Roma and Sinti Genocide Memorial Day – a René Cassin and Wiener Holocaust Library joint statement, 2 August 2021

2 Aug, 2021 | Latest

Share with others…

Today we remember the persecution and genocide of Roma and Sinti people at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators. We mourn the loss of up to 500,000 people who were murdered or died of starvation or disease in concentration camps. We remember the many more imprisoned, enslaved and forced into sterilisation and medical experimentation.

It was on this day, 2 August 1944, that 2,897 Roma and Sinti were massacred in the Auschwitz gas chambers, and it is on this same today in 2021 that we stand together and refuse to forget the past, as we refuse to ignore the demands of the present. As laws which marginalise Gypsies and Travellers and stigmatise migrants and asylum seekers make their way through the UK Parliament, we refuse to forget what can arise from the stoking of hatred, fear, and division.

In response to these horrors was born the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which aimed to guarantee safety for those on the margins and to ensure a life founded on principles of fairness and equality. It is our responsibility to continue to safeguard these values today in protecting the rights of Romani, Gypsies, Travellers, and refugees.

As organisations that remember Jews who were  dispossessed of citizenship, denied access to work and education, and targeted by centuries of race discrimination, we refuse to forget. As believers in social justice and bearers of the legacy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we refuse to forget. As human beings, worthy of dignity, love, tolerance, and respect, we refuse to forget.  

Today we stand together with our Romani, Gypsy and Traveller friends. As one we mourn their loss and hope for a reality which dignifies us all.

The Wiener Holocaust Library is one of the world’s leading and most extensive archives on the Holocaust, the Nazi era and genocide. The Library’s unique collection of over one million items includes published and unpublished works, press cuttings, photographs and eyewitness testimony. For more information visit


Suggested further reading

For more related sources, try a search for any of the following keywords in The Wiener Holocaust Library’s Collections Catalogue: Sinti and Roma; Racial persecution; Concentration camps; Holocaust; Memory;

Let’s stay in touch!

We are constantly developing our campaigns, planning events, and cultivating discussions on Human Rights issues, sign up for our email updates and we’ll keep you informed on all we are working on and how YOU can get involved.