Roma persecution nowadays equals a Modern Holocaust
In 1945, when Anglo-American and Soviet troops entered the concentration camps, they discovered piles of corpses, bones, and human ashes—testimony to Nazi mass murder. Soldiers also found thousands of survivors—Jews, Roma, and many others who did not fit the Nazi ideology—suffering from starvation and disease. This is the image which should be haunting a whole Europe, an image that should be a constant reminder of the horrifying moments of the past, an image which should serve as a painful lesson of acknowledging the past and learn from it as not to repeat the same mistakes.
One may say that Europe has evolved since the holocaust, that it has become more indulgent and open-minded when it comes to people not fitting the prototype of branded citizens. While the time passed, Europe has changed indeed; it is much more bureaucratic in that sense, however the European ideological mission is the same: getting Europe united, supranational European institutions, common European citizenship, common European Market, European currency, European Flag and anthem; and here we are all of us “United in diversity”.
On 27 January, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a whole Europe recalls the genocide committed by the Nazi regime and its allies when 11 million people were killed, tortured and experimented on. Out of this 11 million people a significant number was represented by Roma, who were considered to be “racially inferior” and therefore meant to be eradicated from all over Europe. After the war, the Federal Republic of Germany determined that all measures taken against Roma before 1943 were legitimate official measures against persons committing criminal acts, not the result of policy driven by racial prejudice.
Many of the EU bureaucrats, or national governments representatives would openly argue that the monstrosities of the Holocaust have remained in the past and we are long ahead those horrifying moments, however the 21 Century’s veracity lays forward a completely other reality.
Illegal expulsion of Roma people, ethnic profiling (ex. Netherlands), police abuse and human rights violations are common features of an everyday life of the Roma people. Only by having a closer look at the year 2013 we can notice that Hitler left “an ancient legacy” on Europe’s shoulders and that today’s European citizens are making sure to finish his “old errands”.
(1945) Roma children Auschwitz victims of medical experiments. Photo source: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust)
(2013) Roma children from Eforie, Romania, victims of evictions. Photo taken by: Nicu Dumitru –Romanian activist.
According to Amnesty International, in France, only during the first half of 2013 more than 10,000 Roma were evicted from informal settlements. In Italy, on September 2013, around 35 Romani families were evicted from the improvised settlement of Via Salviati, Rome and taken to a segregated formal camp against their will.
(1) In UK, on July 2013, around 60 Romanians Roma were evicted from an improvised settlement from London’s Park Lane. In Romania, On September 2013, forced evictions had been carried out by the local authorities in Eforie Sud, after the issue of a seven-day formal notice.
(2) On November 2013 in Brussels, more than 220 people including 90 children were evicted from a former convent building, were they resided for almost four years. According to the EC/UNDP/WB 2011 Regional Roma Housing survey, almost half of the Roma in the Czech Republic feel under threat of evictions; 18% feel worried and 30% very worried that they will be evicted in the near future. Roma communities and Roma individuals are under constant attack and threat of Nazi terror.
I could carry on forever by bringing forward clear evidences of actual persecution against Roma, however I think the point has been made, yet the question is still there, “How different is the drama in the lives of Roma people now, than the atrocities lived during the Holocaust?”.