On 2 August, we commemorate the last 4,300 Sinti and Roma in the German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, who were murdered by the SS on that night in 1944 despite their fierce resistance. In memory of all 500,000 Sinti and Roma murdered in Nazi-occupied Europe, the European Parliament declared this date the European Holocaust Memorial Day for Sinti and Roma in 2015. In Poland, however, that day is called the Roma and Sinti Genocide Remembrance Day. (roma-sinti-holocaust-memorial-day.eu)

 

The date was chosen because on the night of 2 to 3 August 1944 2,897 Roma, mostly women, children and elderly people, were killed in the Gypsy family camp (Zigeunerfamilienlager) at the Auschwitz concentration camp. The total number of victims who were killed in the genocide is estimated to number between 220,000 and 500,000.

 

Today, on 2 August, Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli will visit the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Commissioner Dalli will meet with the Director of the Auschwitz Museum and visit Blocks 13 and 27. The Commissioner will pay respect in a commemoration speech at the memorial site and lay a wreath in honour of the Roma victims of the Holocaust. In the afternoon, the Commissioner will meet with young people, many of whom are from Ukraine, with a special focus on youth, education and remembrance, as well as the aggression against Ukraine; and then will join these young people in meeting with survivors of the Holocaust.