Dikh He Na Bister 2018 ! What come next?
For the sixth time in row, the Dikh He Na Bister event took place in Krakow in remembrance of the Roma Genocide. The participants from 27 countries learned more about Roma history, formulated a strong message on antigypsyism for the future and became one team. One of the main messages of the commemoration was that, as racist and hate crimes against Roma still happen continuously in Europe today, we all have to join efforts in our daily struggle to challenge and stand up against antigypsyism and to break the stereotypes that killed people. “I have forgiven. I have forgiven, but I will never forget what happened”. – Rita Prigmore, survivor, said in her speech at the commemoration ceremony.
The event started by participants sharing expectations about the week. There were many: to broaden our knowledge about our history, to use this knowledge to combat racism and discrimination, to build a network of strong people. During the next days the participants started to engage with the history of Roma – a history filled with immense crimes against Roma. In addition the participants showed what unity means to them. Everyone was happy because they worked with other Roma from all over the Europe and you could recognize that in their smiles. Another highlight was the speech of two survivors of the concentration camps and the Resistance. Mrs. Krystyna Gil and Raymond Gureme, who told to the participants: “You young people have to continue the struggle for our freedom and rights”. Moreover During the event the participants visit to the Nazi Camps in Auschwitz twice. At the first time, in the morning we visited the concentration camp Auschwitz 1, including the Shoa exhibition and workshop in Block 13 about Roma in Auschwitz. The participants learned about the Roma heroes who resisted the Nazis in this block on May 16, 1944 and in the afternoon we visited Auschwitz-Birkenau. We learned more about the so called ’gypsy family camp‘. We had time for reflection and left a private message to our heroes
The 1st of August was an education day on Roma Racism. The session opened the space for the participants to look into the situation of Roma today in various countries in Europe. Modern day discrimination, violation of rights, forced evictions, segregation in schools, exclusion and inclusion, anti-Roma sentiments and stereotypes, scapegoating and violence were topics at the core of the discussions. Participants also discussed issues of human dignity, human rights and their protection. On 2nd of August the participants, politicians, representatives of diplomatic missions, national and International Organisations, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and Roma Holocaust survivors gathered in Auschwitz-Birkenau to commemorate, honor and remember the victims of the Roma Holocaust. The commemoration was followed by a meeting with Roma survivors and the European Commissioner of Human Rights Dunja Mijatović. During the closing ceremony the president of ternYpe-International Roma Youth Network, Vicente Rodriguez Fernandez, told participants: “There is a power within you, you just need to crack it out, you need to like yourself, when you start to like yourself, people start to like you, and if they don’t then really who cares!”
The purpose of the event was to raise young people’s awareness of the genocide of the Roma, to create a strong network among young people and to encourage citizens to take an active role in promoting local, national and international education of remembrance. In my opinion, the two objectives have been achieved. Personally, I have never learned so many things during a week. Now the future will show how active we will be and what we will achieve.
I would like to point out that during this week I saw strong men and women; young people with knowledge, personality and power. I want to believe that our generation will be a successful generation who will make the Roma community better. My only question is until where we can get?
“Aim at the sky and you will find yourself somewhere between the stars”