2 August 2020
Survivor of the Srebrencia Genocide, founder of “Srebrenica – City of Hope”
Statement on the occasion of the European Holocaust Memorial Day for Sinti and Roma 2020
For many years I was involved with ternYpe in the organization of the youth remembrance event “Dik he na Bister” and of the “Rromani Resistance Day” as well. Today we remember the Roma and Sinti victims during WWII and the liquidation of the “Zigeunerlager” in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Remembrance is often empty if not followed by actions. We said many times “remember” and “never again” after WWII, but the same brutalities happened again in different parts of the world like Rwanda, Srebrenica and many others. I was personally touched by the Srebrenica Genocide in July 1995 when I lost many of my relatives including my father and I spent my whole childhood in war time.
We live in a Europe faced with economic crises, and exactly like before WWII, there is a rise of nationalism and hate speech against minorities and vulnerable groups.
We live in a world faced with the “migrant crisis” and a human crisis of values, as we forgot what means to act in solidarity.
We live in a world faced with “climate change” where our lifestyle and the human race are killing entire ecosystems.
There is an individual level in all of this, in which each of us is guilty and each of us is a change-maker.
We study the history but we often forget, that in each moment of our life we are writing the history. If we really want to pay tribute to the victims of WWII we have to keep in mind that this is our time, this is our planet and we have the power in our hands to build a better world for our children.
Director, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Chair of the Board of Trustees of the EVZ Foundation
Director of the OSF Roma Initiatives Office
Founder of Romedia Foundation
Federal Government Commissioner for Matters Related to Ethnic German Resettlers and National Minorities
Chair of the European Network against Racism
President of the Bundeskriminalamt of Germany
Director of the ERGO Network
Survivor of the Srebrencia Genocide
Phiren Amenca International Network
Spokeperson of the Museum of Romani Culture Brno
President of the European Union of Jewish Students
Member of the Spanish Parliament and Roma Activist
Chair of the European Roma Rights Centre
Member of the European Parliament, FUEN President
Former member of the National Assembly of Hungary
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium in Poland
Acting Director of the Buchenwald Memorial
President of the International Committee Buchenwald-Dora and Commands
Director of the Mauthausen Memorial