Patakyova: Marking Roma Holocaust Especially Important Nowadays

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Public Ombudswoman Maria Patakyova (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, August 1 (TASR) – Remembering the Roma Holocaust as a historical event is even more important nowadays partly due to the recent racist assault against Roma boys in Zilina, stated Public Ombudswoman Maria Patakyova on Wednesday, marking Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, which is commemorated world-wide on August 2.

“We know from history that a hostile atmosphere and racist demonstrations were the first step towards even more repressive practices and the direct suppression of fundamental human rights,” she said.

The Ombudsman’s Office in this context stated that physical insults or verbal threats attacking one’s race are at odds with the constitutional right for human dignity and honour.

In order to mark Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, Patakyova is set to take part in commemorative events in Banska Bystrica and Dunajska Streda (Trnava region).

Last month a group of Roma teenagers was attacked by a bigger group of white men at night in Zilina, with one Roma ending up in hospital with bleeding in the brain. The attack was determined to be racially motivated.

On August 2, 1944 around 3,000 Roma were murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, while more than 300,000 European Roma died during World War II in total.