Commemoration about the victims of the Roma Holocaust in Budapest
This Wednesday in Budapest, a commemoration was held for the victims of the mass massacre committed by the Nazis, causing the death of more than three thousand Romani people on August 2, 1944, at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The speakers agreed that such events should never be repeated.
The commemoration was organized by the Phiren Amenca International Network and The March of the Living Foundation, and the event was held at the latter’s Budapest headquarters.
Attila Hidvégi, the representative of the Phiren Amenca International Network in Hungary, reminded in his speech that the massacre committed in August 1944 had a long history leading up to it, preceded by exclusion, hysteria incited against various ethnic groups, and scapegoating.
“The Roma community was also a victim, alongside the Jewish population, as tens and hundreds of thousands of Roma were collected in German-occupied territories, including Hungary,” he said.
The current generation is the last one with a living connection to Holocaust survivors and witnesses, so it is their duty to pass on the history and lessons of past horrors to the next generations, he added. The speakers emphasized that the commemoration also means not forgetting the horrors of the past because only then can the repetition of such atrocities be prevented.
Seventy-nine years ago, on August 2nd to 3rd, during the Roma Holocaust, in the Auschwitz-Birkenau II/E camp where Roma were held, SS soldiers executed the last three thousand prisoners as dawn broke. There is no precise data at the European level regarding the number of Roma victims persecuted by the Nazis during World War II; researchers estimate it to be between two hundred thousand and two million. The decision to hold a memorial day was made at the 1972 congress of the International Romani Union in Paris.