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European Commission - Statement

Statement by First Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioner Jourová on Roma Holocaust Memorial Day

Brussels, 1 August 2017

The European Commission honours on 2 August the Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, in memory of the thousands of Roma victims who lost their lives during the Second World War.

We must not forget these unspeakable crimes against the Roma. Younger generations, for whom these episodes seem distant, should know of and understand this tragedy. Persecution and discrimination have no place in the European Union. Remembering the wrongs of the past helps us to build tomorrow's Europe based on our common European values.

The European Commission calls on all Member States to recognise the Roma Genocide and reiterates its support for the European Parliament's resolution of 15 April 2015 with reference to the recognition of 2 August as Roma Holocaust Memorial Day. This is a necessary step to restore dignity and justice for Roma communities and to make sure that we never forget these events.

The European Commission will continue to support Member States in the better integration of Roma.

Background

On 2 August 1944, over 3000 Roma men, women, and children were murdered in the in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

On 2 August, European Commission officials will join a group of holocaust survivors and young Roma people in the former concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. This commemoration is organised by the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma. It complements the Council of Europe "Dikh He Na Bister – Look and Don't Forget" Roma Genocide Remembrance Initiative which brings together 250 young Roma and non-Roma from 20 European countries to raise awareness on the Roma Holocaust.

STATEMENT/17/2241

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