Bratislava, August 2 (TASR) – An exhibition called Porraimos – Roma Holocaust marking the 72nd anniversary of the liquidation of the Roma concentration camp, forming part of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, was opened at Parliament on Tuesday, TASR learnt on the same day.
“Roma Holocaust Commemoration Day is an important and memorable day for the Roma, on which their ethnic group was supposed to be exterminated. Unfortunately, there are similar efforts even today and for this reason it’s necessary not to forget the distant past and to remember historical events,” said parliamentary Human Rights Committee chair MP Erika Jurinova (OLaNO-NOVA) at the opening of the exhibition linked to Tuesday’s Roma Holocaust Commemorative Day.
“The Roma holocaust has been kept secret for a long time and this special gypsy camp wasn’t discussed during the totalitarian regime – not even after its fall. It wasn’t until the past five years that some facts have been published,” said OLaNO-NOVA MP and former government proxy for the Roma communities Peter Pollak.
“Conditions in the gypsy camp were even worse than in the Jewish camps. All 2,897 Roma men, women and children present in the camp on that night were sent to gas chambers – none of them survived. Therefore, we remember Roma Holocaust Commemoration Day in order to prevent from similar atrocities,” he added in relation to the night of August 2-3 1944 when the Roma part of the concentration camp was destroyed by the Nazi.
The exhibition showing items from the Museum of the Roma Community in Brno (Czech Republic) and the Museum in Hanusovce nad Toplou (Presov region) will run until Monday (August 8).
The total number of Roma victims in Europe during WWII is estimated at 300,000-500,000 people.