2 August 2020

Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm

Chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD)

Statement on the occasion of the European Holocaust Memorial Day for Sinti and Roma 2020

The chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, the chair of the Synod of the EKD, Irmgard Schwaetzer, and the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dr. Josef Schuster, have accompanied the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma to the commemoration ceremony in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

It is a very touching day for me to be here today, to be able to join Jews and Sinti and Roma in commemorating the murder of all the people in this place. 23,000 Sinti and Roma have been murdered here alone, half a million in total, a number that is unimaginable. But it becomes very real when you stand at this point. When you see this monument, when you can imagine how these many people were at this place and how every single person here was killed by the Nazis. It becomes very concrete when you stand at this place. That is why my prevailing feeling is stunned. How can people do this to other people. But then immediately afterwards there is an anger about all those people who are again shouting the same slogans today and the firm commitment and the feeling of a firm obligation to not accept this inactively, but to stand up for democracy, for humanity, for human dignity against all the forces from the right-wing in Europe, but also in Germany, who are trying to make the old slogans acceptable again, which led to this murder.


Romani Rose

Przewodniczący Centralnej Rady Niemieckich Sinti i Romów

Erich Schneeberger

Deputy Chairman of the Documentation and Cultural Center of German Sinti and Roma and Chairman of the Association of German Sinti and Roma

Timea Junghaus

Executive Director
European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC)

Adam Strauß

Chairman of the Council of German Sinti and Roma in Hesse

Marian Kalwary

Chairman of the Association of Jews,
Survivors and Victims of the Second World War

Piotr Gliński

First Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of Poland

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