Roma demand Germany build WWII memorial

2nd August 2005, Comments 0 comments

2 August 2005, WARSAW - European Roma have urged Germany to build a memorial in Berlin to Roma victims of Nazi Germany's Second World War genocide.

2 August 2005

WARSAW - European Roma have urged Germany to build a memorial in Berlin to Roma victims of Nazi Germany's Second World War genocide.

Roma representatives gathered in the Auschwitz-Birkenau former Nazi death camp Tuesday on the 61st anniversary of the liquidation by the Nazis of the so-called 'Gypsy camp'. Some 3,000 Roma men, women and children were gassed to death.

"There are places where memory of crimes against the Roma is down- played," President of the Roma Association of Poland Roman Kwiatkowski said, quoted by the Polish PAP news agency.

"Auschwitz-Birkenau was not the only place of genocide against the Roma. Unfortunately this is often forgotten. We must always remember," he said.

Kwiatkowski expressed outrage that few sites where Roma had perished in Europe under the Nazis were preserved with due remembrance and respect.

Berlin has not yet built a memorial promised to keep alive the memory of Roma victims of the German Third Reich. A massive memorial of more than 2,700 huge blocs dedicated to the memory of the six million European Jews who perished under the Nazis opened in Berlin this May.

An estimated half of the one million Roma living in pre-war Europe were slaughtered by Nazi Germany between 1939-44.

Of the 23,000 Roma taken to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp between 1941-44, only 2,000 survived. Between 1.3-1.5 million people, mostly European Jews, perished at the camp, the largest and most notorious in the German Third Reich.

Roma from Austria, Germany and Nazi-occupied Czech territories were deported to the death camp on orders of Nazi SS head Heinrich Himmler.

Many Roma prisoners died of starvation and disease, while some, especially children, were subject to the pseudo-medical experiments of infamous Auschwitz physician Josef Mengele.

An estimated eight million Roma live in modern-day Europe.

DPA

Subject: German news

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