2 August is the Roma Holocaust Memorial Day. On this day we are remembering the Roma victims of World War II?s genocide. On 2 August 1944, the separate camp site of Gypsies in Auschwitz-Birkenau was eradicated; almost 3,000 people were killed over one night. However, we only have theories about the exact number of Roma people who had been executed, collected, interned to death during the previous years. Most of the names of mass killings are unknown. Thousands of Gypsy families live in fear ever since.

The ?destruction? meaning of the Romani phrase Pharrajimos (Porajmos) refers to the Roma Holocaust. Destruction ? human lives, children, women, men, old and diseased people became victims of this cruel havoc, the ethnic cleansing.

Gypsy people ? living at the edge of society ? were constantly exposed to atrocities, harassment. Common thinking treated their existence with aversion and prejudice. The exclusionary views became more widespread, creating fear and hatred against Roma people. Fanaticism led to the death of many ten thousands of people.

Hungarian Gypsy Missions International is calling gypsies and non-gypsies to remember those who were murdered in their homes, on their streets, in extermination camps and labour camps ? whose main sin was their Gypsy origin.

Prejudice and hate speech still surround us today. The false notion of collective delinquency and collective guilt infect our communities. Violation of human dignity, violence, destruction is unacceptable in a society full of life.

What our ancestors failed to do in the past, let us complement it in the present and look towards the future in faith. We must believe that every people in our society are equal and we can live in security side by side. We ask instigators of hatred by a friendly handshake to let us build a peaceful and strong country together.

On the Roma Holocaust Memorial Day Hungarian Gypsy Missions International is asking every member of our society to express their sympathy for Roma people! Let’s understand their pain and hear their cry for help!

Let’s remember and remind others, in order for senseless and furious hatred not to take innocent and unprotected casualties any more!

2 August 2016, Bekes, Hungary

Albert Durko

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