2 August 2020

Holger Münch

President of the Bundeskriminalamt of Germany

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

Ladies and gentlemen,

Together with you, the Bundeskriminalamt commemorates the victims of the National Socialist genocide of 500,000 Sinti and Roma.

A hideous crime and unspeakable suffering that found their supposed legitimacy in the perverse racial laws at that time. The painful truth is that the German police were also complicit in this because they supported the Third Reich’s reign of terror and the systematic persecution of minorities such as the Sinti and Roma.

Today, 75 years after the end of World War II, we are a different police force, a police force firmly rooted in the German constitution.

A police force deeply committed to human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Our extensive powers of intervention in fundamental rights require a particularly pronounced awareness of our history and sense of responsibility, and that we act according to high ethical and moral principles. We prosecute perpetrators regardless of where they come from; descent must not play a role in police work. The guarantee of the inviolability of human dignity must be, and remain, our overriding principle.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The aggressive public displays of marginalisation, hatred and violence which are increasingly evident in Germany today, on the Internet, in social media and in real life, are a cause of considerable concern as the aim behind this is to create a climate of fear and intimidation. We are experiencing an increase in violence which culminates in deadly attacks motivated by racism and xenophobia. Members of minorities such as the Sinti and Roma feel increasingly threatened. This must be a wake-up call for us all. Now especially, 75 years after the end of the war, we have to take decisive action to confront the threats posed by racism, anti-Semitism and antigypsyism.

Last year we, the Bundeskriminalamt, together with the whole law enforcement community significantly intensified our efforts to combat hatred, marginalisation and violence, extremism and group-based misanthropy in all its forms.

This also means taking a critical look at ourselves and investing in our shared values and the historical and political education of our staff. Our message is clear: Misanthropic and anti-constitutional statements have no place within the Bundeskriminalamt!

Ladies and gentlemen,

The memorial day calls on us to keep alive the collective memory of the victims of National Socialist crimes and calls on us to act so that you and all of us can live in freedom and security.

This is our shared responsibility. The police, the state and the whole of society, each and every one of us is called upon to act. We want to make our contribution to this and will do so.


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

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