The Holocaust’s Forgotten Roma Victims

From an article on “The Holocaust’s Forgotten Roma Victims” in The Daily Beast:

More than 500,000 Roma and Sinti were exterminated in the Nazis’ death camps—and it’s time to include them in the official history of the Holocaust…

Between 500,000 to 1.5 million Roma and Sinti were victims of the Holocaust in various camps and in mass killings carried out across Europe. This year, August 2, International Roma Holocaust Remembrance Day marked the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the so-called zigeunerlager or Gypsy Camp, at Auschwitz-Birkenau…

It is important for the world to recognize that Romani people who were killed by the Nazis and their allies were part of the Holocaust—its logic and its aim of a so-called “final solution”—and not a separate instance of genocide. Generations of school children have learned to call the results of the Nazis’ attempts at race-based exterminations by that name, “Holocaust,” and to infer that the Roma were not part of the same horrible policy enactments is not only historically inaccurate, but also implies that there was a different experience for Roma.

I wonder why Roma (and other non-Jews, for that matter) would be excluded from the category of the historical event known as the “Holocaust”?

Removing Roma and Sinti from Holocaust history by creating a separate genocide and by denying their voice in the Holocaust ceremonies signal a disregard for the memory and the dignity of the Romani people. Yet, the United Nations continues to dither about whether Roma and Sinti should be included in their annual Holocaust Remembrance ceremony.

You’d almost think that some other ethnic group wanted a monopoly on Holocaust sentiment, one that would serve to sanctify that ethnic group and allow it be a cultural sledgehammer on Western Christian countries for centuries to come.

Oh, and there’s the money too:

Furthermore, being designated as a victim of a separate genocide and not a Holocaust victim is precedent-setting. For example, many Romani Holocaust survivors were unable to qualify for any type of compensation for the losses they endured, specifically because the German government failed to recognize them as part of the Holocaust for several decades after the War, long after many survivors had died. This is not an example that current governments and institutions should emulate.

Only 10 percent of the hundreds of millions of dollars made available by the United Nations for the survivors, and which the U.S. Government was given the responsibility of disbursing, was set aside for non-Jews, and none of that found its way to the Romani survivors. When the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council was established in 1980, no Roma were invited to participate, and as mentioned above, it has no Romani member today.

Clearly, the Roma need to work with bigger P.R. firms.

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