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Anti-Gypsyism and the Holocaust: Remembering the Past and Shaping the Future
January 30, 2015 /// 00:00
Roma and Sinti have a history of persecution. They have been oppressed and discriminated against for centuries and their persecution reached a climax throughout the Nazi regime during which they were subjected to genocide and deprived of their civil rights. The suffering of Roma and Sinti communities during WWII is mirrored today by persistent practices of discrimination and acts of violence against these populations across Europe. While they constitute the largest ethnic minority in Europe, they alarmingly remain the most hated and discriminated against on a daily basis. Anti-Gypsyism is a reality in today’s Europe and xenophobic sentiments are exacerbated by racist and extremist discourses and by the socio-economic difficulties that Europe has to go through.Against this backdrop it is urgent to mobilise all efforts to raise awareness about the Roma and Sinti Holocaust in order to fight discrimination, prejudices and stereotypes about these communities and avoid the repetition of Europe’s darkest period. By rediscovering the relatively unknown history of the Roma and Sinti Holocaust, the MemoROM project which is implemented in Belgium, France, Spain, Bulgaria and Germany from December 2013 until March 2015 aims to promote tolerance, mutual understanding and intercultural dialogue between Roma and non-Roma.