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December 1, 2020
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First Roma Holocaust memorial unveiled at Roma Culture Museum

The first monument commemorating the Roma Holocaust was unveiled at the Roma Culture Museum in Bucharest, on the last day of the Pakivalo Solidarity Festival.monument holocautul romilor

According to a press release from the festival organizers, the monument is a tribute to the memory of Roma victims deported and exterminated in Transnistria and the Auschwitz – Birkenau death camp between 1940 – 1944.

The initiators of the cultural act want the monument to be set up in a park or public square.

“Both the Roma community and the Romanians needed such a symbol to be able to reconnect through the empathy generated by such huge human suffering. The monument is at the same time an important step towards rebuilding the collective memory of the Roma community that needs strong regenerative symbols. Without a common history and memory, a future project of integrating and developing the Roma communities is unconceivable. This monument tells a story about the striving for freedom of all human beings. It also bears testament to a dark past humanity must never get trapped into again,” MEP Damian Draghici, one of project’s initiators told Agerpres.

This year, on April 15, the European Parliament adopted a resolution recognizing August 2 as European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day and anti-Gypsyism at every level is seen as an attitude incompatible with EU values, the cited source also informs.

“The official recognition by the European Parliament of Roma sufferings in the time of the Holocaust is the pinnacle of a sustained battle initiated many years ago by the late sociologist Nicolae Gheorghe, [an advocate and promoter of the Roma identity redefinition on a non-discriminating base]. We remember him and the Roma victims deported to Transnistria by unveiling this monument in the courtyard of the Roma Culture Museum, at the Pakivalo Festival,” said Nicoleta Bitu, executive director of the Romano ButiQ Association.

According to organizers, “the monument was built around the solar symbol of the twelve-spoke wheel that signifies a well-known Roma spiritual archetype of Liberty as dynamic space and time.”

Attending the monument-unveiling event were Roma survivors of the deportations to Transnistria, civil society representatives, academics and state officials.

The monument was erected through the diligence of Damian Draghici (photo), with support of the Bright Light Foundation and the Romani Criss Roma Center for Social Intervention and Studies.

 

ForMin’s state secretary for strategic affairs attends Pakivalo Solidarity Festival

 

The Foreign Ministry’s State Secretary for Strategic Affairs Daniel Ionita attended on Friday the second edition of Pakivalo Solidarity Festival organized at the Roma Culture Museum.

According to a release of the ministry, the event was dedicated to Roma activist and sociologist Nicolae Gheorghe, whose contribution to the Roma’s social inclusion was significant both on a national and international level.

Ionita underscored there is need of solidarity and common actions in order to achieve the objectives pledged under the Romanian Government’s Strategy for the inclusion of the Romanian citizens belonging to the Roma minority for 2015-2020, with the direct support of the civil society and of the leaders of the Roma community being crucial.

The state secretary reiterated that the Romanian foreign ministry will keep protecting the rights and freedoms of all its citizens, including the ethnic Roma, particularly amid the current context when discrimination and xenophobic rhetoric in some European Union members get new meanings and dent the fundamental principles of the human rights.

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