Hungarian officials and politicians on Friday commemorated the victims of the Roma Holocaust.
August 2 was named international day of the Roma Holocaust in 1972. Over 3,000 Roma prisoners killed that night in Auschwitz in 1944 are commemorated on that day. About 500,000 Roma, 10,000 Hungarian Roma among them, are estimated to have been killed in Nazi camps, 23,000 of them in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Friday marks its 75th anniversary.
Erzsébet Sándor Szalay, the deputy ombudsman for ethnic minorities, said that accurate teaching of the Holocaust in public education was important for young people to recognise and reject extremist ideologies. Marking the international Memorial Day of Roma Holocaust, Szalay Sándor made reference to present-day attacks by neo-Nazi paramilitary groups against Roma, such as the series of attacks in 2009 in which six people died, saying that in order to prevent such actions, legislators, NGOs, religious and professional groups must work together to shape society’s attitudes.
Fidesz MEP Lívia Járóka, a vice-president of the European Parliament, has initiated the “Citizenship and Anti-poverty” cross-party working group to combat discrimination and poverty in Europe.