A Brave Phena Passed Away

We all know the loss that one feels when a brave and upright person leaves this world, and this is definitely something that I am feeling while writing this even though I never knew the person concerned here personally but only by reputation.

On August 28, 2005 the film authoress, civil rights champion and holder of the Otto-Pankow-Price, Melani Spitta, passed away after a long, difficult illness in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany. She was known to many Sinti as "die Einzige", which could be translated as "the only one", because she was the sole survivor of a Sinti family, which, like so many others, was exterminated at Auschwitz. Melanie's illness was a result of the traumas suffered in the camps.

The funeral will be held on Monday, September 5, 2005 in Dueren (b. Aachen). The Mass will be read at 11.00 hours in the St. Marienkirche and the interment will be held at 12.00 hours at the cemetery chapel.

Let us accompany her together on this
her last journey in person, or, if that is not possible, then, simply in our hearts wherever we may be.
Let us take on her legacy and create out of our grief the force for a life for which she has been fighting all her life: a life where evil will never be permitted to be forgotten and which also cannot be made good, as so many seem to believe, in which we do have a duty and a possibility to learn from the past and to ensure that there will never be again a suffering like that of "the only one" - whether amongst Sinti, nor Roma, nor other peoples in the world.

Let us remember Melani Spitta with pride as being a Sintizza who fought all her life for the right of the People.

May she rest in peace.

Atch Develesa amari Phena!