day.

Roma and Sinti were also murdered during the operation of other concentration camps, primarily Bełżec, Chełmno, Majdanka, Sobibór and Treblinka. Other Roma and Sinti whose numbers it is difficult to estimate were also shot and buried in mass graves in forests.

The Nazis first attempted to murder all the prisoners of the so-called "Gypsy Camp" at Auschwitz on 16 May 1944. A rebellion by the Romani prisoners prevented them from doing so.

"The prisoners refused to come out, they barricaded the doors and desperately prepared to defend themselves with rocks and work tools," historian Michal Schuster informed news server "The SS were startled by this refusal to obey and their commander decided to postpone the action."

For that reason, the date of 16 May 1944 has entered history as the Day of Romani Resistance. Nazi Germany's annihilation policy eventually murdered at least an estimated half a million Roma and Sinti from all over Europe, with the upper estimate being 800 000 Romani and Sinti victims, or anywhere between one-quarter to one-half of the prewar population of Roma and Sinti.

ryz, bau, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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