Int'l Roma and Sinti Genocide Remembrance Day on Aug. 2
Holocaust survivors, Roma people from all Europe, Polish officials and foreign diplomats will visit the former German Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp on Aug. 2 to attend observances marking the 75th anniversary of the liquidation by Germans of the Gypsy camp.
The International Roma and Sinti Genocide Remembrance Day is observed on August 2 to commemorate 500,000 Roma people murdered by Germans during the Second World War.
Some 21,000 Roma and Sinti people were murdered by the Germans in the so-called "Gypsy family camp" (Zigeunerlager) at Auschwitz-Birkenau during World War II. On the night of Aug. 2, 1944, the Germans killed 2,897 Sinti and Roma in the gas chambers.
The observances will be addressed by former Auschwitz inmates, Else Baker from Germany and Eva Fahidi-Pusztai from Hungary, as well as US politician and clergyman Jesse Jackson and Roma leaders, Wladyslaw Kwiatkowski of the Roma Association in Poland announced.
A concert commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liquidation of the Roma camp will be performed by the Sinti and Roma Philharmonic Orchestra in Krakow (southern Poland) on the eve of the observances.
The Auschwitz concentration camp was built by Nazi Germany in 1940 to imprison Poles. Two years later Auschwitz II-Birkenau was constructed and became the place of extermination of Jews. Nazi Germany killed at least 1.1 million people there, mainly Jews but also Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners and people of other nationalities.