We will not forget Roma genocide, says Jewish human rights charity

2 Aug, 2020 | Equal Rights for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers, Genocide, Latest, Press releases and statements

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Sunday 2 August is Roma Genocide Remembrance Day. It marks the 76th anniversary of the murder of 2,897 Roma men women and children in the gas chambers of Auschwitz in 1944.

Acknowledging the shared experience of Nazi persecution, Mia Hasenson-Gross, Executive Director of the Jewish human rights charity René Cassin, has issued this statement:

“The theme for today’s Roma Genocide Remembrance Day is ‘Look and don’t forget’.

On behalf of René Cassin – the Jewish voice for human rights – I speak in solidarity with our Roma neighbours in memory of the many thousands of Roma lives cruelly taken by Nazi atrocities in the Second World War.

We will look, and we will not forget.

We look, and we see that today’s date marks the anniversary of the murder of nearly three thousand men, women and children in the ‘Gypsy Camp’ at Auschwitz in 1944.

And how could we forget Auschwitz?

So, today, we stand in memory of that terrible day. We stand alongside all those who suffered at the hands of that brutal regime.

Our shared experience has taught us the need to stand together in solidarity. We will not forget.

For it is only in remembering these horrors that we can work together to ensure that they are not repeated.

And we must continue to look – because what we see today, with the persecution of Uyghur Muslims by the Chinese government, looks a lot like a new genocide.

And the greatest memorial we can make to all the victims of genocide is to ensure that it never happens again.”

Contact:  Mia Hasenson-Gross, Executive Director, René Cassin – mia.hasenson-gross@renecassin.org

Notes for editors:

  1. René Cassin (renecassin.org) – ‘the Jewish voice for human rights’ is a UK-based charity that promotes Jewish support for other marginalised minorities.
  2. Roma Genocide Remembrance Day (2 August) – marks anniversary of liquidation of the ‘Gypsy Camp’ at Auschwitz in 1944, in which 2,897 Roma and Sinti men, women and children were murdered by the Nazis – https://www.hmd.org.uk/resource/2-august-1944-zigeunernacht-2/
  3. For more information on Roma Genocide Remembrance Day event (Sunday 2 August 2020) visit https://www.travellerstimes.org.uk/news/2020/07/join-online-look-and-dont-forget-roma-genocide-remembrance-event-sunday. Event is coordinated by Sherrie Smith, of Gypsies & Travellers Essex
  4. Uyghurs / Uighurs – Turkic Muslims living in Xinjiang Province / East Turkestan in China. Recent months have seen overwhelming evidence of systematic persecution of Uyghurs by Chinese Communist Party – including: mass internment in ‘re-education camps’; forced labour; forced sterilisation; demolition of cultural and religious sites; and organ farming – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uyghurs#Persecution_of_Uyghurs_in_Xinjiang

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