Bratislava, August 2 (TASR) – Justice Minister Lucia Zitnanska and Government Proxy for Roma Communities Abel Ravasz (both Most-Hid) have called on people to light a symbolic candle for the victims of the Roma Holocaust on Wednesday, August 2, as on this day in 1944 more than 3,000 Roma were murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, TASR learnt from the Government Proxy’s Office on the same day.
More than 300,000 European Roma in total died during World War II.
People can light a symbolic candle on the Facebook social network by temporarily changing their profile photos. The candle should commemorate the atrocities that the Roma were subjected to during WWII, but it should also represent the Roma’s life energy, which helps them to preserve their identity despite the adverse situations that they faced and are still facing.
“The fact that the Roma were murdered during the Holocaust as well is little known to the public. So, we decided to spread this information. The fact that we know little about the Roma Holocaust doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen,” said Ravasz, noting that history and moods in society shouldn’t be underestimated.
“When I hear statements by various politicians or read stories about intolerable anti-social people that are unable to adapt, I can see in that a horrible parallel with the events that happened 70 years ago,” added Zitnanska.
In order to mark Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, representatives of the Office of the Government Proxy for Roma Communities are set to attend several commemorative events; for example in Banska Bystrica, Dubnica nad Vahom (Trencin region), Sered (Trnava region), Filakovo and Rimavska Sobota (both Banska Bystrica region).