International Traveller and Roma Day

International Traveller and Roma Day is celebrated on April 8th. This marks the day of the first World Roma Congress in 1971. The green and blue flag was adopted as the official flag for Romani people and Roma was identified as the preferred term to describe members of Roma communities across Europe (Roma, Sinti, Kale, Travellers, Dom, Lom and related groups). It also marks the day on which the song “Gelem Gelem” was officially recognised as the national anthem of Romani people. This day was officially designated as International Roma Day at the fourth congress of the International Romani Union in 1990.

Holocaust Memorial Day

Each year on August 2nd we mark Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, known as Porajmos, which means ‘The Devouring’.This marks the anniversary of the extermination of 3,000 Roma and Sinti in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944. Roma community members gather to lay flowers and commemorate those who suffered in the Nazi era.

holocaust photo

An estimated 11 million people were murdered during the Second World War because of their nationality, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, religious belief, political affiliation or because they were prisoners of war.  The largest single group of people to be murdered during the Holocaust were 6 million Jews.  It is estimated that over 500,000 Roma and Sinti died during the Holocaust.  At least another 500,000 were displaced and dispossessed, their identity papers lost or destroyed.  The Holocaust marked a deep trauma in the Roma community and impacted the whole community deeply.

 Read our press statement for the 2015 Roma Holocaust commemoration

Read statement by Rita Izsák, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues

Background facts about Roma and the Holocaust

Roma in Ireland Commemorate Loss on Holocaust Memorial Day

For more information on Roma in the Holocaust, go to http://fcit.usf.edu/holocaust/people/victroma.htm

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