Germany begins work on memorial to murdered Roma

20th December 2008, Comments 0 comments

The monument, just south of the Reichstag parliament building in Berlin, will feature a well brimming with dark water, designed by Israeli artist Dani Karavan, when it is finished next year.

Berlin -- Work started Friday on a German memorial for up to half a million Roma, known then as 'gypsies' murdered by the Nazis during World War II.

The monument, just south of the Reichstag parliament building in Berlin, will feature a well brimming with dark water, designed by Israeli artist Dani Karavan, when it is finished next year.

Stones used in the design bear a poem by Italian Santino Spinelli on the Auschwitz extermination camp.

Culture Minister Bernd Neumann attended the dedication alongside Romani Rose, the president of the Central Council of Sinti and Roma in Germany, who has long championed the memorial.

Neumann noted that the ceremony came nearly 66 years to the day after SS leader Heinrich Himmler signed an executive order, on Dec. 16, 1942, to round up all so called gypsies in occupied Europe for extermination.

Historians estimate that between 250,000 and 500,000 were killed.

In recent years Germany has built a number of memorials in Berlin to commemorate the victims of Nazi persecution, including a sprawling field of stones in honour of murdered Jews and a smaller monument opened in May for gay people.

AFP/Expatica

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