Romanis. Remembering the Holocaust Survivors

Jan. 26, 2024

Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Chelmno, Majdanek — all of these locations are known to everyone. And each of these words make one recall horrific events. These were the death camps where millions of people perished—those whom the Nazis designated as ‘polluters of the Aryan Race’.

Nazis blamed Jews for social, economic, political, and cultural problems of Germany as well as for Germany’s defeat in the First World War. Romanis, on the other hand, were considered to be an inferior race, prone to criminal activity and social deviations; a category of people with ‘inbred criminality’. Thus, all of the Roma were to be disposed of…

To that end, a Centre of Racial Hygiene was set up, where all of the Roma were identified and kept count of. Next, that count was to be reduced—by way of sterilisation. Later, though, they reverted to using their usual ‘operational method’: concentration camps.

Reverberations of those times can be heard today as well… Romanis choose to keep mum about their origins, for fear of being labelled as thieves—merely because they were born Romani.

The tragedy of the Holocaust should be a reminder to everyone of the fact that no one should be denigrated due to his or her ethnicity, religion or otherwise… It is, after all, these ‘differences’ that laid groundwork for the Holocaust…

«Since 2018 and up till now, we try to take groups comprised of both Romani and non-Romani youth to Auschwitz-Birkenau, so that they become aware of the atrocities that took place in the past, never to reoccur in the future», – stresses Volodymyr YAKOVENKO, President of Youth Agency for Roma Culture Advocacy NGO.

Today, we have decided to publish photos of our trips there from past years—all in order to remind everyone of those horrendous years that millions of people had to go through, so that this happens Never Again.