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On 2nd of August, representatives of the Jewish community joined with the Roma community to mark Roma Genocide Remembrance day.

Standing at the Holocaust Memorial in Hyde Park, Grattan Puxon, Roma rights campaigner, stressed the importance of commemorating the murder of hundreds and thousands of Roma people during the Holocaust. Other Roma representatives highlighted the disgraceful treatment of Roma communities across Europe today.

As Romani flags swayed in the wind, Romani and Yiddish songs were sung to commemorate the lives that were lost.

As well as many members of the Roma community, members of other minority groups came to show their solidarity, such as Simon Woolley, of Operation Black Vote, Anthony Silkoff, representing the Board of Deputies, and Rabbi Herschel Gluck who made impassioned speeches.

Speaking on behalf of René Cassin, Holocaust Survivor Ruth Barnett stated:

“As a human rights organisation, René Cassin stands for the rights of everyone, everywhere. We believe that there can be no human rights for anyone unless they are accorded to all. We particularly support groups whose human rights are neglected or withheld. Therefore we stand in solidarity with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) community today, and everyday, which continues to be subject to adverse discrimination and faces multiple disadvantages, such as with regards to education, health, the workplace and the justice system.

We remember the hundreds of thousands of Roma lives lost to the hate of the Holocaust and challenge people in general to open their eyes, minds and hearts to the denial of genocide that creates the impunity for more autocratic leaders to decimate their own people with genocide.

We must support each other and work together to control the hatred and violence that leads to war and genocide. Britain is safer than many other countries but still has sections of the community such as the RGT who are not treated fairly. We could do much better if everyone developed more concern and compassion and took responsibility to protect the most vulnerable, or at least protested the injustice in their own locality”. 

Read our article on the history of Roma Genocide Remembrance Day and the lessons we can learn from it here.

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