by Michael Smith
The organizers of the United Nations Holocaust Memorial event to be held on January 27 have vehemently refused to include the Romani victims of the Nazi atrocities as victims of the Holocaust.
The Romani have, in fact, as it would appear, been actively excluded with the usual claims by the self-came people that have also ensured that the only Romani person ever to be on the US Holocaust Memorial Council was removed by no less personage than former President G W Bush.
Many Romani organizations and individuals have complained to the organizers but to no avail with the exception that the people responsible have blocked all further email contacts and have turned off their public email.
Why do such actions not really surprise me?
The answer to that is simple and two-fold. One is that the UN, despite lip service, has no intention of really and truly recognizing the Romani People as a People and a Nation amongst nations, and two is the fact that, as far as the Holocaust and its remembering is concerned there is just a way too influential lobby groups there that claims this occurrence as being uniquely theirs.
Well, I have some bad news for them. Gypsies, Romani People, have suffered in the Holocaust, yes, fold, the Holocaust, for the same reasons as those that thing that this is just for them and Gypsies do not defile the memory of said Holocaust as we don't just wish to be associated with it, we are part of it. Period! Dosta!
On the other hand: why do we not organize our own events and make them public far and wide regardless of some other screaming that we “defile the memory of the Holocaust by wishing to be associated with it”. The Romani People were, in fact, the first that were targeted for extermination in Germany and that already under the regimes before Hitler. Hitler only continued ideas and policies as far as the Gypsy People were concerned to have all Gypsies in Germany exterminated for reasons of a foreign race that had been formulated at an earlier date.
It was 250 Gypsy children in what was then Czechoslovakia that were the first victims of the Zyklon B poison gas; they were in fact the Guinea pigs to see whether it worked and how much was needed. It was the same as to the “Einsatzgruppen” and their gassing trucks. The first to be allowed to try them out were Gypsies that has been rounded up in areas such as Bessarabia.
The United Nations should be ashamed of itself for allowing this active exclusion of the Romani in the Holocaust Memorial Day. This cannot and must not be allowed. But who will listen.
Then again. Our voice, the voice of the Romani People, is simply not powerful enough.. We do not shout loud enough. Time this be changed, methinks.
Just before anyone comes along again and being concerned that I might be falling into the “hate trap”, as someone called it, let me ensure you all that I am falling into no trap. I just state what no one else seems to be willing to state in words because they think it not politically correct. I know that some would call that a “hate crime” even, I am sure, but so be it. If speaking the truth is becoming thus then, I guess, I am guilty as charged.
I must admit that, as far as I am concerned in this I am Romani, I am Gypsy first, and that is all that counts to me. Everything else comes after that. But, it would appear that while other people can make bold statements as to them being first and foremost what they are and such when a Gyppo does that then he or she is in the wrong. Must be because we are Gyppos.
Well, that must change. We must put our Romani People first! Others can do it and we can do too.
Ava! Ame Shai!
© M Smith (Veshengro), January 2009